Big Money Mistakes You May Be Making

Big Money Mistakes You May Be MakingWe’ve all made money mistakes. I don’t think anyone has ever said “I’ve never made a money mistake in my life.” If so, I’d like to meet that person! :)

Even if you have made money mistakes, it’s never too late to change your life around. Below are a few money mistakes that you may be making:


Taking Out Too Much in Student Loans.

I’m guilty of this one. Luckily my student loans are now paid off, but I would have had thousands of dollars less if I wouldn’t have taken so much out when I was in college.

My problem was that I would always take the full amount out each time. With student loans, the money goes towards your tuition, but whatever is left over is just deposited into your bank account as cash.

I never really thought about how taking an extra $1,000 or $2,000 each semester would hurt me, but it did!


Thinking You’re Too Good To Save Money.

When I had my day job, I used to always bring my lunch. There were two reasons for this: a) I wanted to save money; and b) in order for me to get lunch it would have meant that I would need to get in my car and actually go somewhere (I was too lazy for that).

Occasionally, I was made fun of for some of the things I would do to save money. Some thought I couldn’t afford to eat and I even had people offer to buy me lunch.

This also applies to coupons. I know so many people who think that they will be looked down upon for using coupons. I just don’t understand that. WHO CARES IF YOU USE A COUPON?

Anyone can save money, and there should be no shame in doing so.


Not Thinking About The Full Cost.

I have seen this many times. You buy an item without thinking about the full cost of it – you only look at the sticker price. You may be able to afford the sticker price, but can you afford the whole thing?

Many things have additional costs:

  • If you buy a house, other costs include home insurance, property taxes, utility bills, repairs, and so on.
  • If you buy a car, other costs include car insurance, gas, maintenance, taxes for buying the car, yearly personal property taxes, and so on.


Spending More Money Than You Make.

If you are spending more money each month than you make, then you are making a money mistake. You need to figure out what is going on so that you can fix this problem.

Are you trying to keep up with the Joneses? Are you not making enough money each month to support basic life necessities? Do you have too much debt?

Whether you are spending $100 over your budget each month or $1,000, you need to fix this money mistake.

You can start fixing this money mistake by creating a budget. You need to list your income and realistic expenses and see where your problem is.


Buying Things Because You Think You Deserve It.

Don’t get me wrong, I think that money is meant to be enjoyed. However, if you are going into thousands of dollars of credit card debt because you think that you deserve to own things, then you may have a spending problem.

Something that you may want to think about is why you think you deserve things. Is it because another person can afford it so you think you should be able to as well? Or, is it because you want to buy things to cure a bad mood?

Also, does buying things actually make you happier? Or does it just lead to you buying even more things?


What money mistakes have you made or seen?



  1. says

    The coupon thing is a big one. It’s kind of ridiculous when people look down on others for using a coupon while simultaneously look highly of others who make additional income. It’s one in the same, in my opinion, and no one should be above saving money.

  2. says

    I made a few money mistakes when I was younger. Spending too much money on ‘things’ as opposed to experience is one thing I regret.

    I also wish that I’d been more confident in negotiating a higher salary in my jobs. When I was younger, I just basically accepted what I was offered, instead of trying to get a higher package. As I build my freelance business, I want to make sure that I don’t undervalue my worth and actually charge what I should.
    Nell recently posted..How to Use Pocketbook to Track Expenses, Savings and Stay on BudgetMy Profile

  3. says

    My biggest money mistake was spending more than my wife and I made. Early on we had accumulated some savings but somewhere about 6 or 7 years into marriage, I really started to lapse in discipline. We would have to withdraw money each month from our savings account to pay for the amount we spent on our credit card. That money slowly dwindled away and would have been completely evaporated had I not had a wake up moment.
    Brian @ Luke1428 recently posted..How Shopping for Shoes Changed My Financial LifeMy Profile

  4. says

    I’ve been guilty of a few of these in the past, especially the student loan one. Another big one for me was putting off investing because I was working on my debt and then afterwards when I thought starting with small amounts to invest made no sense. That said, we live and learn and thankfully am more aware to mistakes now.
    John @ Sprout Wealth recently posted..How to Start Investing in the Stock MarketMy Profile

  5. kammi says

    That “not thinking about the full cost” thing is something I still get caught in. In many countries, the VAT (value added tax) is in the cost already. So if something says $4.99, it IS $4.99! Everyone has certainly made a money mistake also, because it’s common when you travel anywhere (to a foreign country, etc) that you’ll not know the real cost and overspend (being a tourist/out of ignorance, etc). I was overcharged once (years and years ago; I didn’t know any better) because I thought a University was in NYC and took a NYC cab, only to find out the university was actually in Long Island. Needless to say the taxi driver was pissed and I was overcharged. I learned from that mistake, and now I would probably WALK from NYC to Long Island to save the money 😛

      • kammi says

        It was a learning experience for me. My mom is just visiting me and the money is different from the one she is used to (which is a lot more colourful; we always joke that all the money in the US looks the same). She bought a pack of cashews for literally $10 because the lady in the airport didn’t give her the correct change (the price was $3; yes, even overpriced there, too), and my mom had problems sorting through the money. Once she asked me and realized she’d been robbed, she never forgot that, though :)

  6. says

    I’m guilty of taking out too much in student loans and buying things (a car, in my case) because I thought I deserved it.

