The Entrepreneur Forum | Financial Freedom | Starting a Business | Motivation | Money | Success

What Are the Dumbest Financial Decisions You Have Ever Made?

Learn how to build wealth and win financial freedom the Fastlane way!

Say "NO" to mediocre living rife with jobs, ascetic frugality, and suffocating savings rituals— learn how to build a Fastlane business that pays both freedom and lifestyle affluence. Join more than 70,000 entrepreneurs who are making it happen.
Join for FREE Today
Get the books
Remove ads? Join Fastlane INSIDERS
(Registration removes this block)
A detailed account of a Fastlane process...

Redcable

New Contributor
Jun 5, 2021
8
10
I think buying a BMW when I first had 10k in the bank was pretty bad, luckily I was able to sell it with a profit but altogether it was a pretty time and money consuming decision..
Same I financed a BMW once I graduated from college and got a full time job. My debt increased and the car was given me troubles. I got another car that was more reliable.
lesson: take the time to learn about assets vs liabilities. Focus on building your wealth.
 

Vas87

Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Jul 4, 2012
66
60
Australia
Buying dividend shares in 2017, and selling in March 2020. Lost about 20k from that one + any dividends they would have produced.
Sold a car in April 2020 for 24k, it's worth about 34k in this market.
 

nmalcolm92

The Charismatic
Read Fastlane!
Speedway Pass
Apr 20, 2015
93
301
29
Kalispell, Montana
Buying a gaming pc for "work".

I ended up losing three years to gaming addiction and who knows how money in opportunity cost.

Buy a Mac, never look back.
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.

P789

Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Sep 23, 2020
80
45
Legazpi, Philippines
Buying a course without doing do diligence as well as feeling good for the moment (ACTION FAKING). Lost almost $600 in mom’s money in the midst of the pandemic.
 
Last edited:

thechosen1

Platinum Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Aug 25, 2020
2,210
4,271
26
Antarctica
Buying a gaming pc for "work".

I ended up losing three years to gaming addiction and who knows how money in opportunity cost.

Buy a Mac, never look back.
use the Mac for work, depreciate it on your taxes.
 

Mike Ronin

Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Jul 18, 2019
21
34
Investing mid-six figures in several normally great performing mutual funds about 2 months before the September 11 terrorist attack in NYC, and then on top of that allowing the now ex-wife access to much of the remainder. Bad, bad, bad.....20 years later it still ticks me off, so I try not to think about it and look forward instead of backward.
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.

SaharaSnow

Contributor
Oct 20, 2020
13
27
South Africa
So, on #1 -- did he spend your money while you were together, or did he get it in the divorce? or both?

On #2 -- what did he say he was adding to your business to get you to say yes? What did he actually contribute or rip away?

Without knowing the details, I would suspect that you trusted these people. They talked a good game. And then they major let you down.
So,
When did you know that it was all going south in each situation?
What are your lessons from all of this? It's a lot deeper than don't get married and don't take on partners.
Why did you think that you needed these relationships and these particular people in the first place? What attracted you to the situations and why did you choose these particular people?
What were the commonalities in the two situations? They sound very similar.
What has changed since you made these decisions? Would you still be attracted to them and would they be attracted to you? Have you changed enough that they would now run away when they saw you coming?
Do you look in your mirror and see a different person now? Are you still the same person on the other end of all of this? How have you grown?
Hmmm. I spot the Demartini coaching method in your questions. Not a fan.

Learning is inevitable. Everything affects everything. We just get up and get on with it.
 

Private Witt

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Feb 20, 2018
581
991
Oklahoma
#1 - Quitting job with Pepsi in late 90s after 4.5 years in, when stocks vested at 5 years, many people who stayed at the same job are millionaires from the stock as they did not touch it and just let it build

#2 - Passing up to join a startup on a job offer with equity at early stage and 6 months later it brought in 85 million in funding for a near unicorn valuation

#3 - Pissing away 100s of BTC through poker and wallet mismanagement from 2012 - 2017

#4 - Gambling addiction from age 12 to 48, lost so much of my life earnings, quitting gambling was the best move I ever made as watching the leaks being plugged is unreal and I have so many options today that I did not have before.
 

