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The 12 Best Financial Achievements & Worst Money Regrets

Money Liz Alterman Dec 30, 2016


If you've ever thrilled at making a final car payment or kicked yourself for not starting your own business, you're not alone. Sometimes you make a bad money move in the moment, but other times all that hard work really pays off and you get to take great pride in some pretty cool financial successes. You try to keep your bad moves to a minimum and make smart decisions where you can. But most of all, you just hope to never wake up one day, wishing you'd spent your money a different way altogether.

Claris Finance surveyed 2,000 Americans and asked them to share their greatest financial success and biggest money regret

No matter what age you are or income you're making, there are definitely lessons to be learned here. 


11. Financial Achievement: Signing Your First Lease

Ah, the freedom of moving out of your parents' home. Signing a lease on a new place is, for many of us, the beginning of our independence and a whole new life adventure. You got together the money for first and last month's rent plus security and, of course, utilities, and you left the nest to enjoy your very own new digs.

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22. Financial Achievement: Getting That Degree

With the cost of higher education ever increasing, it's no wonder that 27 percent of those surveyed said putting themselves through college was their proudest financial achievement. Having that degree and experience is something no one can ever take away. 

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33. Financial Achievement: Buying Your First Home

There's nothing quite a sweet as turning the key in the lock of your very first home. Twenty-five percent of those surveyed agreed being first-time homeowners was their proudest financial moment. Who doesn't love being the queen or king of their castle? 

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44. Financial Achievement: Supporting a Family

Thirty-one percent of those surveyed said being able to support their family was their biggest financial achievement. It's no easy feat to provide shelter, food, and clothing for a growing brood. Hats off to these hardworking moms and dads!


55. Financial Achievement: Being Able to Invest

Twenty-five percent of respondents said they were proud to be able to invest their money. That's pretty impressive. Let's just hope they're making the right choices and that their money continues to grow. 

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66. Financial Achievement: Paying Off Large Debt

Thirty-eight percent of those surveyed said their proudest financial moment was paying off a large debt, such as their car or home. Most of us can only dream about that moment, so we can only imagine how good it feels IRL.

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71. Financial Regret: Not Going to College

College is a wonderful experience for those who have the opportunity to attend. From gaining knowledge to making new connections, there's limitless potential. So it's no wonder that 20 percent of those surveyed said they regret not having enough money to go pursue higher education. 

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82. Financial Regret: Not Being Able to Purchase a Home

Twenty-nine percent of respondents agreed that not being able to purchase a home was their biggest regret. It makes sense, as paying rent month after month can certainly can have you feeling like you're throwing away money. But if you have bad credit and not much cash in the bank, securing a mortgage is almost impossible.

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93. Financial Regret: Not Taking the Trip of a Lifetime

How many times have you fantasized about savoring a pizza or cappuccino while sitting in a picturesque piazza in Rome or taking a cruise of the Greek Isles? Well, without enough money, you're bound to end up spending all your free time close to home. 

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104. Financial Regret: Not Starting a Business

Whether you believe you're onto the next big thing or just want to fill a void in your industry, opening your own business is a risk, but it can also provide you with a sense of satisfaction as well as an income. Twenty-three percent of those surveyed said they are sorry they didn't have the chance to start a business. Securing financing gets to be a challenge -- even with a solid plan in place.


115. Financial Regret: Not Investing in the Stock Market

Seventeen percent of those surveyed wish they'd had an opportunity to invest in the stock market. It makes sense. If you're able to increase your returns and surpass the low interest rates at your local bank, you can't beat that. 


126. Financial Regret: Not Being Able to Retire Early

Wish you could quit your day job and spend your time any way you choose? You're not alone. Nineteen percent of responders wish they could retire early. It's a lofty goal but one that could be attainable with the right plan in place if you start early enough. 

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