The No. 1 Financial Mistake People Make When They're Young, Survey Says

Paul Thompson
·3 min read

Making mistakes is a part of life. Everybody messes up every now and then, whether it's in their personal or professional lives. When it comes to missteps with your money, however, those typically happen most often, and most seriously, in your younger years. It takes experience to be proficient at managing your funds. Part of that experience, unfortunately, can sometimes involve things like getting yourself into credit card debt. To help you avoid some major pitfalls, a new survey conducted by Caring Advisor, a site for senior living communities, asked more than 1,000 U.S. adults over age 50 which financial mistakes they made in their 20s and 30s.

Read on to see where the respondents, now older and wiser, say they went wrong, and discover the most common financial mistake people make when they are young. And for more financial insights, This Is the Biggest Debt People Your Age Have, Survey Shows.

16

Missing out on financial aid for college

Respondents who made this mistake in their 20s and 30s: 9.9 percent

And for how much cash people have stashed away, This How Much Money People Your Age Have on Average, Data Shows.

15

Attending an expensive college

Respondents who made this mistake in their 20s and 30s: 10.3 percent

14

Spending too much on mortgage/rent

Respondents who made this mistake in their 20s and 30s: 10. 3 percent

13

Not understanding taxes

Respondents who made this mistake in their 20s and 30s: 10.7 percent

And for more on where taxes are astronomical, This State Has the Highest Taxes in America, According to Data.

12

Not understanding student loans

Respondents who made this mistake in their 20s and 30s: 11.0 percent

11

Missing out on scholarships

Respondents who made this mistake in their 20s and 30s: 11.6 percent

10

Not saving enough for home repairs

Respondents who made this mistake in their 20s and 30s: 14.6 percent

9

Overestimating expendable income

Respondents who made this mistake in their 20s and 30s: 17.4 percent

And for more on how people blow through their cash, This Is How Much Money People Spend on 25 Everyday Items, Data Shows.

8

Missing career opportunities

Respondents who made this mistake in their 20s and 30s: 21.7 percent

7

Borrowing more money than necessary

Respondents who made this mistake in their 20s and 30s: 24.1 percent

6

Harming credit score

Respondents who made this mistake in their 20s and 30s: 27.2 percent

And for a factor that could affect your score, If You're Not Spending Money on This, You're Hurting Your Credit Score.

5

Opening multiple credit cards

Respondents who made this mistake in their 20s and 30s: 33.2 percent

4

Not following a budget

Respondents who made this mistake in their 20s and 30s: 34.7 percent

And for more helpful financial information sent straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

3

Living paycheck to paycheck

Respondents who made this mistake in their 20s and 30s: 42.6 percent

2

Not having a financial plan

Respondents who made this mistake in their 20s and 30s: 48.5 percent

1

Not saving enough money

Respondents who made this mistake in their 20s and 30s: 65.2 percent

And for more on what to do with your money as you age, This Is the Best State to Retire in America.