7 Financial Moves You’ll Always Regret
Regrets are just part and parcel of growing up: accidentally taping over your parents engagement video on the VCR; that emo haircut your sported when you were 14; opting to spell your name “Beckie” for an entire school year. But as much as you try, you can’t turn back the clock. So it’s best to take precautions and avoid mistakes now – especially when it comes to your fleeting supply of cash.
Here are seven money moves to avoid if you want to live a healthy, happy and financially fit lifestyle well into your centenary (here’s hoping, at least).
#1 Not investing while you’re young
You should know, investing isn’t just for the 40- or 50-somethings. There’s actually a bunch of benefits for us youngsters, the crux of which boils down to the fact that you could be earning !free! !money! OK, so it’s not exactly free, and it’s not exactly money either – it’s shares.
By buying a share in a company, you’re technically buying part ownership in said company. That means if the company makes a profit, you get to share in the takings because you own a small piece. Sounds pretty good, hey? So if you’ve got a little extra money burning a hole in your pocket, investing is a good choice.
If you’re still a little confused by the whole shares thing, check out our story on how to understand shares, even if you have zero idea what shares are. Additionally, investing comes in a few shapes and forms so it’s good to start thinking laterally, too.
#2 Buying a house you can’t afford
With the Aussie housing market as it stands, our generation are currently caught up in our latest catch 22: buy a house at an inflated price, or continue to rent and hope that the property market sorts itself out soon enough. But will that ever happen? Just the fear of never being able to own property might even make you rush to buy something that’s out of your budget – but that’s a dangerous decision it itself.
Buying your first home shouldn’t be a snap decision – no matter how cool the included outdoor patio and hot tub. It takes years of planning and research, and it’s one of the biggest investments you’ll make in your life. You know this. So when you decide to take the plunge, make sure you’ve taken a long hard look at your budget, loan opportunities and this handy list before you raise your hand at an auction.
#3 Waiting to start a budget
If you haven’t already mapped out a budget, then right now is the time to do it. The realm of budgeting might have been foreign to you until now – budgeting has traditionally been associated with finance geeks, couples wanting to buy a house, and Jamie Oliver’s 10-minute meals. But the reality is, if you want to set yourself up for the future, it’s pretty smart to get things going early. You know, before you wake up and find yourself in a $60k debt hole.
With a small amount of vigilance, any budget is easy to maintain – and you won’t have to restrict yourself to the bare necessities either. It’s all about making a plan that works for you, and the The Cusp has got you covered on that front. Check out our budget hacking story here, and get inspired with a few end goals that’ll make you want to budget here.
#4 Not looking into proper health insurance
Admittedly this is a luxury for some, but if you’re in a steady job and you’ve got a little extra cash coming in, safeguarding your health is always a good option. Otherwise skipping out on those six-monthly dentist appointments could mean a very expensive tooth extraction down the line – and nobody wants that.
#5 Not doing your taxes right
Hoo boy, ain’t this a doozy. Tax time is often confusing and also a little sad (“that’s all I’m getting back!?”) but it doesn’t have to be so ho-hum. Tax season should fill you with joy – you’re getting money back that you earned, after all. Have a read of The Cusp‘s in-depth yet somehow simple explainer on all things tax here.
#6 Passing up professional advice when you need it
We all need a hand every once in a while, especially when we’re navigating the tricky aspects of finance. While we have a plethora of articles loaded with advice and tips for financial fun times, there’s nothing quite like having an expert look over your finances and give you some grade A personal advice. Don’t feel defeated if you weren’t able to hack it alone, the intricacies of money and finance aren’t easy. That’s why there’s financial advisers, brokers and accountants on hand – whatever your issue, there’s someone out there that can help.
#7 Not setting up an emergency fund
Sometimes things don’t go according to plan – you might get made redundant, experience a health setback or you might get into an unfortunate and costly car accident that totals your precious automobile. Things happen – so it’s probably best you safeguard yourself just in case. Start a separate savings account as your emergency fund to help you out down the track.
If you’re without an emergency fund, you might struggle to keep afloat if the unexpected happens and you get lost in a sea of expenses and bills.
Rebecca Russo is a freelance writer, editor, community radio dabbler, occasional hiker and celebrity autobiography enthusiast. She has written for online publications including Junkee, AWOL, Fashion Journal and Tone Deaf. Find her online here.
Lead image: Comedy Central