10 Life Choices That Will Hurt Your Finances

make the right choice

Sometimes people make life choices that end up negatively affecting them in their future. Life doesn’t always make things easy and when things get difficult, it can be difficult to make a good choice. Unfortunately, we live in a society where so much depends on money and financial security that the life choices you make can can have a large negative effect on your finances. Listed below are a number of life choices that you want to avoid if possible since making them will likely leave you a lot poorer.

Quitting Your Job Without Another Lined Up

A lot of people wish they could quit their jobs without a second thought. If you have a job that is aggravating you to the point of quitting, think twice if you don’t have a backup plan. We live in such a poor economy that quitting without another job lined up or without another source of income will end up hurting your finances in the long run. After all, you don’t know how long it may take you to find another job.

Staying in a Dead End Job

While this is a difficult economy and many people take jobs they’re under qualified for, staying in a dead-end job can also hurt your finances. If you know that you’re worth a better job with a higher pay, you’re only hurting by staying in a job that will never give you the pay or recognition you deserve. Of course, there may be other factors making you stay in that job such as bills to pay or a family to support. But instead of just going through the motions and dealing with it, think about also searching for a better, higher paying job to improve your finances instead of keeping them stagnant.

Buying a House You Can’t Afford

A lot of people believe that they need a gigantic, luxurious house and will take out a mortgage that they can never realistically pay back. Choosing to buy a house that you know you can’t afford can hurt your finances down the road. What happens when you have to default on the mortgage? Or what happens when you can’t pay to maintain the house? Choosing to live beyond your means is never a good thing.

Taking Out Massive Loans for College

Most people who have been to college in the past decade are tired of the debate over college loans. On one hand, everyone says that you can’t get a good job without a college degree. But on the other hand, taking out massive loans will push you into a gigantic pool of student debt that you may never be able to pay off. You don’t want to become a slave to college loans. If possible, see what other alternatives there are such as a cheaper college, any financial aid options, or scholarships to help lighten the load somewhat.

Graduate School

Graduate school can be a curse and a blessing. For one, it can help you become an expert in your chosen career or academic field which will only make you more marketable. However, there are a lot of people who have only gone back to grad school because they couldn’t find a job. If you choose to go back to grad school and can’t get financial aid or funding, you might be dooming yourself to an even larger pile of debt once you graduate.

Having an Expensive Wedding

Weddings are supposed to be happy event, so the last thing you want to do is saddle yourself with outrageously high bills just to celebrate one day. A lot of people seem to believe that they need an expensive wedding to commemorate their special day. Except they forget that they might not be able to afford that wedding or may be paying off wedding bills for years. Don’t make the mistake of planning and hosting a wedding that negatively affects your finances. A wedding is great, but you want to make sure you have money that you and your spouse can use to start your life together.


Divorce is an unfortunate event, but sometimes it’s inevitable. Before you go through with a divorce, you should be aware of how it will negatively affect your finances. Even an amicable divorce is going to cost both parties money. If it’s nasty, it can cost a small fortune. At a minimum you’ll have to pay for lawyers, the division of assets and child support.

Not Getting Insurance

There are a lot of people who make the conscious decision not to buy insurance for their homes, cars, or heath. While some people do go overboard when buying insurance, not buying insurance could hurt you sometime in the future. What happens if you have a medical emergency and have to pay full price? What happens if a natural disaster destroys your home and you can’t afford to fix it? Attempting to rectify problems that could have been covered by insurance could deplete your finances.

Being Convicted of a Felony

While being convicted of a felony isn’t a choice, the act of committing one and putting yourself in that position to be convicted is one. Being convicted of a felony has the potential to hurt your finances in a variety of ways. If you’re looking to go back to school, you may have difficulty getting student loans. Or you might have difficulty obtaining a credit card or loan from a bank. While there may be ways to get around this, getting that loan or financial stability may be harder than normal.

Buying Status Symbols

Buying status symbols to make yourself appear richer or keep up with friends or family who are in a higher income bracket is a poor life decision that will negatively impact your finances. As stated above, it’s never wise to live beyond your means. Choosing to buy an expensive car or home to seem richer or to try to keep up with the Joneses is just a foolish decision.

(Photo courtesy of McKay Savage)

This entry was posted in Budgeting, Education, Housing, Insurance, Personal Finance, Relationships, Work and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to 10 Life Choices That Will Hurt Your Finances

  1. getforfree says:

    I just don’t understand why someone would want to look reacher than they really are. Does that give them more respect? Helps earn more money? What else it can be useful for?

    I know that the sales people want to look reach to show everyone that they are successful at selling stuff therefore they can afford expensive things. So that helps them earn more money.

    I would rather look poorer than I really am in order to score some discount or even free stuff. I don’ really care what they think of me, I only care if it saves me money.

  2. Great list! Finding a higher-paying job is ideal, but I would also argue that a new job that pays the same with better earning potential is another option. I made the switch a couple years ago and though I didn’t make more money at first, I make more money now.

  3. diana says:

    I would add getting pregnant as a teen to the list. it almost seems like this is celebrated with all the TV shows about it these days, but it’s a great way to make your life financially difficult from day one.

  4. That’s one heck of a list but certainly choices that could hurt finances. I know people who have quit jobs without another lined u up because they know they will find another with their skills but that’s a big risk to take. I certainly would make sure I had something lined up first.

  5. Jim Robinson says:


    Just a great list and thank you. Just taking one of your items on the List that is a job. You are so right, if one does not like a job hang in there so that you can tell your future Employer that you are caple of more. Come to that why not tell your present employer that you are keen to make a greater contribution to the business and ask for greater responsibility and more money!!
    Don’t hide ones light under a bushell.
    Sound List



  6. Trevor says:

    Thats a good list. We don’t plan for those things and we are rarely prepared for them. Good job listing them so we can watch out for them.

  7. Minny says:

    The wedding thing is big business here in the UK. $30,000 seems to be accepted as the cost of a wedding and there is a whole industry built around getting wed.

    It is insanity, this money could go towards a house.

  8. wanda says:

    Divorce is a huge money waster, especially if the two of you are at each other’s throats during the process. The only winners are the lawyers.

  9. Anni says:

    I’ve already done a few of these. I quit a job without having another lined up, but that was due to discovering fraud at the charity I worked at. As the bookeeper, I was the one “writing” the checks, so I got out as soon as I discovered it. I was only unemployed for about 3 weeks, but it did a number on my finances for a few months. I had used my emergency fund for an insurance deductible so I had nothing to fall back on. Now, I have a separate savings for insurance deductibles so they don’t come out of my EF.
    I also borrowed a ton for college and I’m not done yet. It’s depressing. Any chance of a follow-up article with solutions to these mistakes?

  10. David Smith @ PBC says:

    Hi Danielle,

    This is a very useful list. There are choices that people make in the course of their lives that can really jeopardize their finances. It is important to be careful in making decisions before actually making one. For instance, it is not practical to buy a home that you cannot afford. You need to save sufficient funds first so you will not end up being put on a spot.

  11. gregory says:

    I totally agree. The weddings I have been to lately seem to be going over the top and the only thing I cna think is how much better this money could have been spent.

  12. FINMANTRA says:

    Totally agree on your views on wedding. In India at least wedding involves lot of money, which i find waste of money. Here lakhs of money is spent on marriages which usually parents cannot afford, but for society they are forced to do so. Nice to see this website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *