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Adam Jolley

7 deadly financial sins you should avoid at all costs


When it comes to managing your money, there are some things which are best avoided. 

Seven deadly sins


Seven sins 

Following your heart instead of your head when it comes to making financial decisions is never a good idea, so don’t let lust put you into difficulty. 

For example, you may be tempted to overextend yourself on a mortgage to get the house you love.

However, this may leave you barely scraping by each month, especially if you’re not on a fixed-term mortgage deal and interest rates rise, as is predicted.

According to research by mortgage provider Ocean Finance, just a 1% hike in interest rates, which the Bank of England has currently set at 0.5%, would see borrowers with standard variable rate mortgages pay an additional £55 a month for every £100,000 owed. 


Seven sins 

From sofas to TVs and holidays to cars, it can be all too easy to gorge yourself on interest-free credit.

So if you think 0% finance deals are free money then you may have to have a quiet word with yourself and stop being so gluttonous.

Not only will an interest-free period inevitably come to an end, but you’re likely to end up paying more for an item through one of these schemes than if you saved up and bought it outright.

Of course many people manage these types of finance deals just fine, we’re just advocating a little restraint.


Seven sins

One of the more obvious sins to avoid: greed and money are generally not a great combination.

However, more specifically, if you want some extra cash and you want it now, you’d do well to avoid taking out money from a cash machine on your credit card. 

Not only could you face an upfront fee for a cash advance and incur a high interest rate on top of that, but withdrawing cash on your credit card could also adversely affect your credit rating.


Seven sins 

There are many instances when pure laziness can end up costing us, and failing to shop around for the best deals is definitely something we can all be guilty of.

Buying travel money at the airport instead of sourcing it in advance is one example as this pretty much guarantees you’ll never get the best rate.

And being too lazy to switch to a better deal, whether it’s on your car insurance, home insurance, or finding a better credit card, could mean you end up paying more than is necessary.


Seven sins 

Angry that ISA rates are relatively rubbish at the moment? Don’t let your wrath spoil your savings habit.

While it’s true that interest rates are currently poor compared with several years ago, this shouldn’t stop you putting money away.

According to research from The Share Centre, over a quarter of those aged over 65 have admitted their biggest financial regret is not starting to save earlier in life. 

Everyone in the UK over 18 has a £15,240 annual ISA allowance, so get saving and don’t automatically avoid ISAs as they are still a tax efficient way to save.


Seven sins 

That “keeping up with the Joneses” mentality is only going to push your bank balance into the red, so don’t let envy affect your financial decision making. 

When it comes to selecting the right credit card, sometimes people can get too carried away with style over substance, perhaps looking to impress.

Think you need that flashy “platinum card” with concierge services and fancy hotel deals?

This may be well and good if you’re a big spender that can pay off your balance each month.

But if you’re simply looking to do a balance transfer and get some breathing space while you pay off your debt, this is probably not going to be the best card for you.


Seven sins 

Getting in to debt and being too proud to ask for help or even tell anyone about it is the final sin to avoid.

Of course not getting into trouble in the first place is ideal, but if you find yourself struggling you’re definitely not alone.

According to The Money Charity, the average credit debt in December last year stood at £6,617 per household and each day, on average, 44 people were made bankrupt.

So if you find yourself struggling there are a number of places you can turn to for advice, including The Money Charity, Citizens Advice and StepChange.


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