Are you living a life you can’t afford? | iStock.com/puhhha
My Biggest Money Mistake I Wish I Could Go Back in Time and Change
Do youِ haveِ a huge money mistake youِ wishِ you neverِ made.
If itِ makes youِ feel anyِ better, thereِ areِ plenty ofِ other people outِ there whoِ haveِ major money regrets.
The biggest financial mistake people haveِ often involves notِ finishing (or completing) a college education.
I gave in to lifestyle inflation
My top money mistake wasِ toِ letِ lifestyle inflation creep outِ ofِ control overِ the years.
I realized threeِ years agoِ that I wasِ living inِ a million-dollar waterfront house thatِ I couldِ easily afford, butِ it wasِ excessive forِ my needs.
That removed a huge monthly payment andِ put a lot ofِ money intoِ my investment account.
Don’t spend your raises. | iStock.com/jinga80
Brad Kingsley, financial fitness coach, MaximizeYourMoney.com
I didn’t save my raises
My biggest money mistake wasِ notِ saving myِ pay raises.
This isِ a big mistake people makeِ that perpetuates consumer debt.
If youِ getِ a raise, youِ shouldِ take thatِ extra money andِ make itِ work forِ you insteadِ of buying newِ toys.
Glenn Carter, founder, The Casual Capitalist
I bought a home I couldn’t afford
Don’t buy more house than you can afford. | iStock.com
We gave] ourِ home backِ to theِ bank throughِ a deed inِ lieu ofِ foreclosure.
A home ofِ your ownِ isِ the American dream — orِ atِ least that’s whatِ I’ve beenِ led toِ believeِ my wholeِ life.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t givenِ the skills toِ knowِ howِ to actuallyِ achieve thisِ goal growing up.
Lindsay, written on her blog, Notorious D.E.B.T.
I became too focused on making money
Money isِ not everything, andِ it’s notِ worth sacrificing yourِ health, family, friends, orِ other experiences forِ it.
I haveِ spent tooِ muchِ time overِ the pastِ fiveِ years working 80-plus-hour weeks andِ trying toِ makeِ andِ invest asِ much money asِ possible.
While I haveِ beenِ able toِ achieve myِ goal ofِ becomingِ a millionaire millennial, itِ hasِ beenِ atِ the expense ofِ some ofِ myِ personal relationships andِ health (gaining almost 40 pounds overِ the pastِ fiveِ years).
There’s more to life than making money. | Paramount Pictures
Grant Sabatier, written on his blog, Millennial Money
I put all my money into one asset
In 1998, I officially entered myِ midlife crisis, kicked theِ dust ofِ the corporate world offِ myِ boots, andِ moved myِ family toِ Aspen, Colorado — oneِ ofِ the mostِ expensive housing markets inِ the country.
Though I knew howِ important diversification was, I chose toِ buy a house thatِ becameِ most ofِ myِ net worth.
I hadِ spent nearlyِ two decades working hard andِ living frugally andِ essentially bet everythingِ I hadِ worked forِ on anِ unspectacular house inِ a spectacular location.
Allan Roth, financial planner, as told to AARP
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. | iStock.com/jerry2313
I let fear stop me from investing
I stopped investing forِ anِ entire year duringِ the financial crisis.
I wasِ young, hadِ a veryِ limited understanding ofِ market cycles, andِ freaked outِ when myِ investments lost a chunk ofِ their value.
Even worse, I bypassed theِ chance toِ earn compounding returns onِ fresh capital forِ a wholeِ year.
Kate Dore, founder of CashvilleSkyline, as told to The Simple Dollar
I blindly followed advice
I blindly followedِ what everyoneِ told meِ to doِ in terms ofِ education andِ careers, ratherِ than everِ actuallyِ stopping toِ thinkِ aboutِ what wouldِ mesh withِ myِ personality, ambitions, abilities, andِ limitations.
Because youِ knowِ what.
At thisِ point, I’m 30 years old, andِ I’m justِ now takingِ the time toِ sit downِ andِ ask myself, “What canِ I actuallyِ do forِ a living thatِ will beِ sustainable inِ terms ofِ myِ lifestyle?” If I wouldِ haveِ asked myselfِ that atِ 18, I’d probablyِ haveِ close toِ a decade ofِ steady paychecks underِ myِ belt rightِ now, versusِ a spotty work history andِ six figures inِ student loans.
A reader from Billfold
I lent money — and never saw it again
My husband asked forِ a loan toِ cover a cash-flow crunch atِ his start-up architectural firm.
Blindly, I gave himِ the money evenِ though I didn’t: (a) knowِ much aboutِ his financial past; (b) askِ aboutِ his business plan; (c) getِ a proper IOU; orِ (d) follow upِ toِ seeِ howِ the money wasِ spent.
One loan becameِ several, andِ in theِ endِ I lost myِ entire life savings.
Valerie Rind, writer, as told to The Simple Dollar
I made an early withdrawal from my IRA
My firstِ college teaching job required a daily 64-mile round-trip commute fromِ my home. I wasِ driving a semi-reliable usedِ Ford LTD withِ a big, gas-guzzling V-8, soِ I decided I needed a differentِ car. The Yugoslavian-built Yugo hadِ just comeِ on theِ market, andِ at $3,990 itِ seemed likeِ a good deal.
All ofِ us makeِ financial mistakes fromِ time toِ time. Thankfully, thereِ areِ tools outِ there toِ helpِ us learn howِ to manage ourِ money better, soِ we don’t continue toِ makeِ the sameِ errors. Here areِ some helpful resources:, 7 ] .