By Ross McCutcheon and Beth Bohman
For those just joining us, below is the overall idea of our focus in this article series:
We can learn a lot from other people’s financial failures, and that can keep us from falling into those patterns of behavior. As the longest-tenured Dave Ramsey coach in the U.S. with over eighteen years of coaching experience, I have observed these top six mistakes that clients have made.
1) Using their emergency fund for non-emergency expenses
2) Failing to include non-monthly expenses in their budgets
3) Failing to keep accurate bank account records
4) Losing sight of their financial goals
5) Slipping back into old patterns and spending behaviors
6) Justifying their unwise decisions
This time we are going to explain how to avoid mistakes #3 and #4.
3) Failing to keep accurate bank account records. Be sure to take adequate time to read your bank statements and cross-check them with your transaction records.
Look for any fees, transfers, or forgotten deductions that were not recorded. Don’t assume that anything which does not line up is always your blunder. The bank is not always right. If there is a mistake on the bank’s part, it is better to contact them sooner than later. Keep in mind that if you’re not keeping track of bank statements with your own records you’ll never know about mistakes, and that can cost you money.
4) Losing sight of their financial goals. Hopefully the goals you set are reasonable, specific, measurable, and attainable. If not, tweak them so they are more realistic. Sometimes breaking them into smaller objectives will help you achieve them, especially if they seem too lofty to tackle. Establish deadlines for accomplishing them.
Make yourself accountable—tell someone about your plans and report on your status after a certain time period. When you have met your goal, reward yourself or celebrate in a special way (of course within a budgeted amount if spending).
Come back soon for Part 4, the final one, in this article series.
*Images taken from Unsplash.com