I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life. More specifically, I have made some massive money mistakes.
Despite how big some of them were, I am grateful for all the mistakes. Why? Because they all led to the financially literate, economically confident person I am today. In no particular order, here are 11 massive money mistakes I’ve made over the years.
1. I didn’t Learn about Financial Literacy Earlier
As the saying goes, “you don’t know what you don’t know”. A lot of the money mistakes were due to poor financial literacy and ignorance. Children should be taught basic financial concepts at home or school.
Sometimes I wonder much further along I would be in life if I knew what I know now at a younger age. I’m grateful to now be in a position where I am financially literate and I want to teach others as well. financial literacy.
2. I didn’t budget
I used to think that budgeting was restrictive and boring. Payday would arrive and before I knew it, my money was gone and I had no idea what I spent it on or why.
When I started my Debt Management Plan (DMP), I was forced to complete a budget by creditors. Writing down all my income and expenses allowed me to see where my money was going. I was then able to plan ahead for the things I wanted to do. Nowadays, I love budgeting. My budget allows me to continually work towards my financial goals. You can create your own budget using this tool.
3. I didn’t save money
I used to tell myself that I would save when I was earning more money. As a result, I earned lots of money over the years but didn’t save. This was a huge money mistake. If you don’t know how to start saving, here some to get tips to get you to save money.
Now, I save a minimum of 10% from any income I receive.
4. I trusted boyfriends with managing my money
In my culture (African), we are taught that men are the head of the household and they are responsible for making the main decisions. As a result, I believed that men knew more about money than I did. Consequently, when I entered relationships, I immediately trusted partners with managing my finances.
The belief resulted in me entering a financially abusive relationship at the age of 23. A result of the traumatic experience was that I finally took control of my finances. I became debt-free and financially literate in the process.
I will maintain a level of financial independence in future relationships and I urge all women to do the same.
5. I got into debt
Getting into debt is like gaining weight; it’s easy to do but incredibly difficult to get out of. One of the worst financial positions I have ever been in is being in debt. I worked incredibly hard and I was able to become debt-free in 18 months. Nonetheless, it’s a position I never want to be in again.
6. I was afraid to start investing
Mark Twain Said, “The key to getting ahead is getting started”. My mind was blown when I first discovered investing and the power of compound interest.
I was fearful. My assumption was that investing in things such as the stock market, cryptocurrency and commodities was exclusively for the wealthy. I didn’t take any action for months and my money lost out on gaining interest in that time period.
The fear dissipated once I learnt how to invest as a beginner. I currently invest in index funds, cryptocurrency and commodities. The key to investing is to get started because the longer you leave your money, the more compound interest it will gain.
7. I didn’t spend money on financial resources
I incorrectly assumed that spending money on financial courses wasn’t worth it. But if you spend money on a good course, the knowledge gained will pay dividends in the future.
Last year, I invested £170 in a yearly membership with Rainchq. Rainchq is a female-founded platform that teaches women to be confident about managing their money. They have monthly masterclasses about a different area of finance.
The knowledge I have gained is allowing me to make more money. Thus, I am reaping the rewards of the membership.
8. I believed that Net Worth Tracking was only for the Rich
I used to think that I wasn’t wealthy enough to have a financial net worth. Net worth is the difference between assets and liabilities and it’s one of the building blocks for personal finance.
Everyone has a financial net worth. In my eBook, which you receive when you sign up to my mailing list, I explain how tracking your net worth was an integral aspect of building wealth. I track my net worth monthly and I become more confident as I see it grow.
9. I believed Financial advisors were only for the rich
The notion that financial advisors are only for the rich is a myth. The Rainchq membership includes two sessions with a financial advisor. I was embarrassed to speak to them because I was in debt. Furthermore I didn’t have any wealth so didn’t think there was any point in speaking to them.
My assumptions were wrong. I received priceless financial planning guidance that is helping me work toward my future money goals.
10. I had a Poverty Mindset
I grew up in a low income household, where money was scarce. This made me believe that I was destined to lead a similar life. As a result, I had a limited view of what I was capable of achieving.
The mindset also made me feel unworthy and undeserving of money. I now have an abundance mindset, which has allowed me to achieve more.
11. I attached my worth to my Credit Score
People are always advised to look after their credit, which is great advice. A consequence of my debt story is that it ruined my credit.
A consequence of getting a DMP to pay off debt is that It negatively impacts my credit score for 6 years. I felt hopeless and worthless because I had poor credit.
But I soon realised that my worth as a person is not dependent on a credit score. Yes, I am unable to get credit with low interest for another 5 years, but I excel as a person in other areas of my life.
I know that one day, I will have a perfect credit rating but for now, it’s not the end of the world if I don’t have it.
I have made a lot of money mistakes. What’s important is I was able to pick myself up, learn and keep going.
Have you made any money mistakes over the years? What were they and what did you learn from them? Were they similar or different to mine? You can let me know on my social media or you can email me.