It’s not just the young and dumb who make mistakes with their money.
Financial issues happen in every decade of your life, and the older you get the bigger the consequences of these mistakes can be. Here are some of the most common mistakes you see in people of different ages, and how to avoid them.
Although most teens mooch off their parents and don’t have to worry about money per se, the biggest mistake they can make is not forming good habits early.
Getting a casual job is the best possible way to do this. This teaches the value of money, saving, tax and what that confusing thing known as superannuation is.
While many twenty-somethings still mooch off their parents, and unashamedly at that, by about halfway through this decade most find they suddenly have a bit more disposable income to splash around.
This brings with it the temptation to spend it uselessly instead of investing, or get into trouble with credit cards they’ve gotten to feel like grown ups.
Twenties also tend not to plan or educate themselves a whole lot so that when they end up in strife, they’ve no idea how they got there and how to get out of it.
The best thing to do in this formative decade is to at least begin to plan. Start with a budget, high interest savings account or even some small-play investing to get used to doing more with your money than spending it all on Asos (or at the bar).
This is the decade that many people start to settle down.
They’ve saved and learned how to be relatively financially secure individually. But with their imminent or growing families they sometimes bite off more house than they can chew, digging themselves into unaffordable mortgages.
Or they try to keep up the The Joneses, other singles or families that seem to have their shit a lot more together and can afford a big house, fancy cars or a great holiday.
Instead, thirty somethings need to be realistic; this is still a decade to work hard for your goals, whatever they are, and spend wisely.
Above all don’t make comparisons with peers as you don’t know their situation and it will almost always be different to your own.
Forty is the age most of us first remember our parents being.
They’ve always been so wise and responsible it’s hard to imagine they ever made mistakes or had money problems. But each decade comes with a new set of problems, and even forty somethings can make mistakes; think not planning for retirement or putting their money to work.
This decade is the perfect age to build wealth, diversify assets and make money work harder.
Half a century gone and it’s hard to believe we could still be stuffing things up.
Kids return to the nest, get married or have kids of their own and in their soft sentimentality, fifties are prone to being taken for a ride.
While their hearts may be open, their wallets should not be. This is the time to kick back and begin the enjoy a life’s worth of hard work, so if kids and relatives are looking for free rent or a loan, they need to make sure they implement payment terms like board, monthly direct debit repayments or if they’re tough enough, interest.
But rest assured, you can always teach an old dog new tricks, so no matter the mistake you make, use it as a lesson and steel yourself against the next idiotic thing you do with your money.
Main image: Rich Brooks, Flickr