16 Of The Most Detrimental Financial Decisions Witnessed By People

Published 10 months ago

It’s a lot of pressure for most people to deal with financial decisions. There are so many pitfalls to watch out for. Scammers, high-risk investments or just plain foolish decisions. After all without long-term planning, rash decisions can lead back to massive financial losses. 

No matter how hard you try to be financially savvy, it’s a tough game to play. If you take no risks at all, you make no returns at all. But when you do decide to take a gamble, it can all go wrong and turn against you in a heartbeat. One related conversation on ‘Ask Reddit’ had many people sharing their personal experiences discussing the worst financial decisions they’d seen someone make. Scroll below for the most humbling lessons learned in the real world, which we could all learn a thing or two from as well. 

More info: Reddit

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#1 Buying a TV on Black Friday instead of fixing their leaking roof

Image source: mangotangowango1, Max Rahubovskiy

#2 Had a co worker with 5 kids who could all go to USC for free once he has worked there for 15 years (even if he quit). He quit at 14.5 years for a job that barely paid more than he made at USC. Cost all 5 kids a free education at a top school since he couldnt wait 6 more months.

Image source: theangryburrito

#3 Sending a televangelist money for a “blessing” and then not having enough to rent a moving truck. So I had to be the “blessing”

Image source: UglyBag0fM0stlyWat3r

#4 My supervisor took out a loan against their 401k to pay their rent because “their credit cards were maxed.” Two weeks later, they bought a brand new 60k Lincoln with basically nothing down because “her daughter just had a baby and I need a bigger car for that.”

Image source: ErraticA09, rupixen.com

#5 My former sister-in-law had a thriving medical practice. She got so stressed that she joined the Scientologist and started taking their classes. She opened up five-six credit cards without telling my brother, maxed the cards out with hundreds of thousands in cash withdrawals, and gave it to that cult.

Image source: AnybodySeeMyKeys, Anna Shvets

#6 When my grandmother’s 2nd husband (who I know as my grandpa) died, she spent nearly all $50k of his life insurance money on a South African scammer who promised her romance and more money than she gave. She refused to listen to family telling her to stop. She subverted efforts by her own bank to stop her frequent questionable money transfers. Eventually my parents had to close her bank account to force her to stop blowing my grandfather’s money. I will never not resent her ignorance, selfishness, and inability to listen to anyone but herself.

Image source: Delicious_Climate552

#7 My brother’s ex fell for a Craig’s list scam. She found a motorcycle and the guy “needed money up front to pay bills” before she even saw it. We told her don’t do it, it’s a scam. She said she already sent $1000. Of course, he was never available to show her the bike and we found out from my brother after they broke up she actually continued sending him money in hopes of getting the motorcycle. I think she was out $3,000 by the end.

Image source: XCCO, Alexander Grey

#8 A friend of mine who is very bad with money and his girlfriend bought some sort of water filtration system from a door to door salesman. He has to pay something like $300/month for this filtration system. He was all stoked because it came with a free set of pots and pans.

Fast forward a year and his girlfriend has broken up with him, moved out of the house, and he’s had to sell his home because he can’t afford to live there. The water filtration system is now sitting in a storage unit where he still pays $300/month for it because he’s on a 2 or 3 year contract (sorry the details are fuzzy).

We have great water quality in my area.

Image source: Anin1987, Imani

#9 My cousin spent 100% of her inheritance and took out a lien on her home to buy a 2nd home in the mountains… thing is it was being pushed over by a mountain…and they thought they could fix it…

I went and seen it and every door jam was crooked and the doors wouldn’t shut.. They took me down into the basement and they were trying to use I beams to “stop the mountain from pushing on the home”. I was just like “what the hell are you doing, that won’t solve anything” fast forward 6 months and they asked me for 50k to help and I declined. Fast forward a year and the home collapsed and now they owe over 300k+ for a home that doesn’t exist and if they don’t make the payments they lose their other house too because they used the original home as collateral and could not get insurance on the 2nd home..total money lost upwards of 700k

Image source: slayez06

#10 They won thousands of dollars and bought a new entertainment system instead of getting current on their mortgage. Foreclosed on later that year. The thing was, the area had recently become the new **it** area for young families, and housing prices had skyrocketed. They easily could have just sold the house, paid cash for a larger house 20 minutes up the road, and still had tens of thousands leftover.

Image source: bryanlvd, Viacheslav Bublyk

#11 A guy in my fraternity got 30k for an undisclosed reason, I’m guessing a family death or something and he bet it all on the Yankees winning one game. They lost

Image source: bulbipicg, Andrew Neel

#12 I knew someone who got a loan for their wedding, but decided to blow it all at a casino. Now they have a loan for 20k to pay off and nothing to show for it.

Image source: armbar222, Kaysha

#13 Put everything in his gf’s name to hide assets as he owed the IRS, the gf sold his business, cashed out his accounts and ran.

Image source: RavenBear2005, Gustavo Fring

#14 This older lady worked part-time in my kitchen. It was a fine dining, fast paced environment. She would only work about 20 hrs per week doing busy work u.e. peeling vegetables, washing produce, etc. Tasks I knew she could handle and wouldn’t get overwhelmed.

Unfortunately her husband passed away and she requested a few months off. I totally understood and said take all the time you need. Let me know when you feel comfortable coming back to work, if at all. Take care Barbara.

8 months later she contacted me for a job. I was more than willing to have her back in my kitchen. I nonchalantly asked her how she was coping with her loss. She broke down in tears. She apparently got a $500000 insurance payout from her husband’s death. Within those i months she attempted to open a restaurant and sink every dime into the establishment. It went out of business in 6 months.

She was now broke as an elderly lady having to go back to work.

Image source: donotresuscitateplz

#15 My (awful) aunt was the trustee for my grandparents’ estate. When they passed, she decided to sell their house to a random realtor who put a leaflet on the door. TO the realtor, not WITH the realtor. It wasn’t put on the market, and the aunt rejected a matching offer by me after I argued hard to actually list the house and have people bid on it. The realtor slapped a new coat of paint on it and sold it a couple of months later for literally a million dollars more than she bought it for.

Image source: Starfox41, energepic.com

#16 Apply for a 5k loan, didn’t accept quick enough so applied for another 5k loan, both got accepted and ended up gambling it all

Image source: Ok-Implement-4933, JESUS ECA

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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bad decisions, bad finances, bad investments, bad money, financial, money
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