OleksiyRybakov

Bronze Contributor
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Aug 25, 2021
186
142
Germany
I think that my entire life I was doing huge financial mistakes. I do not even want to rank them.

9. When I was a kid (2005-2012), I wasted over 5000€ on playing Yu-Gi-Oh.

8. When I wanted to pursue a bachelor's degree (2011-2014), I chose physics because my chemistry teacher told me to do so. Instead, I should have studied computer science from the beginning but I have listened to my mother who told me that I would do badly in CS because I do not know how to program. This lead me to depression due to 100 hour long workweeks in physics and my jobs would be also paid badly since knowledge about physics is not very practical. In the end, I switched majors when pursuing my master's degree.

7. I was studying computer science in Germany so I did not have to pay the fees. In 2015, I owned around 8k€ that I did not invest because I did not know that I could do so.

6. In 2018, I finished my studies and had around 25k€ in savings. I was familiar with Bitcoin at that point but did not want to invest the money because I did not know about the halvings.

5. At the end of 2018 I decided to buy a house on mortgage because the rents were going up consistently. Now, instead of paying 550€ per month for rent, I have to worry about paying 1100€ per month because if I do not pay the mortgage off in 15 years, the bank can increase the interest rate from 2% to any value. So even rates like 18% and more per year are possible.

4. In January 2020 I invested some of my money into the stock market. Then the coronavirus spread out so I panicked believing that the markets will crash for a long time. One of my younger colleagues advised me to buy more but I did not follow his advice.

3. In August 2020 I wasted 1200€ on a driver's licence for trailers. Why? No idea.

2. In October 2020 I finally learned about the Bitcoin halvings and invested around 39k€ when a BTC was at 13k. My assets went up to 45k€ in a month. Then, I was thinking that XRP was going up more quickly and reallocated my Bitcoins to XRP when one Ripple went 0.59€ per coin. Unfortunately, XRP went down to 0.51€ so I panic sold my assets. Then, XRP went down to 0.07€ per coin and what was I doing? Bingo, I was crying too much and instead of buying more crypto, I did not invest my 39k€ for two more months. Well, then BTC went up to 28k€ per coin.

1. One month ago, while having a job as an app developer (I program using React, GraphQL, REST, Typescript and Python) that earns me 75k€ per year at the age of 28, I listened to a 19-year old influencer that told me to go into business. She told me that she earns lots of thousands of dollars per month and she recommended me to read several books. Out of those, I have read "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill, "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" by Robert Kiyosaki and TMF by MJ DeMarco. Later, I also read UNSCRIPTED on my own. I was annoyed as hell because I do so many things incorrectly and literally every teenager could have done less mistakes than me. Being completely bored out at my job as a software developer at which I work 1 hour a day ouf of 8 productively, I was asking my boss whether he can give me more challenging tasks like working as a software architect - which he refused. I was searching for more challenging projects as well - but he refused again because he wanted me to help his company and not the customer of his company. Disagreeing with him completely, I have decided and told my boss that I will quit my project in December. I have to wait this long due to German laws.

Now, I try to become an influencer that talks about finance and IT. On TikTok, this did not work out - I do not even get any feedback due to dry and boring content. On Instagram, I got 1,3k views on a video within an hour, but my account got banned by Facebook and I do not know why. YouTube seems more promising but again, productocracy takes its time and I really hate that the audience wants to get "get-rich-quickly" results instead of complex advice. Still, I have created a habit of producing daily videos on TikTok during the last two weeks. Most likely, this will be the biggest financial mistake that I have done. But I go on failing.
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.
Last edited:

Antifragile

Platinum Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Mar 15, 2018
1,351
3,403
Metaworld
I invested in a game development company $$$ - six figures. It had 70 employees, was on a brink of delivering a brand new game and the buzz was all over. My investment was debt with convertibility feature after 3 months to equity. The company had been in existence for over 5 years and delivered a few successful games to the market already. This was supposed to be the next big win. I saw the game, loved it, put up the money and went to Shanghai. Came back a month later to learn private debt company funding them called the debt… company went into liquidation. I learned a lot about bankruptcy! I was a shareholder in all kinds of meetings.

It was stupid because I invested based on people. Who were referred to me by trusted friends. I failed to look at the financials and how levered they were, in all my excitement. One of the stupidest investment decisions I’ve ever made.

