Money Missteps: 16 Red Flags Indicating You’re Veering Off the Financial Highway


Are you feeling overwhelmed by your finances?

Do you feel like it’s time to get back on track but need help figuring out where to start?

Stress no more.

We’re about to embark on a financial journey centered around recognizing the common missteps in managing money and understanding the tools needed to recover from them.

Our goal is simple: equip you with the knowledge and resources to recognize when things are veering off course and take corrective action so that money matters become less of a burden.

We’ll dive deep into the 16 vital red flags indicating you may not optimally navigate your budget.

Afterward, check out our comprehensive guide outlining tips for getting back on track.

Let’s hit the highway!

#1. Asking for Money, You Won’t Repay

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Asking for money can be embarrassing, but some may only need to do it a few times when struggling.

However, others out there consistently ask to borrow with no intent to repay, even if they say they will.

Worse still, they need to make better financial choices with this money and continuing to engage in habits that threaten their finances and leave them in a cycle of borrowing and never actually repaying.

#2. Spending Money Because Of Money You “Will” Have

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One of the most significant warning signs that you’re going off track financially is when you start spending money because of income or refunds you “will” have in the future.

This usually happens when people assume they will receive more money than they end up getting.

Rather than relying on this hypothetical income, ensuring your expenses are covered by what you currently have is important.

If you spend money because of income that’s not yet in your possession, it’s essential to take steps to get back on track and live within your means.

#3. Making Impulse Buys Right After Payday

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Having adult money can be exciting, but it can also be quite tempting.

Many people will get their paycheck without thinking twice about spending it on things they want without saving it first or spending it on bills they need to pay.

Whether it’s for a hobby or a product that they won’t even use, those who are financially irresponsible show their true colors when they get paid and immediately start ordering things or shopping for items that will only set them back further.

#4. Quitting One Addiction for Another

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People with less money can enjoy things, but some might become addicted to certain things.

In this instance, cutting it out ultimately could be the right course of action.

An excellent example of this is people who have a problem with alcohol.

But sometimes, rather than taking advantage of the fact that they’ve cut out addictions and managed to save money, they’ll instead spend that money on a new addiction that leaves them in the same financial position they were in.

#5. Investing in a Business or Side Hustle Without Doing Research

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It’s hard to get by with a full-time or part-time job, so many will turn to small businesses and side hustles to generate income.

But while there are plenty of success stories, an equal number of individuals will dive in without the proper research.

Plenty of financially irresponsible people will buy all the materials, think that they will somehow be able to start a business, and fail because they haven’t met any of the prerequisites needed to get off the ground.

#6. Prioritizing the Wrong Things in Your Budget

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Have you ever had someone complain about having no money to buy non-essentials?

An individual we spoke with described how their friend would complain that they couldn’t afford shoes for their children but would end up with custom rims and wheels on their cars.

I don’t know what does if that doesn’t scream financially irresponsible!

#7. Having High-End Everything But Always Being Broke

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Being poor is expensive.

Even if some products seem cheaper, the reality is that they break more often and cost you more over time.

This is why an argument can be made for investing in higher-quality products.

However, those who make bad financial decisions may invest in high-end everything, even if they don’t need it.  

#8. Spending Available Funds on Vacations

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Some examples are hyper-specific.

While interviewing one individual, they described a family who didn’t have enough money for new tires (and other essentials), so he got another family member to pay him for remodeling work that she needed to be done around the house.

But does he spend that money on new tires?

Of course not.

Instead, he takes the money he earned from that work and spends it on a vacation to New Orleans!

#9. Can’t Pay Rent But Always Partying

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Rent is one of the significant expenses, and it would stress the average person out tremendously if they found themselves short right before it was due.

But people who like to party? Absolutely not.

Many people recount friends and family who never had enough money to make the rent but would somehow be able to scrounge up enough to engage in their favorite pastime.

Not only is this irresponsible, but the consequences can be dire compared to skipping out on other expenses.

#10. Struggling But Always Getting Food Delivery

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Gig apps like Uber Eats made it easier than ever for you to get your hands on your favorite fast food.

However, it also created a trope about the person who’s constantly struggling yet has enough to order takeout every day consistently.

This wouldn’t be a trope if it weren’t a common issue.

Numerous people will complain that they won’t have enough money but will spend a ton on food delivery apps, all of which cost you more than if you were to get it yourself.

#11. Only Knowing Monthly Amounts But Not Total Payment

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This is generally about people who buy cars without thinking about it.

If you ask someone how much a car costs, they’ll likely give you the total amount.

Others who are financially careless or clueless will not.

Instead, they’ll reply with the amount they’re paying monthly, which is often quite large because they’re being overburdened with high interest rates and paying way more than what the car is worth.

#12. Overspending on Cars That Are More Than Functional

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You don’t always need the nicest things, but some people do.

Rather than spending their money responsibly on a car that does the job and gets them to where they need to go, some will buy an extremely nice car that costs them more than they actually make.

That’s a recipe for financial disaster!

#13. Getting Tattoos Religiously

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Likewise, you might know someone who always seems to have money for tattoos.

There’s nothing wrong with tattoos, but they’re often expensive, especially if you get a good amount of your skin inked.

Some people will spend a ton on tattoos but never have enough for other expenses, leading people to wonder why they’re spending their money on a tattoo instead of looking for ways to earn more money to pay for the tattoo.

#14. Settling For Just Enough Money To Get By

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Another sign you may be headed toward financial trouble is if you are only settling for the amount of money that allows you to get by.

Living paycheck-to-paycheck can be a dangerous habit, and it’s important to find ways to ensure your income covers more than just the basics.

It’s essential to establish a budget and stick to it so you can start saving money for emergencies or future purchases.

While having a budget may initially seem daunting, many online tools can help make the process easier and less time-consuming.

Consider cutting back on certain expenses, such as eating out or going on expensive vacations.

#15. No Emergency Fund

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Another common mistake is not having an emergency fund. 

An emergency fund is a savings account that you can access in the event of an unexpected expense, such as a medical bill or car repair.

 By setting aside money for emergencies ahead of time, you won’t have to rely on credit cards or take out loans to cover these costs.

#16. Savings? What’s That?

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Many people make the mistake of not saving for their future.

Whether it’s putting money away in a retirement account or simply setting aside some cash each month for a rainy day, having a nest egg can help you weather economic hardships and provide greater financial stability down the road.

Making regular contributions to your savings can also help you take advantage of compounding interest, allowing your money to grow faster.

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Do you know what separates the wealthy from everyone else? It’s their habits.

The good news is learning their habits is simple which means with a little effort, you too can become wealthy.


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You’ve probably wished you could get free gasoline, but thought that was impossible. But the reality is, it isn’t impossible.

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Learn the easy tricks to spend less on groceries and pocket some savings.


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Unfortunately, many of us never do. But that changes now. Here are over 100 simple things you can do to start saving money every day


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