5 Financial Decisions You Might Really Regret

Three-quarters of Americans have financial regrets. These are top-of-mind. 

money-savings-finances
Photo by 5second/Getty Images

Many people make the occasional bank account faux pas—buying coffee rather than brewing it or charging yet another pair of pants—but an alarming three-quarters of Americans say they have major financial regrets, according to a new survey from Bankrate.com.

Concerns about retirement funds top the list, with 18 percent of respondents lamenting the fact that they didn’t start saving earlier. Younger generations may have something to learn from their parents, since concerns about retirement savings increase with age. Just four percent of those under 30 cited this as their biggest financial regret, while 17 percent of those aged 30-49, 24 percent of those 50-64, and 27 percent  of those 65 and older wished they’d funded retirement plans at an earlier age. 

Not saving enough for emergencies was the second biggest monetary concern amongst those surveyed—and top of mind with the younger subset. Just over 20 percent of those under 30 considered this their biggest money woe. Only 10 percent of those aged 30-49, 13  percent of those 50-64, and 7 percent of those 65 and older felt they hadn’t saved enough for emergencies. 

Other financial regrets included taking on credit card debt (9 percent), not saving enough for a child’s education (8 percent), and having excessive student loan debt (9 percent). Despite the concerns, both men and women say they have more financial security now than they did one year ago—and 31 percent of Americans report a higher net worth this year.