The 25 Biggest Money Mistakes People Make

We kicked off Money Smart Week with a visit from Gregory Berlin from the Society for Financial Awareness Tuesday.

Gregory Berlin from SOFA talks about the most common money mistakes people.

Gregory Berlin from SOFA talks about the most common money mistakes people.

Berlin listed the 25 biggest mistakes people make with their money.

Without further ado, they are:

25 Biggest Mistakes

  1. Procrastinating to avoid financial decisions.
  2. Having financial goals that are too general, undefined or unrealistic.
  3. Not having a financial plan or having one that obviously won’t work (which is the same as not having a plan.)
  4. Ignoring the effect of taxes on your financial plan.
  5. Going uninsured against death, disability and liability.
  6. Ignoring the cost of living inflation in your plans.
  7. Having your long-term financial plans depend too heavily on the current fad. Right now, that would be tech stocks.
  8. Making decisions based upon fear, greed or other emotions.
  9. Doing all your financial planning yourself to save a few dollars.
  10. Being too conservative or, conversely, too aggressive.
  11. Not understanding the concept of asset allocation.
  12. Concentrating your investments instead of diversifying.
  13. Putting all of your money into hot companies. (This mistake is akin to #7. That’s not investing; that’s speculating.)
  14. Being overly influenced by your friends and family.
  15. Placing market-timing bets. (Once again, that’s speculating, which is high risk.)
  16. Failing to take profits or cut losses.
  17. Having too much idle assets. (To phrase this differently, this is the rare situation of having too much cash on hand. You’re always going to need some liquidity, but burying all your bills in the backyard prevents your money from making money.)
  18. Assuming things will just work themselves out.
  19. Demanding immediate results and satisfaction.
  20. Wanting everything guaranteed.
  21. Lacking discipline in regard to spending, savings or investment.
  22. Overrating anyone’s expertise. No person, firm or magazine can guarantee where any market or security is going and when.
  23. Not understand the many problems with money.
  24. Overly relying on uncertain future income like expected inheritances, promotions, winning the lottery etc.
  25. Wanting something for nothing.
Money Smart Week continues through Saturday, upcoming programs at Mentor Public Library’s Main Branch include:
  • Make Cents: Understanding the Long-Term Financial Commitments brings experts from three different banks to the library’s Main Branch. They will demystify common banking topics for the layperson. This Q & A panel session is from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on April 10.
  • Solving the Retirement Income Puzzle, where people can learn how to manage their retirement income and avoid running out of money. This talk will be from 2 to 3 p.m. on Friday, April 11.
  • Show Me the Money, a special program for kids from 1 to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 5. Children will learn about currency and make their own piggy bank.
  • Duct Tape Wallet, in which teens can get creative while making their own wallets out of duct tape. The program is from 2 to 4 p.m. on April 12.

For more information on Money Smart Week at Mentor Public Library, visit or call (440) 255-8811 ext. 215.

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