4 Money Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making

Personal finance pro Ilyce Glink dishes out financial advice in her weekly radio show and syndicated newspaper columns.

She’s also a frequent guest on CNBC, CNN and PBS. We recently caught up with Glink and she discussed some major money mistakes you might be making—without even realizing it.

1. Impulse buying

We’ve all heard this one before, yet many of us are still guilty of purchasing things we don’t need. “I think women shop more than men, and those little purchases do add up,” Glink says. Even if you have plenty of disposable income and save a percentage of your income, Glink says that’s not enough.

She says it’s especially important for women to save because they tend to outlive men. Plus, she says divorce remains common and women don’t always get settlements that enable them to maintain their married lifestyles. She advises figuring out the bare minimum you need to live on and saving the rest. That can be tough at first. But, Glink likens it to a diet—once you form the habit, it becomes second nature.

2. Backing down

Sure there are exceptions, but Glink says men tend to be better at negotiating and advocating for themselves than women. Acquiescing can result in women making less money or hiring the wrong professional advisors, she says. “I wish women were more like men when it comes to pushing for bigger incomes, negotiating for jobs and asking tough questions when hiring professionals.”

3. Buying and holding stocks

Conventional wisdom tells us if we hold onto stocks long enough, we’ll earn a decent return. While choosing individual companies to invest in can be exciting, Glink says most of us simply aren’t savvy enough to make the right selections. “As an armchair investor, I’m doing my research, but even the professionals can’t always get it right.” That’s why Glink recommends diversifying with mutual fund instead of putting assets into individual stocks that could win big—or lose even bigger.

4. Miscalculating medical expenses

Most people underestimate how much money they may need for health care in retirement. Even with Medicare, Glink says a married couple could end up spending as much as $250,000 on medical care in retirement.

The solution? See items 1,2 and 3 above! Save more, earn more and invest smarter—then no matter what your financial future may hold, you’ll be covered.


Want more of Glink’s sharp insights and no-nonsense financial advice? She is scheduled to speak on October 2 at “Women and Finances” event sponsored by North Shore Community Bank & Trust Company. The event is set to begin with a cocktail/networking hour at 5:30 p.m. at Winnetka Community House. RSVP to [email protected]

Re:Work III is Monday, Oct. 15 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Join us if you’re looking to return to the work force or looking to reinvent yourself professionally.