Your biggest money mistakes -- and how to avoid them

Ignoring fees

Your finances come with a lot of fees. Banks charge fees for withdrawing cash from an out-of-network ATM, and there is interest on credit card balances and management expenses on investments.

Ignoring these fees — or not knowing how much you’re being charged — can lead to hundreds or thousands of dollars in wasted money.

"This is money that should be in your pocket, not contributing to the profits of big financial institutions," says Regina Leeds, coauthor of the book One Year to an Organized Financial Life. "Wasting money on fees is like standing on the street corner and handing out cash."

Smart move: Review your monthly statements.

Tally all the fees you pay, and then look for ways to lower them. The options for reducing fees range from switching to a free checking account and calling the credit card company to negotiate interest rates to tweaking investment portfolios.