I have made a few financial mistakes and hopefully, you can learn from them and not make the same mistakes.
Buying a depreciating asset. We all have to buy some depreciating assets but I went overboard in buying cars. I love cars and really enjoy the features and safety but at some point, you have to say enough. I have a 10-year-old car that I will pay off with my next paycheck and I bought it about 4 years ago. I am going to stay with this car for a while since it seems more reliable than other cars I have had.
- Not getting compensated for your expenses. I worked for a company once that had me travel to other locations. They did not compensate me for tolls and all parking garages even when I brought it up. I could not afford to work for that company due to those costs. Before you accept a job you need to have in writing the costs that they are paying for your travel. Another job insisted I write down all the mileage of travel I had but it was so much it was impossible to submit. I would have spent more time on writing down those charges than on the tasks I had very limited time to perform. So yes I could have gotten paid, but then I would have been criticized for not doing my job.
- Denying the value of commute time. I like to drive so for me driving and commuting is a pleasure even in heavy traffic. It is fun to listen to music and have all the comforts of a car. However, traffic gets worse over time and in one job it meant that my former 2-hour round trips slowly crept up to 3 and then 4 hours. At that point, there was nothing in that job that motivated me to make this trade-off. Your time is valuable even if you like driving.
- Buying lunch from restaurants. I love food and trying new things but unfortunately, most NYC restaurant food makes me sick. Don’t get me wrong, food can taste delicious but then hours later my body is telling me that it doesn’t like it. So I made lunch at home and skipped buying lunch. It is a small thing to carry your lunch to work and I don’t mind having to wear a backpack.
- Not calling insurance companies to see if they cover windshield repair. I thought that I understood the car insurance policy I had. I paid for a windshield repair out of pocket and then called them and they cover it. They will reimburse me but I should have called to find out my policy rather than just assume I knew. My last insurance company didn’t cover it and I should always double-check something rather than assume that someone else may not pay.
Good luck with saving money!