Successful money managers share a simple strategy: spend less than you make over a long period of time and invest the difference. Here’s list of the 5 worst things you can do to sabotage your financial independence:

  1. Not taking care of your credit score. You may think you’re doing all the right things credit-wise, but that may not be how credit-scoring firms evaluate your profile. Your balances may be too high, you may have too many credit cards, or you may have been late on a payment or two. All of these things affect your credit score, so be sure to check your credit report three times a year and dispute any mistakes you find.
  2. Not saving and overspending – Putting money aside is essential if you are going to be able to invest. Experts suggest saving 10 percent of your salary. It’s tempting to splurge, but develop a budget and stick with it. Even if retirement is a long way off, it takes a long time to save enough money to live comfortably once you leave the workforce. Starting today, make sure to save part of every dollar you earn.
  3. Waiting to purchase property– renting always seems like the less expensive option; however ultimately as a renter you are paying someone else’s rent. Your landlord is cashing in on home equity and value- these are benefits renters do not enjoy equally. Don’t wait to become a homeowner, take advantage of low interest rates and invest in your future wealth. With every mortgage payment you make you invest in the equity of your home. Rent does not invest in your future.
  4. Having Too Much Revolving Debt – paying interest on debt can cost you big-time over the years. Avoid it like the plague. If making more than the minimum payments is a problem or you have a high amount of debt from multiple sources, credit payment consolidation or refinancing might make sense.
  5. Not having an emergency fund – Emergencies arise in every life, and not being prepared to cover them can throw you into debt. A rule of thumb is to sock away six months of living expenses.