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Making decisions is an integral part of life.
Although we may not always be aware of it, the choices we make can have a significant effect on our future, both positively and negatively.
Unfortunately, there are some scenarios where one split-second decision can drastically alter your plans or even ruin them completely!
From choosing the wrong job to taking out unmanageable loans, this blog post explores 15 significantly life-ruining decisions that can occur in an instant.
Learn about each of these situations and how you should approach them in order to ensure that you don’t end up making a disastrous choice down the line.
#1. Accidentally Hurting a Friend
Jokingly playing around rarely leads to injury, but the potential is always there.
Many stories surround friends pushing other friends, either from heights into water or elsewhere, that end with the other friend getting seriously hurt.
You shouldn’t feel like you can’t play around, but you should also assess risks before they become problems.
#2. Stealing at Work
One person recounts how they witnessed a new employee steal items from others.
Within a few hours, they lost their job and were arrested, which shows that stealing from where you work is never a good idea.
#3. Not Wearing a Helmet
Unlike some of the other situations listed here, not wearing a helmet is surprisingly common.
Some people have known friends and family members who have refused to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle or a skateboard, only to get into an accident where severe brain damage caused instant death or comas.
Others discuss how people refused to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle, which has resulted in equally disastrous situations.
The lesson here is always wearing a helmet if the activity calls for it.
#4. Committing a Serious Crime
One person recounts how a friend decided to rob a taxi driver and shoot him.
While only 14 at the time, they still damaged their life substantially, and they’ll never be able to undo that decision.
#5. Drinking and Driving
Drinking and driving is something people think they can get away with until they can’t.
Too many people have gotten behind the wheel of a car only to accidentally crash and hurt themselves and other people in the vehicle or crash into oncoming traffic and extinguish the lives of others.
Always be responsible if you plan on drinking.
#6. Fighting at a Bar
Fights are rarely as harmless as they’re portrayed to be in the media.
Many people have witnessed a bar fight where one person has incidentally injured someone else severely, causing them to hit their head on nearby objects or even end their lives altogether.
Fighting is rarely the solution people seek, especially if it’s a temporary issue that doesn’t warrant lifelong consequences.
#7. Doing Drugs
Drugs are an easy way to ruin your life, especially if you dive straight into the deep end with highly addictive substances that immediately make you want to use more.
Many stories surrounding people who have ruined their life with drugs involve meth.
Unfortunately, one man decided to jump from the seventh story of a building on the fourth of July, ending his life slowly after hitting the ground.
Others have gone the route of ruining their lives slowly, ruining their relationships, and becoming homeless or overdosing years after they started using.
This doesn’t consider the prevalence of fentanyl in modern drug supplies, making drugs more dangerous than they were previously.
#8. Winning a Ton of Money and Spending It All
Not everyone is good at money management, which becomes apparent when people get their hands on a large sum of money.
There are far too many stories of people who have won millions only to blow it all on frivolous things or make terrible choices with their money that impacted the rest of their lives.
Always enlist the help of a financial planner if you have more than you can handle.
#9. Letting Road Rage Get the Best of Them
Road rage is scary today, and it’s not something that’s getting better.
Some people have ruined their lives by flipping other cars on the freeway, pulling out guns, and shooting at other drivers.
It’s always best to avoid conflict on the road if possible.
#10. Flying a Plane Without the Proper Safety Equipment
One pilot without an instrument rating decided to take off into less-than-ideal weather conditions with their entire family to save some time on their trip.
Less than 10 minutes after takeoff, the plane was engulfed in clouds and crashed, leaving no survivors.
Gambling is another extremely common way people have destroyed their lives in moments.
One story involves a man who spent $30,000 in one night, only to be escorted out by security after he cried about losing his life savings.
Another man bet all his savings on a fight, and he lost more than just all his money when his wife left him with the kids after he gambled all of their money away.
Never spend more than you can afford to lose if you do decide to gamble.
#12. Getting Angry and Hurting Yourself
Do you remember that one man who hit his head after missing a shot in basketball?
He paralyzed himself and ended his career and the potential course of his life in moments.
In other words, don’t do something stupid when you make a mistake.
You’ll never be perfect, no matter how hard you try.
#13. Posting Government Secrets Online
Whistleblowers are sometimes hailed as heroes but almost never win a prize.
Whether it’s more recent examples or even examples from a while ago, like Snowden, many of these people have lost everything for leaking government secrets and have either been imprisoned or are currently on the run.
#14. Dining and Dashing
One person describes how an acquaintance decided to dine and dash.
Upon figuring out what was happening, a server waited outside to slow them down so the police could arrive and take the appropriate action.
Instead of accepting the consequences, they ran into the server, hit several cars, and promptly served time because of their choices.
#15. Forging a Signature
One lawyer describes how a well-known property lawyer managed a large project requiring a lot of paperwork.
They somehow managed to overlook one document and figured that the client wouldn’t mind or find out if they forged their signature.
However, they did, and the lawyer lost their ability to practice.
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The reality is, it is easier than you think and you might be making some of these mistakes too.
Learn what to avoid if you want to build wealth.
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Advertisers are good at getting us to buy on emotion but you have to stop if you want financial freedom.
Here are the best ways to stop buying things.
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When we think of the wealthy, we think of big homes and flashy cars. But many millionaires have stealth wealth.
This means you would never know they are rich by looking at them. The benefit? People leave them alone.
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It can be difficult to start budgeting from scratch.
While there are apps out there, some people like their privacy. This is where a spreadsheet budget comes into place.
But who wants to build one? Luckily there are some great free budget templates to use.
Here are the best ones.
How to Get Out of Debt
If being in debt wasn’t bad enough, trying to dig yourself is worse.
Combine the setbacks you face and the time it takes, it’s no wonder many people feel trapped.
But there is hope.
Here is how to get yourself out of debt once and for all.
This thread inspired this article.
I have over 15 years experience in the financial services industry and 20 years investing in the stock market. I have both my undergrad and graduate degrees in Finance, and am FINRA Series 65 licensed and have a Certificate in Financial Planning.
Visit my About Me page to learn more about me and why I am your trusted personal finance expert.