I thought all of my life's problems would be over once I started making money. I was in my early 20's making tens of thousands of dollars a month. Life was good. Or so I thought.

I didn't understand taxes at all, but I figured the money was coming in, so the rest of the stuff would work itself out, right? Not really.

I paid the price for that naivete in the form of interest, penalties and a host of other financial headaches I'd rather not be reminded of. So, don't neglect or put off your taxes like I did. It won't work itself out. You've got be proactive.

Related: Take Advantage of These 16 Commonly Missed Tax Deductions