Truly EXPERIENCE is the best teacher.  Yet sometimes, we still can learn from other’s mistakes to save ourselves from future negligence.

So, I’ve asked my relatives, close friends and former officemates on what financial mistakes they regret the most. I consolidated everything and this is what I came up with.

Why did I create this post?

I created this post NOT to force you readers to deprive yourself with what the present has to offer. Being restrictive with your finances will just lead to no good in the future. Rather, this post was made to be informative so we can learn from elders’ mistakes and try to avoid these as early as we can.

Do you wanna know the most common mistakes most 30-year-olds make? Keep reading, and I hope you learn a thing or two 🙂

  1. I procrastinated on building my emergency fund

“ I spent most of my salary mainly on gimmicks and things I only wanted but never really needed. I always told myself that I will start saving when I’m a bit older. Now that I have a family of my own, it’s tough to save for an emergency fund considering that there are a lot of household expenses I need to attend to.”- C.C

  1. I spent my money like there was no tomorrow

“I enjoyed the feeling of being a one-day-millionaire. Of course it was fun at first. But after a few years, regret suddenly sunk in when I saw my colleagues being able to quit their jobs to find greener pastures or put up a business while I’m here stuck in this sh*tty job, unable to free myself because I didn’t save enough”- G. F,36

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  1. I used my credit cards as my emergency fund

“One of the BIGGEST MISTAKES I made, ever. I spent 3 years working just to payback my balance with interest. I should have saved for my emergency fund earlier on” – AYL, 31

  1. I spent money because I needed to impress people on my social media

“I admit it. I loved getting hundreds of likes whenever I posted  my latest out-of-the-country getaways, my newest outfits or that branded bag I bought to reward myself. I wanted them to see me as cool and rich. I had to keep up with my status. It felt good and fulfilling, eventhough it did hurt my pocket. People thought I earned big time, but little did they know that I always used my credit cards to fund my expenses. My salary was spent paying my balance due. So now,  I have little savings.”- R.M

  1. I got into a huge debt for a wedding

“My husband and I wanted to have the perfect wedding. Oh how young and clueless we were about love! We spent more than what we could afford for. The debt we incurred just made our first few years together really difficult coz  it put a lot of strain and stress in our relationship. We could have just spent that much money on assets.”- S.M, 33

  1. I regret rushing into buying a car

“The car I bought was more of a luxury than a need. I needed to keep up with my friends and officemates. I regret not properly planning well for that purchase. Insurance yearly and the high cost of maintenance hurt my finances. Lesson learned. Never envy what others have just because everyone has it.  Buy needs instead of wants.”- M. P, 34

  1. I ignored my health

“I’ve always known that diabetes and High blood pressure run in the family. But I never really watched what I ate. My negligence led me to pay the price now that I’m in my late 30’s. If only I had taken care of my health, I wouldn’t be spending a lot for medicines and treatments.”

  1. I was complacent having my salary as my only source of income

“I loved my job. But things changed with the management wherein they always transferred me to different branches. We were sometimes asked for overtime with no pay in return and I no longer had salary increases. Whew! If only I could turn back time, like 8 years ago,  I would have started investing or put up a sideline business so I could have an additional income.”- J.P

  1. I realized that keeping up with fashion trends and gadgets were pointless

“I now have a closet full of fashionista clothes and shoes that I couldn’t wear anymore because getting back in shape at my age is pretty tough so they no longer fit anymore.  Now they’re just stuck there, together with my obsolete gadgets. And what’s worse is, I have no savings in the bank.”- C.R, 30

  1. I regret not learning about investing

“I should have learned more about investments when I was single and having more higher risk tolerance. If only I had started investing in my 20’s I know I would have enough capital by now to start my own business.”

  1. I should have put up a business when I was younger

“I’m now married with kids. Yes I love my family dearly. But being married and running a household makes it difficult to quit my job and start up a business. I should have had the courage to put up a business when I was still living with my parents because I know I could have taken higher risks back then.”- A.R, 38

  1. I ignored the future financial needs of my parents

“ I am now paying  for my parents’ health and medical expenses. If only I had foreseen that they didn’t save much for their retirement, then I wouldn’t be in so much financial difficulty right now. “- I.M, 36


  1. I just saved and saved without planning out my financial goals

When I was a kid, I was taught that I should set aside money as much as I can so I can buy anything I want. That’s it! Just to buy things I wanted. So I saved and saved and put it all in just one fund. I was not aware that saving for the future included emergency funds, saving for retirement, saving to buy investments and the like. Had I known to be more knowledgeable and specific with my financial goals before, I would be having a better portfolio by this time.- A.F

  1. I went shopping whenever I was bored or depressed

“My biggest mistake was to go on a shopping galore whenever I was bored or depressed. I would buy myself something nice to make me feel happy and preoccupied. It felt good like I was on a high BUT that feeling doesn’t really last.  After a couple of days, I found myself doing it all over again like a cycle. I wish I discovered early on that to deal with boredom or depression, I needed to change my mindset and perspective in life and that joining or volunteering in activities helps alleviate those negative feelings.”- K.V, 30

  1. I regret investing my money on something I don’t fully understand

“This has happened to me twice with the same company. The members kept pushing me to join and I still said YES even though I had this gut feeling that I will not be fully committed and that the rewards were too good  to be true. I regret not trusting my instinct and being too gullible enough to let people brainwash me for something I myself didn’t really believe in.”-  ARF

  1. I didn’t learn how to budget my money early

“ I used to live with my parents that’s why it was ok to spend money on anything I wanted. Now that I’m living on my own , I find it hard to stick with a budget for  my rent and other living expenses. If only I had learned budgeting earlier, I wouldn’t be experiencing these difficulties.”

  1. Travel now, pulubi later

“From the wise words of Mr. Chinkee Tan: Travel now, pulubi later.  My traveling desire was excessive and now that I have a child, I really don’t have that much savings. Yes it’s a fulfillment to travel but think about it, no matter how many places you’ve visited, your traveling experience is something your children will NEVER inherit. If only I had lessened my traveling a bit and saved more money, I know I would be more prepared for my kid and would able to give more for my little one.”

Did any of these hit home??

Do you  have your own experiences that you regret too? Share them below so we can help and remind each other!

It’s never too late to start correcting our mistakes. Help a friend by sharing this post..This might give them a wake up call too 😊

-The Thrifty Pinay

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By Ameena Rey-Franc

Recognized as one of the Top Finance Blogs in the PH. Ameena Rey-Franc (founder of TTP) is a former Banker and BS Accountancy graduate turned Blogger, Keynote Speaker, and entrepreneur. Currently an RFP delegate, she is also the Author of a book about Financial Resilience and has held seminars for reputable companies like GrabFoodPH, Pru Life UK, VISA, JPMorgan Chase& Co., Paypal, Fundline, Moneymax, and many more. The Thrifty Pinay's mission is to empower women to LEARN, EARN, and be FINANCIALLY-INDEPENDENT no matter what life stage they are in.