Ladies, we can be truly savvy with our dollars, especially when it comes to finding a great deal. That helps explain why most U.S. household budgets are managed by women.

However, even if you are pinching pennies on a regular basis, there are a few key mistakes that most women make with their money --- without even realizing it!

Here are the five worst ones.

5. Buying poor quality clothes

Display of clothing on sale for half price
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Don't fall into the habit of always looking for clothing at the lowest possible price.

When most women are shopping on a budget, they end up with clothing that falls apart or shrinks after a few washes. Instead of always looking to buy clothes at the lowest price, consider investing in a few pieces of high-quality “staples.”

Brands like L.L.Bean have a timeless style, and they even come with a lifetime guarantee. If you don’t have a problem with buying second-hand, the name brands can be found for dirt-cheap prices at thrift stores.

Even when that stuff is used, it still lasts longer than poorly made “fast fashion.” Making this change can potentially save you hundreds of dollars on clothing over time.

4. Not investing

Woman dipping toes into water
When women get over their reluctance to invest, they outperform men.

The stock market is dominated by male investors. Hollywood portrays investing as a boy’s club fueled by adrenaline and testosterone, especially in movies like The Wolf of Wall Street.

But studies have shown that whenever women do invest in stocks, they outperform men by a very impressive 30%.

You don’t need thousands of dollars and a broker to begin investing. Apps like Robinhood and Betterment are easy ways to get started right away.

3. Not maintaining a good credit score

Credit report indicating the consumer has a poor credit score
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Women typically have lower credit scores than men.

Women tend to have worse credit scores than men, according to Credit Sesame. Women also are more likely to get into trouble with collection agencies.

When used correctly, credit cards can be really great in helping build your credit score. However, when they're maxed out, they don't do you or your credit score any good.

If your score is lower than average, a site such as Credit Sesame can offer personalized tips on how to raise it from poor or fair to good or even excellent.

2. Falling for pyramid schemes

Player pulling a Jenga tile out of a stack
Pyramid schemes are full of risk, and the rewards typically go only to the people at the top.

So many mothers are under pressure to “have it all.” Work-at-home pyramid schemes — with people on the bottom making very little money — specifically target women who want to bring in an income while they raise their kids.

Former consultants with one clothing retailer that sells through home-based salespeople claim they were encouraged to stop paying their bills and buy more inventory instead.

These companies know how to prey on women's insecurities so they can convince you to push your friends to buy and sell the merchandise. Please don’t fall into the traps; take the time to educate yourself about pyramid schemes.

1. Undervaluing your skills

Young woman shyly raising her hand
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It can be difficult to speak up and ask for a raise.

On average, women are paid 20% less than men, even if they have the same education and work experience.

If you have been working for your company for a while, don’t be afraid to ask for a raise, or to inquire if a promotion might be available.

Speaking up can be tough, especially if you sense that your boss doesn’t recognize your true value. If you find yourself stuck in a pay situation that probably won't get any better, it may be time for you to look for new opportunities.

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