A.D. Modlin /

James Joyce called mistakes “the portals of discovery.”

So, don’t fear making mistakes. Fear not learning from them and repeating the same few endlessly.

When it comes to financial matters, here are a few of the most harmful mistakes that, if made and repeated over and over, can do irreparable damage to your the financial security.

However, if these same mistakes are recognized, admitted, learned from and then run from, they might just do some good.

401(K) 2012 /

Living within your means is an illusion, and when you are awakened from your dream, it will be too late.

Most of us have the idea that if we are living within our means, we’re OK, even if it means we can’t save anything right now. You’re not racking up debt, but you’re also not saving. Is that OK for a while?


If life was a straight line of experiences and expenses, each one following predictably after the other exactly as planned, you might be able to pull this “living barely within your means” thing off.

GotCredit /

You’ve done a pretty good job of building up your 401K and you think you’ve got plenty of money in there for when you retire.

But…how much can you take out each year? Is there some limit on that?


Answer: Legally, no. Practically, yes.

First, you’ve got to limit your withdrawals to a level that is sustainable. In other words, you want your money to last at least as long as you do.

Dir. of Marketing & Communications /

United Way of Northeast Louisiana currently has volunteer opportunities available for those interested in helping Bastrop High School students learn money management at the Dollars & $ense Reality Fair, a financi