This is most people’s biggest money regret

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Money comes and goes; ebbs and flows. Sometimes you’re funneling it into your 401k; sometimes you’re on a Saks spree, scooping up Prada pumps and champagne. We all have regrettable financial episodes in our past, and Student Loan Hero surveyed 1,000 Americans about this very conundrum.

According to the survey, 83% of Americans’ had financial regrets from last year, and their biggest one was not saving enough.

In terms of those who didn’t save as much as they wanted to, specific categories that they didn’t save for included retirement (29%), a home (27%), a car (18%), a vacation (15%), and college (7%).

  • The second biggest regret came from over a third (34%) of respondents, who said they spent too much on stuff they didn’t need. Here are the Top 10 categories of nonessential spending they wanted to cut down on.

And for 1 in 3 respondents, talk about regrets – they wasted $5,000 in the last 3 months on nonessentials. What do they wish they’d done with that bygone money now? Practical things, mostly:

  • Put in retirement account: 21%
  • Buy a house: 20%
  • Buy a car: 14%
  • Travel: 12%
  • Invest in the stock market: 10%

But don’t sweat the big stuff

Interestingly, of the 2 out of 3 respondents who made a major purchase in the last year, a full 60% said they didn’t regret it – perhaps because big-ticket buys require planning and saving for. There were minor percentages of regret for the following categories of spending:

  • Paying for vacation: 12%
  • Paying for education: 10%
  • Making an investment: 10%
  • Buying their house: 9%
  • Paying for their wedding: 9%

But that’s it. It seems that when it comes to celebrations and major life-changing buys, there’ s no reason to waste time on regret – so eat, drink, and be merry.