These are things you should stay away from to keep your financial sanity. I know that things may get pretty rough at times and some of these situations can't be avoided. But please keep your use of these items to a minimum!
1. Payday Loans: The interest rate on these short-term loans are sky high! Try to avoid these or at least find a family member or friend who can loan you the money. The max is normally $500 so someone you know should be able to help you out.
2. Car Title Loans: The interest rate on these loans are also sky high. They offer more than $500. These loans are worse than payday loans because your car is used as collateral. If you skip out on the payday loan, they'll just keep trying to auto-debit the amount from your checking account till they get their money back. If you skip out on a car title loan, they will come and take your car-not worth it!
3. Income Tax Refund Advances: Here it pays to just be patient. You've already waited 12 months for this money, what's another few days. Did you know that the IRS processes returns on fridays and pay them out on the following Thursdays (I think)? Some times I've gotten my (direct deposited) refund in less than 5 business days!
4. You Personally Giving Loans: Make sure that if you are loaning someone money, you aren't creating a whole for yourself somewhere else. Also NEVER loan out an amount of money that you can't afford to lose. I know when I loan out money, I kiss it good bye because I shouldn't be forking over money if I really can't afford to!
Anything else on your list of financial mistakes to avoid???