FTC: This post is not sponsored. All thoughts and weird opinions are my own.
There are very few things I regret in life. In fact the only two things I truly ever regret, is wasting my time, and wasting my money. I’m a firm believer in once you know better, it is your responsibility to do better. Though you can never get back wasted time, you can make sure you waste far fewer dollars as possible moving forward.
We spend money often times on things we don’t even realize are essentially a waste. I don’t know about ya’ll but when I look at my bank statement at the end of the month, I always vow to do better, and then those random little tiny spending moments re-appear yet again. I’ve gotten much better about this, by tracking my spending on a daily basis (yes I said daily) and I’ve been limiting the amount of days that I spend in the month as well. You can join me on that monthly challenge simply by screen shotting the graphic below and sharing on social media using #MillennialInDebt.
10 Money Decisions You’ll Regret In 10 Years
1. Buying A House Before You’re Ready: I just moved out of my parent’s house and bought my first home. It was a decision I made after careful planning and years and years of saving. Even when I felt ready, I did an extensive amount of research because I wanted to avoid making this mistake. If you are thinking about purchasing a home, there are two things you want to keep in mind. 1) buy a home when you are financially ready to do so, and not because you think that is the next step you must accomplish. 2) make sure you’re not buying too much house. What I mean by that is we like to go big or go home, but sometimes what we think we can afford ends up being a poorly managed number that quickly grows out of reach. Home repairs, and random Murphy’s Law moments can make owning a home very expensive, so keep that in mind when making the big move.
2. Not Saving For Retirement: I’m preparing a Youtube video about the importance of retirement plans, and how to differentiate between the different plans easily. But until then… take my word for it now, it is a good idea to start saving for retirement even if you are 15-25 years away from doing so. The early you start putting money into a retirement fund the longer it will grow, and depending on the type of retirement plan your money will have more time to capitalize. The longer time it has, the more money you will earn/make/have by the time you’re ready to retire.
3. Buying A Timeshare: I know we’ve all received those phone calls or presentations on timeshares, and they make them sound really really good. I’m here to tell you… save your time and your money. Timeshares sound like a good idea because everyone loves vacations, and if the timeshare is in your absolute favorite place, then it makes sense to you in your brain. As a self proclaimed budget traveler, take it from me, 1) you should be visiting more than one place so a timeshare really is just an anchor preventing you fro journeying around the world. 2) You can find deals for AIRBNB and other lodging options that would probably be cheaper than your timeshare payments. Do your self a favor and get rid of the timeshares!
4. Lending Money To Family + Friends: I know it may sound like some really tough advice, especially if your friend or family member is in a tight spot. However, lending money to your family and friends can become super messy and costly very quickly. A colleague of mine gave me some sound advice a few years back: “Never loan money that you can’t afford to lose or give away permanently”. And since most of us do not have large lump sums of money that we can afford to lose or live without indefinitely it is not a good idea to tangle yourself into a financial situation that may result in you never getting your money back, or going through excruciating lengths to get it back in a timely fashion.
5. Consumer Debt: This negative money decision will creep up on you when you least expect it or when you’re most vulnerable. You know when you see all of those 30-80% off sales popping up in your inbox. Or those black Friday commercials that are just so hard to resist. These are the seeds to fueling consumer debt. If you can not afford to comfortably pay off your purchases at the end of the month, and have to carry over a balance then you will end up regretting this money decision sooner rather than later. It will become a snowball affect, that will blindsight you and shift into an avalanche without warning. Credit card debt is considered bad debt on your credit report, and also can carry some seriously high interest rates (I’ve seen as high as 30% APR).
6. Not Having An Emergency Fund: Raise your hand if you’ve never had an emergency before! And if you did some how manage to raise your hand… you’re probably due for an emergency any day now (God forbid of course). Life happens, and when we prepare for things we expect we feel good. But learning to prepare for things you don’t expect, or don’t see coming down the pipeline will make you feel even better. When an emergency occurs, and you are prepared it will feel less like a burden and more like a manageable task. You want to start building an emergency fund that allots for some wiggle room incase of any huge financial surprises like a house repair, or unexpected medical bill.
7. Paying Minimum Amount On Debt: Whether you have student loan debt, consumer debt, or a mortgage… paying the minimum on debt will cost you a lot of money. You will be paying back more than you borrowed for sure, and it will take you an extra long time to get out of debt as opposed to if you made 1-2 extra payments a year (especially on your mortgage). Throwing extra coin at the principle of your debt can’t hurt, especially when many forms of debt have compound interest that can make it seem impossible to get the balance to shrink instead of stay stagnant, or even worse increase over time.
8 . Buying a New Car: I am very much a believer in buying a car that will cause the least amount of headache in your life. Having car issues is not only frustrating and time consuming, it can become pricey really fast. So I am in no way shape or form telling you to go out and buy a lemon off of Craiglist. I am however, telling you to be practical and to do your research. Buying a certified pre-owned car is an option you can take where you will be paying less than buying a new car, and you will have some backing from the dealer as well. Buying a new car, especially if it is not one you can afford, will become a burdensome debt as the car itself depreciates in value.
9. Treat Your Self Mentality: The treat your self mentality will ruin your pocket, and usually simultaneously your waistline as well. There is nothing wrong with treating yourself from time to time, however we are not animals and don’t need treats every five seconds. Especially if those treats are expensive. Besides, there are also several other ways to treat your self, without breaking the bank. Don’t think you have to buy the latest release or trend, in order to feel like you’ve treated yourself for getting through one more day of adulting. Trust me I know… it sucks!
10. Avoiding Budgetting/ Tracking Your Expenses: Last but certainly not least, a huge money mistake is not tracking your daily expenses and spending. If you’re not doing this, budgeting will be very difficult if not impossible. You want to start off buy tracking the days you spend, then the amounts, and see what you can cut out to have more money in your pocket from month to month. Without budgeting and tracking your expenses, in ten years you’ll still be struggling to make ends meet.
If you found this helpful please feel free to share with your friends, family, and nosey co-workers!
Until the next time,
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Hey there! I’m Melissa, co-founder of Trials n Tresses, natural hair and beauty lover, binge tv watcher and lover of life. When I am not creating content for TNT, I’m busy teaching the future of society.