Good tax write off… that’s the only good thing.
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.

thechosen1

Platinum Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Aug 25, 2020
2,210
4,271
26
Antarctica
I think that my entire life I was doing huge financial mistakes. I do not even want to rank them.

9. When I was a kid (2005-2012), I wasted over 5000€ on playing Yu-Gi-Oh.

8. When I wanted to pursue a bachelor's degree (2011-2014), I chose physics because my chemistry teacher told me to do so. Instead, I should have studied computer science from the beginning but I have listened to my mother who told me that I would do badly in CS because I do not know how to program. This lead me to depression due to 100 hour long workweeks in physics and my jobs would be also paid badly since knowledge about physics is not very practical. In the end, I switched majors when pursuing my master's degree.

7. I was studying computer science in Germany so I did not have to pay the fees. In 2015, I owned around 8k€ that I did not invest because I did not know that I could do so.

6. In 2018, I finished my studies and had around 25k€ in savings. I was familiar with Bitcoin at that point but did not want to invest the money because I did not know about the halvings.

5. At the end of 2018 I decided to buy a house on mortgage because the rents were going up consistently. Now, instead of paying 550€ per month for rent, I have to worry about paying 1100€ per month because if I do not pay the mortgage off in 15 years, the bank can increase the interest rate from 2% to any value. So even rates like 18% and more per year are possible.

4. In January 2020 I invested some of my money into the stock market. Then the coronavirus spread out so I panicked believing that the markets will crash for a long time. One of my younger colleagues advised me to buy more but I did not follow his advice.

3. In August 2020 I wasted 1200€ on a driver's licence for trailers. Why? No idea.

2. In October 2020 I finally learned about the Bitcoin halvings and invested around 39k€ when a BTC was at 13k. My assets went up to 45k€ in a month. Then, I was thinking that XRP was going up more quickly and reallocated my Bitcoins to XRP when one Ripple went 0.59€ per coin. Unfortunately, XRP went down to 0.51€ so I panic sold my assets. Then, XRP went down to 0.07€ per coin and what was I doing? Bingo, I was crying too much and instead of buying more crypto, I did not invest my 39k€ for two more months. Well, then BTC went up to 28k€ per coin.

1. One month ago, while having a job as an app developer (I program using React, GraphQL, REST, Typescript and Python) that earns me 75k€ per year at the age of 28, I listened to a 19-year old influencer that told me to go into business. She told me that she earns lots of thousands of dollars per month and she recommended me to read several books. Out of those, I have read "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill, "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" by Robert Kiyosaki and TMF by MJ DeMarco. Later, I also read UNSCRIPTED on my own. I was annoyed as hell because I do so many things incorrectly and literally every teenager could have done less mistakes than me. Being completely bored out at my job as a software developer at which I work 1 hour a day ouf of 8 productively, I was asking my boss whether he can give me more challenging tasks like working as a software architect - which he refused. I was searching for more challenging projects as well - but he refused again because he wanted me to help his company and not the customer of his company. Disagreeing with him completely, I have decided and told my boss that I will quit my project in December. I have to wait this long due to German laws.

Now, I try to become an influencer that talks about finance and IT. On TikTok, this did not work out - I do not even get any feedback due to dry and boring content. On Instagram, I got 1,3k views on a video within an hour, but my account got banned by Facebook and I do not know why. YouTube seems more promising but again, productocracy takes its time and I really hate that the audience wants to get "get-rich-quickly" results instead of complex advice. Still, I have created a habit of producing daily videos on TikTok during the last two weeks. Most likely, this will be the biggest financial mistake that I have done. But I go on failing.
What I noticed most about your post is that, despite each small setback, over time you grew and became more successful.

You went from "I chose physics instead of CS for my degree" to "having a job as an app developer" (!!!).

You went from being broke and in debt to having $39,000 to invest in crypto!!!

You've made significant amounts of progress, and you are being too hard on yourself.

Just keep going!!
 

Antifragile

Platinum Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Mar 15, 2018
1,351
3,403
Metaworld
What I noticed most about your post is that, despite each small setback, over time you grew and became more successful.

You went from "I chose physics instead of CS for my degree" to "having a job as an app developer" (!!!).

You went from being broke and in debt to having $39,000 to invest in crypto!!!

