We all make mistakes from time to time. Yet the strange thing is that sometimes, we can commit an absolute howler and get away with it, while on other occasions, it really is something that could happen to anyone, yet we get hit repeatedly right where it hurts the most – squarely in the wallet.
Here are five examples of the latter – be careful out there, it’s a dangerous world.
- A simple typo
Not everyone was a born typist, and a generation ago, typewriter keyboards were in the hands of trained experts. Today, we are all clicking away like mad, so it’s no surprise that typos slip in. Typing “teh” instead of “the” is annoying enough, but spare a thought for the guys at Mizuho Securities. Back in 2005, a typo meant that instead of selling one share for 610,000 yen, they sold 610,000 shares for one yen. The mistake led to total losses of more than $300 million. There are less dramatic examples too, which can still be costly. A typo in marketing materials can completely ruin all your hard work, making a mockery of the campaign and denting brand image.
- Taking your eyes off the road
Every year, thousands of drivers lose their licences through motoring convictions or accumulation of penalty points. In some cases, you would probably say they are richly deserved, but on others – well, we have all had lapses of concentration and judgement. If you are in a situation where your licence could be in danger, it’s important to get professional help as quickly as possible. If there are extenuating circumstances, you might just catch a break with the right support.
- Not-so-smart smartphone deals
Smartphone ownership is nudging 85 percent among the UK adult population, so the well-worn phrase that “everyone has got one” is not so far from the truth. Every one of those phones is on a different deal, and many of them are outrageously expensive. On average, we pay for 16GB of data every month, but due to the proliferation of WiFi, we use around a quarter of that. It’s time to re-evaluate – you could end up cutting those mobile costs in half.
- Poor debt management
Whether you are managing a business or a household, you probably have a certain amount of debt. Effectively managing it is key, and if you don’t give it proper attention, it will be costing you twice as much as it needs to. Do a regular “stocktake” on your debt, assessing what balances are outstanding, what rates they are charging and how much you are paying. Prioritise those debts with the highest rates, and consolidate where you can.
- Not shopping around
Finally, one that again applies to both homes and businesses. While most households are quite good at checking out the best deals, it is a different matter in the business world. From supplies to utilities, it pays to think about everything you buy, from whom you buy it and why you use them instead of their competitor. Getting stuck in routine is pure laziness, and it can cost an absolute fortune.