The big ones to avoid…
We all make poor choices from time to time. And, when it comes to cash, this is easy to do if you don’t really understand a complex investment, for example, or your decisions are emotionally led. However, while many poor choices are easily recoverable from there are some that are so bad that you are always likely to regret them.
This is especially true if they affect your credit rating, which can take a long time to recover. Then it will be difficult to borrow money on a loan and you may even need to seek out loans for people with bad credit if you need money for an emergency such as a car repair.
Not saving for retirement
Pensionable age can seem like a long way away when you’re at college, starting your first job or even settling down and having a family. There are always costs and expenses to daily life that just seem more important than putting money away for your old age. However, retirement poverty is now a very real threat for a lot of people and could make your golden years very uncomfortable indeed.
Not living within your means
This is a skill that some people just never learn and the end result is always that budgets are overstretched and life is just one long series of trying to keep up financially. If you’re not living within your means that you’ll struggle to save and repay debt and you could find yourself in the same financial position at 40 as you were at 24. Living within your means is the simplest of skills to learn – make sure that what you spend never exceeds what you earn. And try to leave a buffer zone between the two.
Buying a home that is unaffordable
Property prices have been soaring in recent years and even in spite of recent slowdowns they remain a stretch for most people. However, buying a home that you can’t really afford is a decision that could haunt you for many years to come. If house prices suddenly drop then you will end up with a property that is not worth what you paid for it. If interest rates shoot up then you may not be able to afford your mortgage and could be evicted. It’s always a much better idea to choose a property that you can afford.
Not prioritising debt repayment
There is very little that you can do in terms of setting big financial goals until you have paid off existing debts. You may have debts from education or just from life but it’s always a good idea to make it a priority to clear these as soon as possible. Otherwise, you could still be trying to pay these off when you’re applying for a mortgage or trying to find the money to launch a business.
Bankrolling other people
It could be siblings, partners or your children but becoming the cash cow for someone else is a financial decision that most people tend to regret later on. This isn’t the same as providing financial support on fair terms for those you love who need it. But if you’re basically paying for someone else’s lifestyle, the chances are that they will become dependent on that while draining your resources at the same time.