Financial Horror Stories: Overspending to Please Others

We’ve asked several people to share their financial horror stories with us with the idea that we can learn from their mistakes. Today we have the opportunity to get to know Sarah, owner of Lemon Blessings' Administrative Consulting Services and practical family finance blogger. 

What’s the biggest money mistake you’ve ever made, and how did it impact your life? 

One of the biggest mistakes I made was applying for and accepting store credit cards early into my college years to have the clothes and decor I thought I needed. Halfway through my second year of college, I had cards for Macy's, Maurices, JCPenney, and more. To top it off, I often forgot to make the payments, which resulted in me defaulting on all of them. 

If you could go back in time, what would you do differently?

I'd like to say that I wouldn't take out those credit cards to start with, but I honestly didn't know any different. I spent years watching the adults in my life...

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Financial Horror Stories: Excessive Debt

We’ve asked several people to share their financial horror stories with us with the idea that we can learn from their mistakes. Today we have the opportunity to get to know Victoria, busy mom, wife, and full-time blogger from the UK. She started blogging in April 2013 and now writes four blogs. Her favorite topics include making and saving money, self-employment, healthy living, travel, and home and garden.

What’s the biggest money mistake you’ve ever made, and how did it impact your life?

The biggest mistake I ever made was getting into £17500 worth of personal and irresponsible debt aged 18-19 years old. As soon as I could get store cards and credit cards, I did, without thinking of the consequences.

Not that it's an excuse, but I had low self-confidence, low self-esteem, and was suffering from depression. I tried to fill a void in my self by going shopping and buying new things, thinking it would make me happy.

I had no money management skills and lived a...

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Financial Horror Stories: Reckless Spending

We’ve asked several people to share their financial horror stories with us with the idea that we can learn from their mistakes. Today we have the opportunity to get to know Dailson, the person behind the inspirational Instagram feed, Living on Savings.

What’s the biggest money mistake you’ve ever made and how did it impact your life?

The biggest money mistake I have made was spending 7,000 dollars carelessly. After spending I had no funds saved for a rainy day. Instead, I lived paycheck to paycheck, constantly seeking help from others, and started to live below my ego for the very first time.

If you could go back in time, what would you do differently?

I think about this question every day. If I could go back, I would invest my money in the stock market, start a small home business and put my funds in a high yield savings account.

Did anything good come out of the mistake?

Yes, I was able to gain wisdom from my mistakes. If this mistake hadn’t occurred, I...

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Financial Horror Stories: Vacation Timeshare Regret

We’ve asked several people to share their financial horror stories with us with the idea that we can learn from their mistakes. Today we have the opportunity to get to know Omotola, the lead consultant at the Funding Magnet where she works with non-profits to find the perfect funding fit and help them create impact. Omotola herself is on a debt-free journey and hopes to be completely debt-free by December 31, 2020. 

What’s the biggest money mistake you’ve ever made and how did it impact your life? 

I bought a vacation timeshare thinking it was a prudent investment. Instead, it’s ended up having hidden costs and most of the resorts advertised are always unavailable every time we want to book them.

If you could go back in time, what would you do differently?

I would not go into debt in order to build a vacation culture for my family. I would choose to save up for the vacation and plan for it yearly.

Did anything good come out of the...

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Financial Horror Stories: Investment Gone Wrong

We’ve asked several people to share their financial horror stories with us with the idea that we can learn from their mistakes. Today we have the opportunity to get to know Tony, an accountant with a passion for personal finance. He started the blog, Budget Chew, to document what he has been doing in his personal finance life and hopes his experiences can be useful to others.

What is the biggest money mistake that you ever made and how did it impact your life?

The biggest mistake I made was when I invested in the stock market. When I invest in the stock market, my tendency is to look for short-term gains.

About four to five years ago, I was making a very good profit on a specific stock. I was able to follow the pattern and keep profiting for months. One day, I got carried away and started using margin loans to increase my buying power and therefore increase my profit. Back then, I was so confident that I thought using a margin loan was a no brainer: make a quick profit...