You've made significant amounts of progress, and you are being too hard on yourself.

Just keep going!!
This book comes to mind…

2AEBD9D7-E551-4245-B9E9-BB5CE952A229.jpeg
 

SPM_ENT

Bronze Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Speedway Pass
Aug 1, 2017
46
132
35
Los Angeles
Spending about 80k creating a hair loss product (like Hims) in which I didn't know exactly how it worked, then creating a brand and branding, website, paying an advertiser 5k a month + ad spend without knowing what he was doing. In the end I ended up with some great-looking bottles that no one bought and ended up putting all of them in the trash...except for one I keep next to my desk for a reminder .

Also, I spent way too much time flipping cars justifying that I was making money off them when it was a huge time suck and when I should have been investing that money into real estate. Dealing with low ball offers will grind you down. Buy the car if you must, finance it, and use the cheap money to make money elsewhere.

Plus many more but they're all lessons I needed to "pay to learn" I suppose.
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.

OleksiyRybakov

Bronze Contributor
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Aug 25, 2021
186
142
Germany
What I noticed most about your post is that, despite each small setback, over time you grew and became more successful.

You went from "I chose physics instead of CS for my degree" to "having a job as an app developer" (!!!).

You went from being broke and in debt to having $39,000 to invest in crypto!!!

You've made significant amounts of progress, and you are being too hard on yourself.

Just keep going!!
Oh, I am not hard on myself but mistakes are part of the process. This is exactly the reason why I decided to quit my job. No mistakes provide no opportunity to learn.

By the way, if anyone likes to listen to more of my stories like that, you might be interested in visiting my TikTok channel. Mostly, I am trying to give financial content similar to MJ's books on a more simplified level and also, I react to other successful financial (and not only financial) influencers. Later, I plan to go to YT and then to add some content on IT. But I also create different content, for instance, yesterday I discovered a trend "name a country without A and I", so I created a rap video on that in German just for the lolz.

Edit @Admins: I have seen some people in this forum promoting their own social media channels. At this point, I would like to advertise mine, but am I allowed to do so according to the forum rules?
 
Last edited:
D

Deleted74925

Guest
  • Not joining a self-driving insurance car startup in 2019. It was only 5 ish employees at the time and I wanted the comfort of a stable job. They just raised $2 million in seed round Media - Koop Technologies
  • Taking out $7,500 from my 401(K) as a distribution instead of a loan. My company match would have vested to $15,000 in two years. I didn’t listen to my accountant closely enough.
 

OleksiyRybakov

Bronze Contributor
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Aug 25, 2021
186
142
Germany
More financial mistakes by me:

10. Today, I spent around 500$ from my gambling fund with SHIBA INU coins in it on eKart INU coin since I wanted to find another crypto increasing 100x. After having read some Twitter comments I realized that this coin looks like scam.

11. I realized that it will be very challenging for me to even get a job which is large enough to cover my expenses. Not even one company has given me any contract due to "my lack of IT skills". I was not even invited to any other interview and the teaching job that I have is not enough even if I get the additional lecture to teach. My social media did not grow enough. And I am over 120k$ in debt due to my mortgage. Additionally, my net worth is only around 100k$ so I won't be able to pay my mortgage from compound interest only. Originally, I wanted to go into Bitcoin, Ethereum and Cardano, but I doubted that any of those cryptos could grow by the required factor of 5 until 31.12.2021. So instead, I went into Shiba Inu which was at 0.0000284 back then. I could withdraw at 0.0000316 but decided not to. And now, it dropped to 0.0000256. Even worse, Bitcoin and Ethereum grew a lot since then. Please don't repeat my Sidewalk move of quitting jobs without alternatives. And especially, please don't gamble with life savings.
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.
Last edited:

Mister

New Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Fastlane!
Speedway Pass
May 22, 2021
14
10
In my early years of working, I got into a drug addiction and spend all my money that I had on that shit.

Should be a total of 10-20k over the past of a few years.

Thankfully I learn my lesson
 

MJ DeMarco

Administrator
Staff member
FASTLANE INSIDER
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 23, 2007
33,407
128,474
Alpine, UT
Edit @Admins: I have seen some people in this forum promoting their own social media channels. At this point, I would like to advertise mine, but am I allowed to do so according to the forum rules?

