Memorial to Bad Financial Choices


Maybe you were born with good financial sense but I wasn't. There were times where I couldn't show you my report card. Here are the top 5 money mistakes I made (in terms of amount or intelligence insult) that I wish I avoided.

1. Did not stay invested


I bought my first share when I was 18 and sold it when I was 18. Today, about ten years later, the share price remains but the dividend and share bonus would have double up my investment. Actually, all the shares I bought would have rewarded me better if I stay invested.

Solution: Put some of your investment for long term. It's not world war yet, the market is fragile but it is not going to crash.

2. Buy something for occasions


Fancy dress and shoes for the occasion are expensive, especially if you buy them last minute. Many times, I bought something shiny just because I NEED to have a complete look or to match the theme color. So I have shoes and dresses that I HATE to wear but unwilling to toss because of the triple-digit price tag.

Solution: Shop early. Buy a simple fancy dress that you love and can wear to as many occasion for the year. Then list it for sale because you don't want your friends to think that's your only dress.  Repeat.

3. Pay the price for party 


It's one thing to eat with your loved ones and another to eat with people you don't even like and yet paid the price. Or make any payments for a big party and have 60% backlog payments. Happened to me when I am the poor 18-year-old freshman.

Solution: Don't pay too much upfront for any shared cost, especially when the group gets bigger than ten individuals. 

4. Try to outsmart marketers 


Spending I made when I find something on sale or much cheaper than the normal market price. I think I might use it and even make some money out of the deal. Sometimes I do get lucky and earn up to 100% of my purchase price but mostly I end up with a big stash of clutter to handle. 

Solution: Realize that things on sale are things that no one wants, except for you at the price. So it is better to only buy something that you really want to use. 

5. Paid unnecessary bank fees | statement fees 


Default settings are usually good for business, not good for customers. One example is ATM card from Maybank (I don't know if this still applies). The default setting is RM8 a year for an unlimited withdrawal from their ATM. But if you opt not to pay, you still get 4 free withdrawal a month, that is 48 withdrawal a year! Why would anyone need to withdraw more than 4 times a month?  Another bank that I met many blur-blur officers is BSN. 

Solution: Always compare and read terms and clauses. Or read lyn&ringgit.com (no shame here). The bank officers you met at branches is usually clueless about CAPM or IRR. We are financial warriors, we need to do better than them. 

What are your financial mistake? How did you turn the table around?

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