    When I was in school, I almost always got the maximum student loan amount, and would suddenly find $4,000 sitting in my bank account – after my tuition was paid. It was nice to have this security, but I worked a very sweet part time job all by my first year in school. I was easily making more than enough money to cover all of my expenses without this extra money – but I took it anyways. For a while my savings account was hovering around the $10,000 mark – but instead of using that money to knock down 25% of my overall student loan debt, I just spent it… I was unemployed for about a year before I went to grad school and spent all this money in that time. And because I had this “buffer” I wasn’t overly motivated to find a job instead. Not smart! I wish I had done that differently!

    As for the car, I don’t regret getting it, but I do wish I would have waited a few more months to save up for a bigger down-payment and thus reduce my overall interest charges. I easily could have managed without a car for another 5-6 months, but I wanted it “now” and therefore am paying extra for that instant gratification.
    Amanda recently posted..Happy 1st Birthday, Blog!My Profile

  7. says

    I’ve made some stupid mistakes… spending more money than I had and putting it on credit cards, eating out 2-3 times a day everyday, and while in grad school taking out the full loan amount (instead of just what I actually needed).

    For the past year or so, I’ve not bought things because I want them. If something costs more than $20, I won’t buy it. I wouldn’t say that I’m on a budget, because I don’t track purchases (we just prefer not to, because we only buy necessities and that’s all). I’m more conscious of everything, and I don’t run out and buy something just because I can. Some people just don’t understand that I don’t want to spend money on certain things. I’m trying to get rid of my credit card debt finally, and I want to be able to save for high dollar items (i.e. a upgrade to full frame camera for my photography business, certain lenses, studio equipment, more extravagant vacations, etc). All of those little purchases here and now.. add up. Sometimes it makes me feel bad, because I just don’t spend money… people probably think I’m cheap or don’t have any.. I just am focused on being financially responsible. Plus, I also like to spend my money on different things.. not shopping at the mall or fancy dinners every night.
    Whitney @ EHFAR recently posted..Living the Good LifeMy Profile

  8. says

    I agree and disagree with #1. I agree because too many people fail to see that ramifications of student loans early. I had too many friends living like kings off of student loans. I’m sure they regret that now! I disagree because I think student loans can be taken out strategically. I intentionally took out extra student loans my final year of graduate school. The market is really tight in my field and I didn’t want to take a job because I had to, I wanted to find the best fit for me. Having a financial cushion made that possible.
    As for mistakes, being impulsive is an easy way to wreak havoc on your financial life. Spending more than you earn and buying what you feel you deserve both link back to the inability to say no.

  9. says

    A mistake I made financially was moving in the middle of my degree. At the time I thought it was the best decision for me ( it was in some aspects of my life), in regards to my education it set me back an additional $10,000.

  10. says

    I definitely took out too much in student loans. Not because I was buying things with the extra money but just from going to a for-profit school. The loans I took out paid for educational expenses only. Though I did see some people (roommates) use the money to buy flat screen tvs and other semi-expensive things.

  11. says

    Definitely agree with the student loan one. I think some people think they need a student loan when they really don’t. University is expensive but I am proof that you don’t need to get a loan to pay for it. There are scholarships, grants, bursaries out there for the taking, plus there’s also getting a part-time job too.

  12. says

    I love my money mistakes! As long as they’re new ones which I can learn from, and not repeating the same mistakes over and over again.

    Paying our taxes this year underscored several money mistakes we made in the last year. But given the circumstances, I’m not upset about making them, even though I knew better. Sometimes you have to make the same mistake twice for the lesson to really sink in.
    Jack @ Enwealthen recently posted..Simple Tax Mistakes You Want To AvoidMy Profile

  13. says

    Pet ownership! More people need to remember that when you buy a pet you are making a serious investment. They demand food, supplies, vet visits, and your time. If dog-related activities take 4 hours of each week and the dog lives to be 10 and you earn $35/hr at work, that’s $72,800 in opportunity cost alone!!!!!!! Don’t get me wrong, I love dogs (my family has 2 goldens) but just be aware.
    @WilliamLipovsky, First Quarter Finance recently posted..12 Undisputed Money Facts You Need to KnowMy Profile

  14. says

    One of the major lessons I had to learn is that a loan or debt costs way more money than any savings account offers in terms of interest. So pay off those debts ASAP even before you think about saving money. About 30% of monthly payments to a modest credit card debt that I had, went straight to the company. I nearly emptied my savings account (that was ‘making’ the same amount on interest every year that my debt cost me every month!) to pay off the debt in one go. Never felt better.

  15. says

    I tend to buy shoes that I either never wear at all or only wear once. I know what I’m doing too. It seems. I have big feet you see: 42 /8 and the shoes that I like tend to be red or pink with soft petals and in size 39/6. I’ve started breaking that habit by buying strappy sandals instead: gold, silver and black. They go with everything!


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