4 Money Mistakes Gen X Wishes They Didn’t Make When They Were Younger

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money mistakes Gen X

Regrets. We all have a few.

Bad relationships, bad investments, even bad haircuts – every human can look back at certain decisions and say, “I probably could have handled that better.”

Managing money is probably where people have the most regrets and make the most mistakes – especially for members of Gen X.

GoBankingRates spoke with some Gen X members about past money mistakes to warn future generations not to make the same mistakes.

RELATED: People Over 50 Share Their Biggest Money Mistakes In Their 20s

Here’s what some Gen Xers had to say about their money mistakes and how to fix the problems before they get out of control.

Money Mistakes Gen X Wishes They Didn’t Make

Getting Into Credit Card Debt

“Credit card companies make initial access to credit easy,” said Adam Scherer, CFP®, MS, EA, founder and lead financial planner of Greenbeat Financial, a fee-only virtual financial planning firm.

“There are often free giveaways or incentives to enroll. However, the interest rates applied to balances that are carried forward are astronomically high. Incurring credit card debt can create significant financial stress and has the potential to adversely impact your credit score.

If you opt to open a credit line, establish a habit of paying down your balance as quickly as possible. Starting your professional career with the weight of debt on your shoulders makes the climb toward your future feel exhausting.”

Not Saving For Emergencies

“When you first start earning money, money will be tight,” said Trae Bodge, a retail and money-saving expert. “Despite that, try to save even a little bit so you can take advantage of compound interest. I would suggest setting up automatic withdrawals through your bank or a financial platform like Acorns. Acorns also has a ’round-up’ feature that invests your ‘spare change’ for you every time you use your debit card — an easy and painless way to save. It’s something that wasn’t available when I was younger, but I’m making up for lost time now!”

Falling Victim To FOMO

Fear of missing out (FOMO) can be dangerous for your self-esteem and wallet.

“Leasing nice cars, buying toys and gadgets that our friends have purchased and going out to restaurants too much because of the fear of FOMO (fear of missing out),” explains Matt Ruttenberg, founder of SureLI.

“FOMO took money directly out of our pockets and into paying high-interest credit card payments. These habits stalled our journey to reach financial independence and cost us tens of thousands of dollars, minimum.”

Spending All The Money You’re Making

Michael Benson’s story serve as a lesson in spending to impress other people and it proves that even people who deal with money for a living can make big money mistakes. Benson is a bankruptcy attorney, certified public accountant, licensed investor, and owner of A Bankruptcy Law Firm.

“When I started making good money as a CPA, I was inclined to spend it and treat myself. I bought a very nice house in a gated community with access to a golf course right from our backyard.

I still live in the house today and it’s a great house, but it was much larger than we actually needed. It’s a bit painful to reflect on how much money I would have if I didn’t opt for the bigger house with the bigger mortgage.

When it comes to things like homes and cars, I would definitely recommend only buying what you truly need. You’ll save a lot of money that way and your future self will thank you.”

To read the other money mistakes Gen X wishes they didn’t make, head over to GoBankingRates.


Chris Illuminati

Chris Illuminati is the author of five books and has written about personal finance, wealth, debt management, and entrepreneurship for numerous outlets including Wise Bread, Grow or Die, and Bankrate.

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