What's the biggest money mistake you've ever made?
When it comes to money, everybody makes mistakes. The trick is not to make the same one twice. But that's not always that easy. Sometimes, we forget.
That's what prompted Len Penzo to make a list -- quite a long list, in fact -- highlighting some of the misguided and just plain dumb things he and his friends have done over the years.
Some are pretty innocent, but others can and probably have had a lasting effect on both your day-to-day finances and your long-term wealth.
For instance, he suggests, you're likely headed for trouble if you find yourself ...
- Spending more than you earn.
- Failing to read contracts before signing on the dotted line.
- Using payday loans to cover temporary financial shortfalls.
- Signing your tax returns without reviewing them.
- Not doing your research before purchasing extended warranties.
- Going into debt to purchase things that decrease in value.
And the list goes on ....
- Maintaining memberships with monthly payments even though you no longer use them.
- Failing to track your income and expenses.
- Loaning money to friends and relatives.
- Investing without an exit strategy.
- Buying more house than you need.
- Not increasing your RRSP contributions every time you get a raise.
- Relying on OAS as your primary source of retirement income.
- Failing to faithfully maintain your car.
- Carrying comprehensive and collision insurance on older cars.
- Overpaying for car insurance by keeping a low deductible.
- Refusing to treat your household like a business.
What's the biggest money mistake you've made? What did you learn from it? How long did it take before things sunk in?
By Gordon Powers, MSN Money
Photo credit: Cécile Graat