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November 29, 2021

Consumers good at acknowledging past financial mistakes: report

Have you ever done something really dumb when it came to money?

Not just putting off student loan payments, or signing up for a tax refund 'advance' at the mall, or even buying a bit more house than you can really afford. Not that any of those are particularly smart. 

No, we're talking about that rash decision you made way back when when which makes you wonder: "What the hell was I thinking?"

If so, it's somewhat comforting to read the results of a study from the Consumer Federation of America which found that roughly two-thirds of middle-class Americans admit to having made costly financial mistakes.

Sixty-seven percent said that in the past they had made at least one “really bad” financial decision, and nearly half acknowledged making more than one blunder. The typical cost of these blunders was $5,000, but the average was $23,000, largely because of a few really bone-headed losses.

Despite all this, most of those surveyed said they thought they were 'good' or 'excellent' at budgeting their finances, managing credit card debt and saving for retirement.

Could you say the same?

What’s the worst financial decision you’ve ever made, and how much did it cost you?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...