Suze Orman, Tony Robbins and Dave Ramsey are worth millions of dollars. Warren Buffett is worth $72 billion dollars. In all likelihood I will never come close to having as much money as they do. You know, unless I invent a way to turn your real pets into Lisa Frank animals. Hey, it’s a good idea! So I won’t be that level of rich, but I would love some advice to get a little richer.
Time.com put together a list of the 7 biggest mistakes people make with their money according to Orman, Robbins, Ramsey, Buffet and other financial experts. Mistakes like spending too much on things you want. Tony Robbins, who’s worth $480 million, says: “You have to decide that you’re not going to be a consumer, you’re going to be an owner, no matter how little money you have.” He suggests starting by cutting back on one meal out a week and investing that money.
You also shouldn’t spend too much on your needs. Warren Buffet is known for his frugal habits. He still lives in the same house he bought in 1958. And despite his company being valued at $300 billion, he only employs about two-dozen people to oversee administrative affairs at Berkshire Hathaway Inc’s Omaha headquarters.
Buffett thinks one of the biggest mistakes people make is not starting to save early enough. He said, “Well, I think the biggest mistake is not learning the habits of saving properly early. Because saving is a habit.” Saving early means you get the most out of compound interest. He also thinks people should avoid investing in high-fee funds. He said, “If (investors) are incurring large expenses in connection with their investing, they are making a big mistake.” To figure out the costs before you invest financial advisor Lesley Kilcullin suggests looking the funds up on Morningstar or consulting an advisor.
Saving should start early but according to Dave Ramsey many people start investing too early. According to his book Baby Steps, people should start by saving $1,000. Once that smaller “baby emergency fund” is up and running, they should start paying off all their debts, besides their mortgage. Once debt-free, set up another emergency fund that contains enough to three-six months' expenses. Then — and only then — should one consider investing.
Suze Orman thinks not taking advantage of your company's 401k matching is a huge mistake. “If your employer offered you a bonus, you wouldn’t turn it down, right? But that’s pretty much what you’re doing when you don’t take the steps to qualify for the maximum 401(k) match," she says.
The worst mistake you can make is doing nothing. Financial planner Mary A. Brooks closes out the article by saying it’s important to have a financial game plan. “This doesn’t need to be huge formal statement," she says. "Even a New Year’s resolution would be a beginning — and beginning is the hardest part.”
Bonus info: For a look at the home Warren Buffett bought in 1958 for $31,500 and still lives in today, see this slideshow from CNBC.