There are some financial mistakes we tend to make more than others and sometimes we may not even realize we are making them. I’ve made many myself over the years and it’s pretty embarrassing but I’ll share my biggest financial mistake.

A few years ago, as a young and financially-dumb 23-year old, I left my first big-girl job. While I was there, I had been investing in a 401k. To be quite honest, I really had no idea what a 401k was at the time other than a way to save money for retirement. After I left, I decided to withdraw all the money in my 401k, which incurred me a hefty penalty (more than 30% of the balance in fact). My only excuse? Financial stupidity!

Don’t let something like this happen to you. Financial mistakes like these are all too common. And when they happen, they are costly.

I’ve compiled a list of five of the most common financial mistakes so that you can hopefully avoid them.

1. Living on credit cards

One of biggest problems Americans face is credit card debt. It’s easy to just swipe your card to buy everyday basics. But don’t forget that if you’re not paying your full credit card bill every month, you’re going to face very large interest fees.

Don’t make it a habit to live on credit. It’s a vicious cycle that can lead to fees on top of fees and a lifetime of debt payments. Live below your means and you won’t have to live on credit.

2. Not checking your credit score

Identity theft is a very scary situation to face. Unfortunately, if it does happen, you might not even…

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