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I don't know about you, but I have a lot of financial regrets. Prior to taking a job at Money Management International, I thought I knew everything I needed to know about finances. But boy was I wrong!
The more I learn, the more my financial mistakes of the past stand out. And my biggest financial regret is actually something I am still tempted to do on a regular basis.
But the game-changer — for myself, at least — has been my acute awareness of my financial weaknesses. And as it turns out, I’m not alone in my struggle. In fact, according to a recent online poll by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), the majority of respondents have the very same regret I do: habitually overspending.
Of more than 2,200 respondents, 53 percent indicated that habitually overspending was what they regretted most. Overspending far outweighed other financial concerns such as inadequately saving (18 percent), insufficiently preparing for retirement (14 percent) or not having bought a house (10 percent).
The most important lesson I’ve learned as I come to terms with my own financial downfalls is to avoid dwelling on the past. The mental energy and effort it takes to obsess and worry about everything you could have done differently is counter-productive. Rather than focusing on the “coulda, woulda, shoulda” of the situation, it’s far better to accept your past mistakes and use them to motivate your future actions.
And once you’ve pegged your specific weaknesses, you can use them to develop an action plan that will actually work for you. MMI offers the following 11 tips for turning financial regrets into financial wins:
Note: The NFCC’s June Financial Literacy Opinion Index was conducted via the homepage of the NFCC website from June1 to June 30, 2012, and was answered by 2,205 individuals.
Trust not in oppression, and become not vain in robbery: if riches increase, set not your heart upon them. Psalm 62:10 My forclosure was in 2008. Can an organization obtained your benefits from the Forecloure Settlement?
Great article, it sums up everything I've been through. With MMI's help I am one payment away from completing my debt management plan. I've been tracking my budget for the past six months. I'm back on track with extra money to save. Thank you MMI.
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