10 Bad Financial Habits to Break Before You Turn 30

Sophie Miura

As tax time draws near, now is the perfect moment to take stock of your finances. When it comes to saving, the average 35-year-old American should have at least $54,000 accrued for a rainy day. The reality: Most fall short by about $10,000. AOL has taken a look at the financial habits that might be setting you back. Read on for 10 habits to change for a wealthier future.

1. Using the wrong ATM. Withdrawing cash from another bank's ATM might be convenient, but the costs can quickly add up. According to Business Insider, ATM fees are at an all-time high (an average $4.35 per transaction). Try to withdraw cash in advance when you see your local ATM so you don't get caught out.

2. Your coffee-a-day habit. We're sorry to break it to you, but that morning latte isn't helping your savings account. The odd occasional treat won't bust your budget, but regularly purchasing meals and snacks will eat into your savings. If you want to make a dramatic difference to your finances, start with small changes. 

3. Not tracking your spending. Recording your spending habits is a simple way to find out where your money goes. Consider an app like Mint or LearnVest to track your spending. 

4. Dipping into your retirement funds. Withdrawing money from a retirement fund like a 401(k) is loaded with fees. Most charge a 10% penalty, plus extra taxes. 

5. Making the minimum credit card repayments. When you're on a tight budget, paying the minimum 1% to 3% in credit card repayments can be attractive, but it will disadvantage you in the long run. Try to pay up front or more than the minimum where possible — it could save you thousands in interest. 

6. Not taking out insurance. Plan for the worst, and hope for the best. Insurance might seem like an unnecessary added expense, but it could be the difference between savings and financial bankruptcy if something goes wrong. 

7. Accruing high interest debt. Consider the "racking and stacking" approach. Write down all your debts, and number them according to interest rates. Aim to work your way down the list, paying off the high-interest debts first. 

8. Choosing price over quality. That inexpensive toaster might save you money today, but consider its life span. Shop with quality in mind, and make purchases with a long-term mind-set. 

9. Not having a savings goal. What's your savings goal for 2016? If you can't answer, now is the time to set one. Make a list of the big expenses in your future—say, a house, a car, or building a family—and workshop what they might cost. Making a savings goal will mean that when you hit your target, it's that much sweeter.

10. Living by paycheck to paycheck. Yes, it's a great feeling when you see your account go up on payday, but managing your spending habits in accordance could be your downfall. Put aside 10% for savings, consider your budget and saving goals, and always factor in entertainment or shopping money so you're not too constrained. Sometimes it's important to treat yourself!

Find out more about the financial habits that could sabotage your savings at AOL.

Do you want to take control of your savings habits? Shop the tome below for financial advice.

What's the best savings advice you've ever received? Share your story in the comments below. 

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