What’s Your Biggest Financial Regret?

I had just gotten a new job and my car broke down. I felt like I needed to replace it quickly and was running out of options.

I knew a fella from the golf course I frequented who worked at a car dealership. I ended up visiting him there – and quickly fell in love with a nice, used Volkswagen Jetta.

“You’ll look pretty cool driving this one, Aaron.”

I was sold and without much looking around, I signed up for a 5-year debt and interest commitment.

It still remains one of my biggest financial regrets. I mean, the cost of the car was about 2/3 of what I was making every year!

As Dave Ramsey is known for saying, sometimes we need to pay a lot of “stupid tax” before we wise up.

A survey reveals some of our biggest financial regrets

Our friends at Student Loan Hero conducted a survey of 1,000 folks and asked them what were some of their biggest financial regrets over the past 12 months.

Here’s a quick snapshot of their responses:

Given these regrets weren’t over a lifetime – but a one-year period – many of the answers seem common. Many of us regret not saving enough, and spending on items we didn’t need.

One item I found encouraging was that not many regretted any “big-ticket” purchases (home, car, ie) which they couldn’t afford. But, perhaps there weren’t opportunities to purchase these items (for example, if they were just-graduated, broke college students).

But many of us know what we ought to be doing – but don’t quite get it done.

As I’ve gotten older, I have certainly cut back on the wants. But I still struggle with saving enough and applying money towards some of our debt (student loan + home).

What are some of your regrets?

I’m curious to know what are some of your financial decisions you wish you could have back? What regrets do you have looking back at life in terms of money?

Here’s a few of mine:

  1. Not investing earlier. Gosh, if I had only knew the returns and more about compound interest and opted to invest rather than spend.
  2. Built a business earlier / focused on assets. Owning assets and building something of your own can really get you ahead in the ballgame. While I had (have) a lot of ideas, some of my execution was missing, so I never got a jump on business dealings, which could have paid dividends.
  3. Taking out student loans without much thought / planning about payoff. I admit I was pretty naive when I entered college and signed up for all those student loans. While I’ve been able to pay them off since – they were a burden when I was in the midst of eliminating the balance.
  4. Caring too much what others thought. Thank the Lord I’ve gotten better in this area – but being too preoccupied with / what others possess and their station in life (comparing oneself), is a recipe for disaster. Many of us have sought the next job, the new car / house, just so we’ll look good to others (do you even know their name?)

Be interested to hear about some of your biggest financial regrets.

Don’t regret spending so much on your cell phone bill. See how Matthew and his wife are saving more on their cell phone bills.




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2 comments

  1. Katie Welsh says:

    I can 100% agree with you on not starting early enough. I also regret not paying attention to my student loans. At least now I have a plan and am working on getting rid of them now- better late than never, I suppose!
    Also, I loved this part of your post, “As Dave Ramsey is known for saying, sometimes we need to pay a lot of “stupid tax” before we wise up.”
    Well done :)

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