BOSTON (CBS) – At one time or another we all have done dumb things with our money. Some of those decisions will affect the rest of our lives and some you will look back on and tell your kids about what not to do!

So I thought we would spend the week looking at the common mistakes people make over and over again and maybe how to avoid them.

Credit management seems to be an area where consumers make the dumbest moves.

There are times in everyone’s financial lives when they may come up short one month and don’t have the dollars to make a full payment on their credit card bill. The really dumb move is the individual who does it month after month and maxes out their credit cards and only pays the minimum each month.

Credit cards are wonderful financial tools, tools that can improve our financial lives and make them easier. But carrying that debt month-to-month limits what you will be able to do in the future. If you find yourself in over your head with credit card debt you will need to evaluate your spending habits.

Put those credit cards in a drawer and try using only cash so you are aware of how much you are spending. And each month pay more than the minimum required on the credit card bill.

Getting out of debt and being able to pay off the credit card in full every month can save you thousands of dollars over time. Dollars you can use to meet your other goals.

And those late fees? How many of you are guilty of being late and having no excuse what so ever. Do whatever it takes to remind yourself to pay that bill on time. And taking a cash advance from your credit card company is going to be expensive. Rates start at 20% and go up.

And don’t even think about using the equity in your home to pay off the credit card debt. Not prudent!


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