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Five money mistakes you made in 2020 that you should avoid in 2021

A certified financial planner explains five money mistakes she sees happen time and time again that you should try and avoid as we go forward to 2021.

TAMPA, Fla — 2020 has been tough, and that includes the impact it had on our bottom line. Financially, families have taken hits.

As a new year approaches, so does the chance for a fresh start. Right now is the time to start thinking about getting back on track. So, we went to the experts to learn about five money mistakes they see happening time and time again that we should really try and avoid as we go forward to 2021.

"The most common one, even though it gets talked about so much, is leaving money and your flexible spending account," said Bobbi Rebell, the host of Money with Friends Podcast. "This is your money, please, flexible spending accounts. It's use it or lose it. Do not lose it."

The second mistake to avoid is not automating your contributions to savings plans.

"If you have it automated, it's going to happen," Rebell says. "This is especially true for things like retirement."

Number Three? All those tax deductions that you are entitled to. And yes, this one will require you to do a little bit of homework.

"I'm going to give you guys one thing that a lot of people are missing and this was part of the Cares Act, is that we have an above the line charitable deduction of three hundred dollars," Rebell explains. "It has to be given in actual money, not just donated clothing, for example, but anyone, even if you're not itemizing your tax return, can get this $300."

The fourth one is not having a money system.

"I think that's a really important one because we need to keep track of our money. And if that's one thing we've learned during this pandemic is that if you don't know where your money is going, it's going to go away," Rebell says.

Then there's number five on our list: not taking advantage of freebies.

"There are so many freebies at work that we leave on the table," Rebell says. "I love, for example, there's a lot of credits for wellness and a lot of companies have actually increased this because they realize that people are at home."

And it turns out, your employer may actually be able to subsidize that.

"They're probably not going to pay for the whole thing," Rebell explains. "But you can probably submit the expense and get a large percentage back."

If there's anything you missed, head to BobbiRebell.com. Bobbi has a wide range of financial resources and a way to reach her on social media, too!

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