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Financial Horror Stories: Credit Card Debt

We’ve asked several people to share their financial horror stories with us with the idea that we can learn from their mistakes. Today we have the opportunity to get to know Andrea, the writer, blogger, and owner of Saving Joyfully. Andrea works diligently to share valuable tips and insights on how to save money and achieve financial freedom while living a more joyful life.

What’s the biggest money mistake you’ve ever made and how did it impact your life?

Debt acquired on credit cards while in college to help me be able to afford tuition and books when I was unable to get student loans. Once I was able to qualify and receive student loans I accumulated additional debt that way as well.

If you could go back in time, what would you do differently?          

I look back on these decisions now and wish that I had made them differently. If I could go back in time I would not use credit cards to fund my tuition and books, when I simply could...

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Financial Horror Stories: Lack of Emergency Savings Leads to Financial Nightmare

We’ve asked several people to share their financial horror stories with us with the idea that we can learn from their mistakes. To start this series, it’s only fair that I share my own story of a not so great financial time in my life.

What’s the biggest money mistake you’ve ever made and how did it impact your life?

When I was growing up, I always worked. There were times in college when I had three part-time jobs. I never imagined a day when I would be jobless, but there I was - laid off from a job with zero emergency savings, divorced, three kids, student loans, and credit card debt. It was indeed a recipe for disaster.

I did get unemployment, but that didn't start right away and didn't last all that long.  While I didn't have any emergency savings, I had been saving for retirement over the years so it could've been worse. Still, I blew through my retirement savings faster than I ever would've imagined.  If I'd had some emergency savings,...

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Investing for Higher Education

college savings Oct 22, 2019

Does the thought of paying for your child's college education ever keep you up at night? When it comes to higher education, the more you can prepare for it, the better. With nearly 45 million Americans dealing with crippling student debt, the need to invest for higher education becomes even more of a priority.

Consider Savings Plans 

The most common choice people make when investing for higher education is putting money into a savings account for their child. However, interest rates are far from what they used to be!

Saving a set amount of money each year allows parents to know how much they have for their child to go to college and how much more they need to contribute so their child can get their education debt-free. With a solid savings plan, a great savings account, and some research, it’s entirely possible for families with an average income to pay for their child’s education.  

The key to choosing a good savings account is to choose one that is...

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Why Invest in Stocks?

investing Oct 21, 2019

Fear of stock market volatility often holds investors back. However, historically, investing in stocks has been an important tool in building wealth and can serve as an important part of a diversified portfolio. Today we're exploring why investing in the stock market matters.

Related post: What to Know About Stocks Before Investing

Stock equals ownership

A stock represents ownership in a company. Your portion of ownership will depend on how many shares you hold compared to the total number of shares issued by the company.

Investors who purchase stock are known as the company's stockholders or shareholders. The price of a stock reflects the public's level of interest in owning the shares. If a lot of investors want to buy shares, they bid against one another, increasing the price. If interest is low, there are fewer competing bids and the price of shares is likely to decline.

You may hold the stock in the form of a stock certificate, which identifies you as the owner and the...

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What to Know About Stocks Before Investing

investing Oct 20, 2019
We continue our series on facing your investing fears. Is a lack of knowledge holding you back from investing in stocks? Here's what you need to know about stocks before investing.

What are stocks?

Companies sell shares of stock to investors as a way to raise money to finance growth, pay off debt, and fund operations. Each share of stock represents a share of ownership in the company. As a shareholder, you share in a portion of any profits and growth of the company. The company pays dividends from earnings to stockholders, and growth is realized by the increase in the stock's value. 

Why should people invest in stocks?

The main reason that investors buy stock is to see an increase in the value of their investment through capital appreciation. Although past performance does not guarantee future results, stocks have historically provided a higher average annual rate of return over long periods than other investments. This includes bonds and cash alternatives. Keep in mind,...

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