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

People over 50 share what they wish they'd known about money when they were young.

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

college girl studying and working on table
iStock

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

University of Indiana - Family walks with college student out main gates of campus down into the town during Fall Break weekend
iStock

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

14
Spending too much on mortgage/rent

man paying bills
Shutterstock

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

13
Not understanding taxes

the department of treasury is issuing to US citizens economic impact payments known as a stimulus check or tax refund concept.
iStock

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

Kid Applying to College Ways School is Different
Shutterstock

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

11
Missing out on scholarships

iStock

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

10
Not saving enough for home repairs

older man repairing damaged wall
Shutterstock/Monkey Business Images

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

9
Overestimating expendable income

man paying with cash in store
iStock

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

Shot of a young businessman experiencing stress during late night at work
iStock

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

7
Borrowing more money than necessary

Person getting a loan
Shutterstock

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

6
Harming credit score

be smarter with money in 2018
Shutterstock

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

save 40 percent of your paycheck
Shutterstock

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

4
Not following a budget

Woman creating a budgeting plan
Shutterstock

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

Paycheck
Shutterstock

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

2
Not having a financial plan

man with eyeglasses siting on floor in the living room and using smart phone and laptop for managing home finances
iStock

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

1
Not saving enough money

man putting coins in a jar
Shutterstock

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.

Filed Under