You can add them in your signature, you have 50+ posts so now you can.
 

Eudaimonium

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Jun 8, 2017
135
138
Germany
Some truly dumb mistakes caused by "picking pennies in front of a steamroller", especially tied to investing and trading stocks. I had great results initially from a year of active trading and became jaded, too confident in my own abilities, losing sight of the risks. If a strategy relies on self-discipline / emotional control, you can lose in a week what took a year to build. It's a bit like reputation, which can take decades to build and seconds to destroy.

The lesson is to create systems to determine business/investment risk, instead of relying on your own good judgment. Neither is perfect, but only systems are consistent enough.
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.

Matte

New Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Nov 7, 2018
6
3
Italy
I spent 1 entire year trying to open a restaurant. Looking or the right place, fixing the place up, spent a lot of money.
Finally we opened in front of a big university, 4 months before the pandemic, and the university has been closed since... now i'm stuck with it.
Wasted 3 years of my life
 

Mathew Verble

Contributor
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Jun 6, 2018
25
29
Oh Gosh. A series of codependent terrible relationships that I chose over the last 6 years to attempt to make work because I felt I couldn't parent my kids alone.

After my divorce I had two young kids and no idea how to parent and work full time. Working even fuller time to support even larger families so that my kids could have a mother figure and I could have help seemed like my broken idea of my only option.

This feburary I will have been working and parenting all on my own for an entire year (with some help in before school time with my parents)

Every morning at 430am I pick up my sleeping kids put them in a car drive them to my mom's, drop them off asleep. Work ten hours. Get them after school, go home and do the parenting and get them to bed and have a few hours to myself before I crash out around midnight. And without a doubt the sense of autonomy of doing it without the begrudged codependent relationships fuels me to keep going.

The idea of breaking codependency in economic relationships fuels my after bed time hours and work break study sessions even further.

It's been pretty wonderful so far and I don't regret the lessons maybe just wish I learned them a little sooner.
 

Antifragile

Platinum Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Mar 15, 2018
1,351
3,403
Metaworld
Oh Gosh. A series of codependent terrible relationships that I chose over the last 6 years to attempt to make work because I felt I couldn't parent my kids alone.

After my divorce I had two young kids and no idea how to parent and work full time. Working even fuller time to support even larger families so that my kids could have a mother figure and I could have help seemed like my broken idea of my only option.

This feburary I will have been working and parenting all on my own for an entire year (with some help in before school time with my parents)

Every morning at 430am I pick up my sleeping kids put them in a car drive them to my mom's, drop them off asleep. Work ten hours. Get them after school, go home and do the parenting and get them to bed and have a few hours to myself before I crash out around midnight. And without a doubt the sense of autonomy of doing it without the begrudged codependent relationships fuels me to keep going.

The idea of breaking codependency in economic relationships fuels my after bed time hours and work break study sessions even further.

It's been pretty wonderful so far and I don't regret the lessons maybe just wish I learned them a little sooner.
Thanks for sharing.
this is a good place for supporting people make good financial decisions (build businesses). Your kids a lucky to have someone as hard working as you, it’ll pay off.
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.

spreng

Bronze Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Speedway Pass
Jul 1, 2019
105
141
I lost around 40k day trading 3 years ago. Still getting tax returns from it lmao
 

Mathew Verble

Contributor
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Jun 6, 2018
25
29
Thanks for sharing.
this is a good place for supporting people make good financial decisions (build businesses). Your kids a lucky to have someone as hard working as you, it’ll pay off.

Hell yeah it will. Just an entrepreneur currently working and raising kids.

If nothing else teaching them a little of the unscripted mindset feels like parenting victory.

And the success of finding this path again and limiting my restrictions to only necessity restrictions feels like asymmetric time and value gains already.
 

Ivan Koretskyy

New Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Oct 2, 2021
14
15
i earned 40k in trading for 2 months and lost 50k in trading in 1 week. Life can be a bitch sometimes.
 

Post New Topic

Please SEARCH before posting.
Please select the BEST category.

Post new topic

New Topics

Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

Must Read Books...

Explore books recommended by MJ DeMarco and other members of the Fastlane entrepreneurial community.
Fastlane Bookstore
Top