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Career & Money

5 Money Mistakes to Leave Behind in 2021

Think of these, too, as money resolutions for the New Year

If in case your New Year’s resolutions include better money management, part of thinking this through ought to be checking your habits from the year that was. It’s time to see what you can do more of—along with what you can do less. For every “money do,” there’s definitely a “money don’t.” It also becomes a matter of sloughing off the routines and activities that don’t do you or your savings any good.

Ahead, we zero in on five money mistakes that have become far too easy to make in 2021 (we’ve all been there). Your 2022 would be better without them.

Feeling the need to participate in all “super shopping” sales

In the past, shopping parties were limited to Labor Day sales, end-of-season sales and the holidays. With the rise of e-commerce giants, however, once regular dates like 9.9, 10.10, 11.11 and 12.12 cease to mean the same thing. Granted these super sales are great for stocking up on necessities you can diligently get with a discount (office and home supplies, for example), heading into these massive shopping events without a checklist in mind means heading into dangerous territory (read: impulse purchasing). In 2022, why not pass on two or more of these sales? 

Spending first and saving only what’s left

While picking up smarter money-saving tips, heading into the New Year should feel like an energizing opportunity to begin again—this time, more intelligently. Hacks and suggestions may vary, but the rule of thumb remains the same: save first, spend after. It should never be the other way around. You can get your ducks in a row, too, with the various types of savings that are worth looking into. When the next payday rolls around, try it. Set aside money for saving first. Spend on necessities and extras only after.

Regularly taking out or ordering in coffee

At-home coffee upgrades count as one of the more prominent lifestyle shifts during the quarantine. People have sprung for compact machines, learned new ways to brew their coffee, and so much more, seeing this new setup as an investment. Even so, there are those of us who still turn to café-made beverages, either ordering in or taking out. It’s a deceptive buying habit that seems harmless. But that 130-peso cup of specialty coffee you grab every week? That’s roughly ₱6,760 spent purely on your caffeine fix in 2021.

Investing in overly complicated skincare products

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to try the trendy seven-step K-Beauty routine. Trying out and being able to sustain it, however, are two very different things. The latter, it comes as no surprise, is a fool’s game. Just as well, any dermatologist would be quick to inform you that you’re better off with a professionally-informed arsenal of just the basics. Getting very into skincare is a costly upgrade. Think twice before labeling this an investment (it certainly is not a long-term one).

Keeping the auto-renew setting on for subscriptions you hardly use

This goes for payments (for apps, entertainment platforms, shopping subscriptions) that are scheduled to charge you for renewal without prompting you. Typically, the scenario here is “out of sight, out of mind.” And if you find yourself too swamped to go through monthly or yearly statements with a fine-tooth comb, you may find yourself spending unnecessarily. Before the year ends, have a sit-down with your subscription to promos, your newsletters, your App Store or Google Play history, and other related fees to discontinue subscriptions you didn’t make the most out of in 2021. This is a great time, too, to downsize where you can. Perhaps 2022 is the year you stick to your favorite streaming services instead of all of them. Just an idea.

Here’s to heading into the New Year with better money habits! For more posts like this, explore the Career & Money page.

Art Matthew Fetalver

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