Great ''Financial Mistakes” Hunt. What’s your biggest mistake… help others avoid it.



  • Suzkin
    Suzkin Posts: 517 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    'Hidden' costs: I left two pretty good jobs - one in 2003, and 2005 - due to poor management (bully bosses). I'm still currently virtually unemployed.

    In terms of loss of salary, no longer being in those final salary pension schemes, and also lost money over having to fund myself for bills/mortgage etc. from savings, I've lost £100,000's.

    Also, I purchased a house - which I later found out is in severe disrepair (not thrown up by the survey...), when the property next door was for sale at the same time and structually sound. This property cost £5k more, which I didn't have at the time (we're talking 1997-ish prices). Now, I'm having to take a loan for about £35k to sort out my property.

    I'm sick and very very disappointed with myself, and frustrated being in such poverty.
  • russetred
    russetred Posts: 1,334 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Mobile cashback scheme thru phonebox direct.Wrongly added up the days for the reclaim form and lost out on the cashback, around £360.I still cringe every time I think about it.How can anyone miss out October? :eek: On the other hand Phonebox direct went bust soon after so maybe I wouldn't have got any cashback anyway.
    "Sometimes life sucks....but the alternative is unacceptable."
  • lean&mean
    lean&mean Posts: 77 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary
    About 5 years ago I lost £3,000 when I paid off my car finance early. Had taken out an £31,000 HP package with BNP (HP arm of the French bank) for a nearly new Merc. Finance over £30k didn't qualify for consumer protection, and the broker had cunningly shown it as business anyway.
    A month or so later my family decided to move house so had to pay off the HP, or we couldn't make monthly repayments on top of our new (huge) mortgage. The finance contract didn't specify in the contract what they could charge for early termination so BNP piled nearly £4,500 onto the capital repayment to settle! As I'd only had it for a couple of months this equated to a loan rate of about 50%! We managed to negotiate it down to about £3,000 by threatening to expose them to the press, but it still left a very nasty taste in my mouth, not to mention a hole in my bank account.
    The lesson: don't take out finance without knowing what an early termination cost would be. And don't deal with BNP. Since then I've only bought cars I could afford for cash.
  • tiggat28
    tiggat28 Posts: 17 Forumite
    Don’t ever make the mistake I did, by lending £10,000 (ON MY CREDIT CARD) to my step-daughter to pay off all her credit cards (4) Store cards (6) 1 bank overdraft, 1 car loan on the promise that she would make good her credit score etc and make monthly payments of £150 to me until she could get out a loan in her name 9 months later! She LIED, LIED, LIED every thing was cleared but she had maxed out all her cards again in less than under a year! And then went BANKRUPT to clear her debts of £25,000 even though she could afford to make the monthly repayments to everyone as she works full time and earns £14,000 a year! She has pulled the wool over the OFFICIAL RECIEVER’S eyes too by fabricating her living expenses!
    NEVER, NEVER, NEVER lend money to FAMILY!!
  • mcdogfood
    mcdogfood Posts: 12 Forumite
    1. I took out a consolidation loan of £5,000 to cover overdraft and credit card payments. If I had just paid off the card and overdraft, I would have paid £1,000 less over the three years.

    2. Lending money to friends. No matter how much you can trust people, it's putting them in a bad situation - never lend friends more than a tenner. If you get it back quickly, all well and good. If you don't, never lend them anything ever again. Not your problem!
  • Shytalker
    Shytalker Posts: 32 Forumite
    My big mistake was paying my mortgage off by cheque. Being green and naive, I asked Halifax mortgages how to do it and they said to bung them a cheque. This I did by recorded delivery.

    Then I had demands for missed mortgage payments over a couple of months. "Ignore them, it's just the computer catching up, etc".

    You can guess the anxiety, etc. when I realised that an employee had paid it into a private account. Anyway, long story short, it was all sorted out in the end. No apology and no goodwill gesture. Don't trust 'em, I say.
  • I exercised a share option scheme to purchase my ex-employers shares. At that time the price was high. I could have sold all the shares and received in excess of £100,000. But I did not sell because I would have had to pay capital gains tax. So I decided to sell some shares each tax year so as never to incur any capital gains tax liability in any one tax year. The shares went down in value to 10% of the price that I could have sold at when I exercised the option. Now I am sitting on the shares valued at far less than I paid for them and will probably never get my money back. Moral of the story - take the profit and pay the tax! A profit less tax is better than no profit at all or even worse a loss!
  • esuhl
    esuhl Posts: 9,409 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    Not taking the CAB's advice to sue Lambeth Council for the money they fraudulently took from my bank account... Not realising that as a direct debit, I could have insisted that my bank refund the money as part of the DD guarantee. I was under a lot of stress and decided I didn't want any more. Cost me over £180.

    It was just under 6 years ago... would it be worth the stress, risk of losing (I mean, I have proof that they owe me the money, but...) to sue them now? Or try to get my bank to refund under the DD guarantee? I can just imagine trying to explain why I waited nearly 6 years to claim... or rather, I can't imagine sounding plausible...
  • Dylanwing
    Dylanwing Posts: 2,015 Forumite
    1 - An endowment mortgage
    2 - Too many credit cards
    3 - Trying private renting
    4 - Taking a long time to find this site
    5 - Borrowing from Worst Plus
    6 - Watching Bristol City - The amount I have spent would nearly be enough to clear my mortgage!
  • kezbabybabe
    kezbabybabe Posts: 732 Forumite
    First Post Photogenic First Anniversary
    I haven't had any major financial mistakes. Thank god for that.

    However I did take out a Store Card and ending up paying loads on it, so avoid these at all costs.

    Not saving enough money when I was able to put away £300 a month, due to working full time and living at home. d'oh!

    I wish I had put more effort into realising my house buying dream sooner rather than when we did.

    Not a financial mistake, but possibly something everyone can learn from. In my financial software on payday I enter all my bills for the next month, so I can see at a glance whether I have enough money to spend on luxury items. We've managed to save something each month by doing this. :D

    Another thing I've learnt is to save those pennies where possible. i.e. save the 2 "free" months of Council Tax a year. Save the extra mortgage payments when the rate has dropped. Save the extra in your wage packet if it has gone up due to inflation or pay rise. (Only if you can still live on the previous value)
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