How to avoid the 7 deadly sins of money

Hanna Horvath Headshot


Hanna Horvath, CFP®

Hanna Horvath, CFP®

Managing Editor & Certified Financial Planner™

Hanna Horvath, CFP®, is a certified financial planner and former managing editor at Policygenius. Her work has also been featured in NBC News, Business Insider, Inc. Magazine, CNBC, Best Company, and HerMoney.

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Are you a savings saint or a spending sinner? Emotion plays a huge role in how we deal with money, and we tend to fall into the same bad money habits.

It's hard to shake these habits. No matter how you manage your finances, avoid these financial mistakes that lead to debt.


Frequently throwing away your unused groceries or filling your closet with unworn clothes is a sign of overindulging. While trimming the fat from your spending can seem difficult, it doesn’t have to be. Try following the popular 50/30/20 budget, which has you organize your budget into three simple buckets: needs, wants and savings.

You should monetize all those unworn clothes while you’re at it. Learn how.


Jealous of your friend’s brand-new car? Or your neighbor’s new pool? Trying to “keep up with the Joneses” can put you in serious debt. Stay on top of the trends and you’ll wind up buying way too many things and ruin your chances of reaching long-term money goals.


Don’t get lazy with your money. Not paying attention to your bank account can have you wondering at the end of the month: “Where did all the money go?” Procrastination can cost you financially.

Speaking of staying on top of your money ...


Put your pride aside and deal with your immediate financial issues now. Have a subscription you don’t use? Cancel it, because you may forget later in the month (the same goes for free trials).

Got credit card debt? Start tackling it as soon as possible, as interest rates can snowball your debt. Learn more about how to pay off your debt in 30 days or less.


Ever wanted to buy a new car even though you have one that works perfectly fine? Or dreamt of a larger home, or nicer clothes? While there’s nothing wrong with aspiring to the finer things in life, don’t let it ruin your money. You can splurge every once in a while, but in moderation.


Everyone has had a bad day (or week) at work. You may want to take your frustrations out on others, but when performance reviews roll around, you boss isn’t likely to forget how you handled the stress. Don’t make this career mistake and stay cool under pressure — your team (and future career) will thank you.


The phrase “money is the root of all evil” comes to mind here. Greed can make you relentlessly desire more money and the feeling of security and independence it can bring.

Money's important, but it’s not everything. It helps us afford our basic needs, and luxuries that can make life more enjoyable. But many times we can’t afford everything we want, and an excessive desire for money can hurt you.

Combat greed and monitor your spending habits with a budget. Prioritize what’s important to you and cut back on what isn't worth it.

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Image: Shalone Caston

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