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Frightening Financial Mistakes to Avoid


Goblins and ghouls, vampires and zombies. Haunted houses and ghost stories. The Halloween season is full of frightful things that go bump in the night. But as you grow older, your fears of the supernatural fade, only to be replaced by new fears. Low credit scores, high interest rates, debt! These are what can truly keep you up at night.

Whether you are looking for peace of mind or just a guide to avoid financial mistakes, here’s some advice to keep your fears strictly on stuff from a horror movie.

Not Investing In Retirement

blonde woman sad looking at laptopSaving up for retirement is a long term game. The earlier you can start, the better off you’ll be. When it comes to retiring, there are no hard rules for how much to have when you turn 65, but there are some guideposts to follow:

  • 1x your income by age 30
  • 3x by 40
  • 6x by 50
  • 8x by 60

It’s also a good idea to budget for about 70% of your current expenses, as many of your costs go away and you can allocate your funds towards other items.

If you are not investing or are behind, you need to refocus your priorities. Social Security will be a little bit of help, but often is not enough to fully retire. Not having enough to retire when you hit your golden years can be disastrous. Don’t let that happen, invest in your retirement.

Buying a New Car

woman and man looking at a new carIt’s tempting to buy a shiny new car with all the bells and whistles, but don’t do it! Buying a new car is one of the worst financial decisions you can make. The moment you buy it, the car loses up to 20% of its value. Then it loses an additional 15% every year until it hits the five year mark.

That means when it comes time to sell or trade-in your car, you are losing more money. You’ve lost a lot of money and value you didn’t need to.

Instead, buy a used car. The value doesn’t drop off at time of purchase, and if it is over five years old, its value decreases at a much slower rate. You save money overall in the purchase and on your car’s value.

Carrying a Balance on your Credit Card Month-to-Month

If you want to throw away money and lower your credit score, keep a balance on your credit card each month. You are paying more on interest and using up your debt-to-credit ratio.

This practice is a common misconception and mistake in the world of credit. In reality, the best choice is to pay off your credit cards every month and keep your debt-to-credit ratio low. This ensures you don’t pay extra interest and keep your credit score high.

Not Shopping Around on Major Purchases and Loans

man with credit card looking at laptopDon’t impulse buy when making major purchases. Ideally, anything over $100, you should do at least a little bit of research. If you don’t, you might find yourself either stuck in a bad situation or severely overpaying.

For any loans you get, shop around for the best interest rates and terms. Don’t just take the first one offered. Mortgages, auto loans and more are all things you should heavily research to find the best deal for you.

This is also true for larger recurring payments like car and home insurance. Regularly, those prices will increase, but by shopping around and finding a new provider, you can save a lot of money.

Taking Out a Payday Loans

Payday loans are a predatory practice that will ruin your lives. It is designed to prey on desperate people and make their situation even worse. You take out a short-term loan to cover an immediate cost with a payment date typically around your next payday. Not only do you have to pay for the full amount of the loan, but also a finance charge and interest. Interest rates on payday loans are often absurd, usually around 400% APR.

Do everything else you can to finance your expenses instead of taking out a payday loan. A payday loan can literally ruin your life and finances, putting you into a debt hole you cannot get out of.

Instead, come to Pioneer. We have CashPlease®, a small-dollar short-term loan. This lets you borrow up to $1,000 within 24 hours or less, and is a much lower interest rate. It’s also much more flexible on repayments if necessary, giving you a chance to actually catch up and pay it off.

Learn more about CashPlease

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