We all make mistakes when it comes to money. Sometimes we overspend, sometimes we pick the wrong credit card and sometimes we waste money on silly things.
But there’s one mistake that you really can’t afford, says Tiffany Aliche, personal finance expert and founder of The Budgetnista: doing nothing.
“I’ve been there, where I’ve been literally a deer in the headlights — I don’t know how to do everything, so instead I do nothing,” Aliche tells CNBC Make It.
But there’s an easy fix, she says, just start putting one foot in front of the other. Think of your financial journey like you would a road trip, Aliche says. For example, if you’re starting your trip from New Jersey to California after work, you’ll need to turn on the headlights. But those headlights won’t shine all the way California when you start out.
Instead of giving up and going back home, you need to start driving. And guess what happens? As you start to drive, your headlights will reveal the next 100 feet and then next 100 feet. Your path will be illuminated as you go along.
“That’s the same with your financial journey,” Aliche says. Maybe you don’t know everything about how to manage your money and your finances today. That’s OK, she says.
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“You don’t have to know everything,” Aliche says. Instead, just take that first step. Maybe it’s opening up a high-yield savings account or investing in your 401(k) at work — pick a starting point to your journey and then keep pushing forward. Each step will “help to reveal the next step and the next step and the next step,” she says.
“I don’t care how small it is. I don’t care if it’s a phone call to your sister that says we should do a budget. I don’t care if it’s five bucks a month in your savings account,” Aliche says. “Whatever that looks like, just do one small step.”
From there, you’ll be able to find your way forward. But you need to start somewhere.
Disclosure: NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorns.