USMoney

America’s biggest money mistakes

Information verified correct on January 21st, 2017

What’s the most common money mistake made in the USA? Dropping out of college.

finder.com conducted a poll of 1,915 Americans using Google Consumer Surveys and asked them to identify their biggest money mistakes. The most common answer? Dropping out of college, picked by 21%. That means that 67 million Americans regret not finishing their education, and it’s an expensive mistake. The average student loan is $22,700. Lower income earners (those on less than $50,000) were the most likely to pick this as an error they regretted.

Other frequent financial mishaps included:

  • letting your partner control the finances (19%)
  • having children (12%)
  • paying too much for a wedding (9%)
  • excessive gambling (8%)
  • being caught by an online scam (8%)

Over half of all Americans have made at least one of those mistakes, the poll suggests.

Do men and women make different money mistakes?

Men proved much more susceptible to gambling than women. Of the 8% who identified gambling as their biggest mistake, almost two-third (62%). In many areas, however, the problems were equally common for males and females. Here’s how the numbers split between men and women for the six most common answers.

MistakeFemaleMale
Too much gambling38%62%
Fell for an online scam49%51%
Paid too much for a wedding45%55%
Having children50%50%
Dropping out of college48%52%
Letting my partner control our finances52%48%

Picture: Steven Depolo, licenced under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (image cropped)

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