A poor economy is not the only reason why money is tight these days. Actually, a slow economy should be the reason to no longer make the simple money mistakes that most people make.

One very good thing about the recession is that it has forced many people to change the way they treat the money they have.

Whether you have a lot or a little, a poor economy is not the time to be wasteful, but those who struggle most should be extra careful not to fall into the same patterns as before, especially since there are a few simple things that can be done to save money.

First of all, consumers are still paying upwards of $30 billion every year in overdraft fees. This is quite a remarkable number, especially when you consider that new overdraft fees, which help consumers avoid overdraft fees by receiving better warnings of the charges, were instituted just two years ago. Of course, banks have developed ways to either continue collecting overdraft fees or charge you other fees in order to maintain the profit they’ve become accustomed to.

As you probably already know, in order for a bank to charge you an overdraft fee you will have actually spend more than you have in your account.

To prevent this from happening, then, advisers and professionals suggest, of course, learning to spend within your means but also connecting your checking account with a savings account to minimize the damage in the event that it might happen.

Another issue that many people face is spending too much simply because of a “sale.” Many people use the “sale” as an excuse to overspend, claiming that they “saved” a lot of money on a handful of things.

There are two money mistakes in this behavior, though. First of all, retailers understand that a “sale” tag incites people to buy so they will actually mark a higher price on the tag before marking the sale price just so you can see the suggested savings.

To prevent this, check the suggested retail price online before you go shopping.

The second of money mistakes, though, is that people usually spend more than they intended to simply because a retailer has put items on sale. As a matter of fact, many people do not even plan to spend until they see a “sale,” and suddenly they become a spendthrift. Obviously, you can avoid this by simply only shopping for the things you need or by setting a budget or spending limit every time you choose to go shopping.

Another thing that negatively affects personal finances on a consistent basis is simply carrying a credit card balance. While it may seem that consumers are doing a better job of paying down their credit card bills, people still have credit card balances and that means that consumers are still paying interest.

At the same time, credit cards also require regular payments and this means that you can also accrue fees should you have trouble paying your bills. Also, substantial credit card debt is often a sign that you are buying things you probably can’t afford anyway, which is a different problem altogether.

Finally, many people learn that their money issues can also come from poor investing. For example, the stock market is not a good place to put what little investment dollars you might actually have. Part of this has to do with the fact that stocks are built on old money and old ideas and that makes it difficult to know, exactly, how you should react to some of the shifts in market.

If, however, you have a sizable sum of money set aside for investing and you are able to let it rest for several years (probably decades), there are some stocks that may be helpful to you.