Money mistakes I won’t make in 2018

Money mistakes I won’t make in 2018

I keep slips (receipts) of everything – petrol (fuel) slips, toll gate slips, grocery slips, you name it. You’ll find it in my car’s cabinet or my handbag or somewhere in the house.
Most times I keep the slips to keep track of what I’ve spent – to see where my money went.

But I have to confess: most of my bills are sent to my email address. So I see how much an installment or balance of an account is.


I never check the exact details of what I’m billed for. #BigMistake

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Since I started the “Money mistakes I made” series on my blog, I’ve started being mindful. I started checking out what is on my bills. Well, I did about two weeks ago and damn was I in for a surprise.

My husband bought me a cell phone in September and only in November I realise I still get billed for a cell phone we no longer have.

I took out cell phone insurance on a retail account a few years ago when I bought a phone and I forgot about this. I had forgotten because I have a lot of debt on this retail account.

What’s the point of having insurance if you forget it’s there, I ask myself? And a little as R79 per month can be saved for something else.

I added up the R79 for the past three years (from the time I took out the insurance) and realised that I’ve spend R2844 for cell phone insurance to a cell phone I no longer use. Whaaaaaaat?!


money mistakes I made melissajavan

I also see that I pay R95,50 for an account protection plan. Now I’m wondering, do I need this? For a year alone that costs a total of R1146.

I’m the type of person who leaves her debit card at home, just so that I won’t have the temptation to spend money unnecessarily.

Yet, here I am spending money on things I might not need.

Please note: A cellphone insurance is great, in fact beneficial, especially if you bought an expensive, good quality phone (which I didn’t). But what benefit is it if I don’t use it?

Tsk, tsk, tsk

So, I’m planning to finish paying this retail account in 2018 and then close it. I think it will help more if I take off the cell phone insurance – no matter how small, I want to save money where I can.

The money mistakes series that I started in November 2017, is so that I can track my personal finance. I also hope to save money so that I can save for my child’s future and resources for my personal growth.

So, I started checking where I spend money to see where I can divert or change these spendings.

Through this series, I’ve spoken to others like Abongile Tyoto about their experiences. Abongile, for example, told us that she took out a loan to pay off a loan. She also gave us lessons she’s learned.

money mistakes

A lot of people told me that they enjoy the “money mistakes” topic because we all make mistakes – I am (we are) not alone.

Firstly, through this series, I’ve learned that talking about the mistakes is good. We learn from each other.

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Secondly, I’ve been reminded that asking for help is okay.

Anonymous from Khayelitsha told me that her boyfriend helped her with her finances. He sat her down to advise her on her financial situation. “It’s not fun, but it’s necessary,” the 31-year-old young woman told me. Her biggest money mistakes as an entrepreneur are:

  • Not saving.
  • Misusing personal and business funds for resources.
  • Not paying herself a salary.

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Thirdly, I realise that I made some of my money mistakes because I didn’t have financial goals which include the costs.

Like, if I want to study a part-time course, how much will it cost me and how will I break that amount up to save it? (Just an example)

Dave Ramsey says: “Be intentional about where you’re going and, most importantly, why you are going there.”

What do you think? Have you thought of your financial goals for 2018 yet? Do you have saving suggestions for me? If you have stories about how you changed your spending habits, please let me know in the comments below.

Thank you for reading.


  1. These are great tips and such an eye opener to what we waste our money on. We refuse to have any clothing accounts. If we don’t pay cash, we don’t buy it! Great post! x

  2. I’m going to look at my bills right now! I hardly check them!! Great reminder. Learning the hard way really sucks!

  3. I need to look more closely at my bills as well. Paying more than you should for a bill is never good.

  4. I love that you’re honest about the mistakes you’ve made! I (try to) look at where every penny goes. It’s a little obsessive, but my husband and I were able to pay off our student loans 5 years early by going through a financial program and getting serious about our money management. So I think taking the time to manage your finances is (like your blog says), “It’s not fun, but it’s necessary” – and also worth it! Also, about once a year, I also call up everyone we pay bills to (electricity, phone, etc.) and I tell them we’re trying to cinch our financial belt a bit and ask them if there’s any way we can reduce the monthly bill. There usually always is! A promotion or they notice a service we’re paying for and not using or something. Best of luck on your continued financial journey! Thanks again for the post!

  5. This is a great idea for a series and so helpful! I’m just wrapping up my first year of home ownership and there were a lot of things I had to make adjustments to along the way in terms of spending and saving. Sometimes adulting is annoying.

  6. I’m enjoying this series and learning a lot from it. By the way I don’t have cellphone insurance and just have an old phone I would use if anything happened to the new one.

  7. Yup. Check your statements EVERY month. A few years ago I found I was paying a few hundred Rand on an annual payment for a loyalty card I had never received (let alone used our wanted). As it was an annual payment it was easily missed and I had paid for three years before spotting it. Lesson learned. I now NEVER allow debit orders for anything other than when I am paying myself (unit trusts/retirement finds etc). If anyone else wants money from me they can invoice me and I will EFT them.

  8. Daniella, I also believe in doing the EFT-thing. I love internet banking! I only have debit orders for my car and its insurance. You make a valuable point. Thank you.

  9. We learn so much from each other, no matter how old you are. I remember the other day a senior burger lady said to someone, if her budget is set out for the month, she stick to it, no matter who is knocking at her door, selling stuff and it makes me think, wow. But nevertheless, i experienced by opening every packed i buy (for instances soap/toiletpaper or the buy 2 and get one free), i take out one and put it away and stock up for rainy days or end of year stock, it helps alot. Also buying stamps from any shops like shoprite etc. helps. It is sometimes difficult to do it, but if you stick to it… I remember one time, i bought stamps from a lady, an agent, what she said that day was stick to it, her words ‘it’s like you paying edgars etc. every month’, that words reminded me everytime when doing my budget.

  10. Thank you for the comment. I agree we can all learn from each other no matter how old you are. I like the stock up idea – I sometimes do it too 🙂 It helps a lot.

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