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Money can’t buy happiness, but it sure can cause heartache when we look back on decisions that have cost us time and resources.
When it comes to making unwise spending choices, most of us have at least one story (or twelve) about a major financial regret, whether big or small, that would give us an embarrassing lump in our throat if we ever repeated it out loud.
From paying too much for something to furthering credit card debt unnecessarily, these regrettable situations are more common than you think.
So let’s leave the shame behind and get candid about some of the worst money mishaps people often find themselves in.
#1. Giving Money to Family
Giving money to someone who is struggling can be a good thing.
But you’ll soon discover that not all friends and family members are trustworthy or willing to pay you back.
It’s a common experience for people to give money to those around them only to never actually see that money paid back and witness relationships get ruined in the process.
#2. Nice Cars
Nice cars are often collector pieces.
They sit around getting dusty, must be turned on occasionally, and require consistent care.
If you drive them around, you put them at risk of further damage on the road or damage caused by other drivers.
Nice cars are generally not a good investment.
#3. A Business
Purchasing a business can be a great way to generate more income and set yourself up for financial success.
That is, until you realize how much debt is associated with the business that you’ve just purchased.
Some have invested in a business and are now constantly stressed by how much they owe and how much work goes into it to make sure it doesn’t fail.
#4. Individual Stocks
Individual stocks have been great to some and not so great to others.
Those who regret purchasing them most wish they had started with more straightforward investments like index funds, moving onto individual stocks later when they had more money to spend.
#5. Log Cabins
Log cabins and homes are cozy retreats for nestling in the hills or the mountainside during the winter months.
When they purchase one, few expect how much work goes into it.
These structures require constant maintenance if you don’t want them to become infested or rot, and they’re often a lot more trouble than they’re worth.
#6. Apartment Buildings (and Other Forms of Real Estate)
Real estate is where it’s at if you’re looking to grow your wealth.
However, not all forms of real estate investing are a path to quick cash.
If you want something that will continue generating revenue, apartment buildings can seem like a great idea.
The constant upkeep and the know-how that comes with building maintenance can take its toll on those unprepared to manage this type of investment.
#7. Fine Dining
Very few people realize that fine dining is a spectacle, not a place to get fed.
You receive very tiny portions for enormous amounts of money.
Many who go out to a fine dining establishment leave hungry and poorer rather than satisfied.
#8. Trying to Impress People
This is a broad example but a sentiment you’ll find most agree with.
It’s natural to spend money to impress people, regardless of whether they’re in a social group we’re trying to work our way into or someone we want to have a relationship with.
At the end of the day, it’s usually a waste of money.
#9. Building a Custom Home
Building a dream home became a nightmare for many.
There are a host of construction costs, additional property taxes once the house is built, long waiting times as construction is done, and having to deal with living costs while you’re waiting for your dream home.
Some regret not spending money to buy a house they could move into immediately.
#10. Angel Investing
Angel investing is a form of investing in which you give money to startups and receive equity in return.
In theory, you will then reap the benefits of a profitable business down the road.
There are success stories, but there are an equal number of stories of angel investors who wished they had put their money elsewhere.
#11. Interior Designers
There are good interior designers, but people often hire them to tackle the work before home renovations.
This results in more money spent on something they would have had to care for on their own anyway.
If you’re considering hiring a professional for something, ask yourself whether or not you truly need them.
#12. Fancy Cookware
Fancy cookware is often perceived to offer the pinnacle of the culinary experience.
But as someone who enjoys cooking at home, you don’t need the best to do the job.
There are plenty of other basic brands out there that offer excellent non-stick cookware without breaking the bank.
How Much Does Happiness Cost
How much money would make you happy?
This number is different for everyone, but in most cases, it is a lot less than you think. Find out where you stand compared to others.
How To Get Back On Your Feet
When financial setbacks happen, you have two options. You can either give in and accept a life of struggle and stress, or you can do something about it.
If you want to do something about it, here are the steps you need to take in order to get back on your feet.
Time vs. Money
We all exchange time for money, but few of us stop to think about if our time is better spent doing the things we love instead of taking care of chores.
If you learn to stop thinking of things costing money and think instead of what you get in terms of time for paying for things, you could be much happier.
Steps To Building Wealth
We all want to have enough money that our finances are no longer a stress in our lives.
But with so much financial advice out there, building wealth seems impossible. Not any more. Here are the simple steps you need to take.
I Need Money Now
Do you every say to yourself, ‘I need money now?’
Whether it is for bills or unexpected expenses, here is how to get cash fast.
In many cases, you can have cash in your hands the same day.
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.