Successful money managers share a simple strategy: spend less than you make over a long period of time and invest the difference.
But the author of ESI Money, an online blog written by a reclusive “50-something retiree who has amassed a sizable net worth,” suggests a list of the 10 worst things you can do to sabotage your financial independence:
Not having an emergency fund – Emergencies arise in every life, and not being prepared to cover them can throw you into debt. A rule of thumb is to sock away six months of living expenses.
Not having a will – Money Magazine reports 57 percent of Americans don’t have a will, including 69 percent of parents with kids under 18. But without a will, the state decides what happens with your finances. Make a will and update it regularly as your life situation changes.
Not having enough insurance – Like an emergency fund, insurance can protect or replace your assets in the event of almost any misfortune. In addition to life insurance, you should have health, auto, homeowner or renter’s, long-term disability, and, arguably, long-term care insurance.
Marrying the wrong person – Spouses should have similar financial goals and habits. If one is a spendthrift, you’re in trouble. It’s a good idea to discuss your financial objectives before you tie the knot.
Not saving – Putting money aside is essential if you are going to be able to invest. Experts suggest saving 10 percent of your salary.
Buying too much house – It’s well-known that Warren Buffet lives in the same modest home he purchased many years ago. Don’t buy a home that requires a mortgage that is more than twice your household’s annual realized income.
Waiting to invest – the factors that determine how well your investments turn out are the amount you invest, the return rate, and how long you are invested. The longer you wait to invest, the more you are costing yourself.
Being in debt – paying interest on debt can cost you big-time over the years. Avoid it like the plague.
Not maximizing your career – Develop and execute a plan to make the most of your working life. Your earning potential is dependent on your good health and initiative.
Overspending – It’s tempting to splurge, but develop a budget and stick with it.