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15 Little Life Hacks

How I deal with stupid money mistakes

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In Quicken (or whatever budgeting software you use), when you enter an expenditure, you can assign it a category (e.g., gasoline, clothing, cell phone, etc).

I added an extra category to my budget: Stupid Mistakes. This is for things I have to spend money on when I make do something dumb, like getting a library fines, having to switch a flight because I didn’t plan ahead, or paying an extra fee because I don’t have any cash on me.

When I started paying attention to my stupid mistakes, I basically eliminated them altogether within 6 weeks. It’s amazing how a budget–one you created yourself–can change your spending behavior. Now I take the money I would have spent on mistakes and put half into savings and spend half on myself.

How much do you spend on mistakes every month?

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4 Comments on "How I deal with stupid money mistakes"

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Cheska
Cheska
11 years 26 days ago

hi ramit! cool tip! i don’t have a lot to put in there but sometimes i get those atm fees for using a non-bank atm or for cash backs.. thanks!

chris sivori
10 years 9 months ago

Really great idea. I’m going to do this is Microsoft Money.

Evan
10 years 4 months ago

This is way late, but I’m working my way through the archives. Regarding Cheska’s comment about ATM fees – those aren’t stupid mistake. The “bank charge” category in Quicken takes care of those as it should. I believe bank charges are also tax deductible. I’m loving your site and I appreciate all your words of wisdom.

JM
JM
9 years 9 months ago

oh. my. god. This is a GREAT idea! I’m going to start doing this this month.

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