There are bound to be times when we regret the financial decisions that we make, be it buyers' remorse over an ill-thought-out impulse buy or over-reliance on credit, or even the lack of preparation for later life. Partnership has delved deeper into the financial regrets of British consumers, and it seems that the biggest regrets of all can have a long-term impact…
The survey found that, although a lucky few (5%) said they hadn't made any financial mistakes, the vast majority wished they'd made different choices when it came to their finances. In fact, over half (59%) said that their biggest mistake was not saving enough – 40% said they wished they'd saved more in general, while 19% said that not saving more into a pension was their biggest error – which highlights the importance of getting into the savings habit.
A further 15% said that getting into debt was the biggest financial mistake, while 11% regretted that they'd been unable to earn more. Other regrets include making poor financial decisions linked to family/friends (10%), putting money into an investment that didn't perform (9%), delaying buying a house (7%) and even a failed marriage (7%), with the financial implications of a divorce being clearly highlighted.
Mark Stopard, of Partnership, said the key findings are telling, and the fact that not saving enough was the main regret for all age groups implies "that either they do not earn enough or they don't have a firm handle on their finances", he said.
Other regrets, such as lack of ability to earn more, suggest that some 'mistakes' are almost unavoidable, but the fact that some are linked to family/friends or even divorce "suggests that sometimes the heart overrules the head when it comes to finances – [and] it also serves as a stark warning to those who may be considering lending money or listening to advice from loved ones.
"While hindsight is 20:20, this list does highlight mistakes that other people can learn from! Indeed, no-one cited saving too much as a problem, which certainly implies that, whenever possible, people should look to be as prudent as they can with their income and put aside what they can afford for later life or a rainy day."
While some financial errors can be frustrating and are hard to avoid – getting divorced isn't something that's planned for, after all – others can take a significant toll on your long-term financial health, but they can often be avoided with a bit of forward planning. Namely, you need to get saving! Even squirreling away small amounts on a regular basis can soon add up, and if you split your commitments between a savings account and a pension, you can be confident that you're prepared from every angle – and hopefully, you can become one of the lucky 5% without any financial regrets.
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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