The Most Important Money Lessons People Over 50 Learned In Their 20s And 30s

biggest money mistakes to avoid

It is human nature that as we get older, and hopefully wiser, we can look back and pinpoint things we could have done better. The same holds true for when we look at our finances. As painful as the process may be, understanding your past financial mistakes will help you avoid making them again in the future.

Recently, Caring Advisor surveyed people over the age of 50 about their biggest money mistakes in their 20s and 30s. And hopefully this list can not only offer you solace that other people struggle with budgeting, saving, etc., but it can serve as a blueprint of what mistakes you should try to avoid as you navigate your way through life.

Unless you are a financial robot or the most perfect human to have ever lived, chances are you have a regret or two about money. Simply put, we all make mistakes, especially as it pertains to our personal finances.

The 16 Most Important Money Lessons People Over 50 Made In Their 20s and 30s

16. Missing Out On Financial Aid For College – 9.9%

15. Attending An Expensive College -10.3%

14. Spending Too Much On Mortgage/Rent – 10.3%

13. Not Understanding Taxes – 10.7%

12. Not Understanding Student Loan Terms – 11%

11. Missing Out On Scholarships – 11.6%

10. Not Saving Enough For Home Repairs – 14.5%

9. Overestimating Expendable Income – 17.4%

Everything in the bottom 8 makes sense where it is, with the exception of spending too much on a mortgage/rent. We would have thought that would have landed higher on the list.

Perhaps becoming house poor is a generational thing with home prices rising at a record pace and wage stagnation continuing to exist.

Anyway… Here are the top 8!

living paycheck to paycheck

8. Missing Career Opportunities – 21.7%

History often repeats itself and a high number of millennials already regret the career path they chose. Even self-made millionaire Grant Cardone lists this as one of the biggest money mistakes of his 20s.

7. Borrowing More Money Than Necessary – 24.1%

6. Harming Their Credit Score – 27.2

5. Opening Multiple Credit Cards – 33.2

4. Not Following A Budget – 34.7%

3. Living Paycheck To Paycheck – 42.6%

We recently learned that this is a big problem for millennials. In fact, 70% of all millennials live paycheck to paycheck, and that includes 60% of millennials who make $100K per year or more.

2. Not Having A Financial Plan – 48.5%

1. Not Saving Enough – 65.2%

There you have it. The list of money lessons that people over 50 years old said they made in their 20s and 30s.

It might not be possible or feasible for every 20 or 30-something to avoid every, single one of these. But if you can cherry pick half a few of the most important ones from the top 8 and avoid being house poor with a mortgage you can barely afford, you will be farther along than most people.

C. James

C. James is the managing editor at Wealth Gang. He has a degree in finance and a passion for creating passive income streams and wealth management.