March Madness of Top Personal Finance Mistakes – Championship

Finance Mistakes

The Final Four of top personal finance mistakes made by young professionals did not disappoint, as both match-ups come down to the wire. In the first match-up, the #1 Seed, Not Leveraging Your Most Valuable Asset – Time was upset in a stunning come from behind victory by the #5 seed, Not Having a Plan for Your Student Loans. In the second match-up of the Final Four doubleheader, the #2 seed, Living with No Budget managed to hold on in a nail-biter over Being Underinsured or Not Insured at All. The stage is officially set for next week’s championship that will highlight the #5 side and the proverbial new kid on the block, as well as the perennial powerhouse Living with No Budget.

Don’t forget to check-out the March Madness of Personal Finance Mistakes – Final Four and Quarterfinals match-ups if you haven’t already!

#5 Seed vs. #2 Seed

(2) Living with No Budget

Now that the #1 seed in the tourney has been knocked out, most experts have jumped onto the #2 seed bandwagon as their pick to win the tourney. The #2 seed and now out #1 seed are similar in a lot of ways as many experts believe that having a budget is critical to long-term financial success and ultimately allows young professionals to leverage their most valuable asset—their time. In last week’s match-up the #2 seed held off a the quick strike offense of Being Underinsured or Not Insured at All, which experts believe could get the nod as the biggest mistake in the pre-season polls for next year. Few would argue with the negative impact being underinsured can have on a young family. Enough with next year though. The #2 is heavily favored in next week’s match-up given the far-reaching benefits a budget can have on young professional’s finances. Few believe there is anything more fundamental to financial freedom than the awareness that comes with budgeting. It’s this powerful force that the #5 seed will need to overcome in next week’s match-up.

(5) Not Having a Plan for Your Student Loans

Nobody predicted the #5 seed to make it this far in the tourney, but when we look at the average college graduate it is really far less of a surprise. Forget retirement savings and buying a house, for virtually every college graduate entering into the workforce as a young professional, there is usually no more pressing issue that student loans. In fact, the average student loan amount more than $28,000 according to recent reports. Experts still agree that saving early and often is critical to long-term financial success for young professionals—and anyone for that matter—but ultimately experts believe the #5 seed was able to pull off the upset because you cannot begin to save if you don’t have a plan in place to tackle the biggest burning fire—student loans. It will be interesting to see how the #5 can handle the big lights in next week’s title game, as the issue of student loans was an afterthought just a decade ago when college was considerably cheaper. Throw in the fact that student loan regulations surrounding repayment plans and other aspects of loans are changing frequently and this underdog could take the cake next week in the big dance.

Don’t forget to check back next week to see which mistake will be crowned as the top personal finance mistake made by young professionals, as well a breakdown of tips on how to tackle the most pressing issue. Also, be sure to pick who you think will win for a chance to win a $10 Starbucks gift card.

To join in the fun, simply Tweet @talktolifewise with which mistake you think will win the tourney to be entered into a drawing. You can also email us your pick at All picks must be submitted by 3/28/2016.

About Matt Cosgriff, CFP(®)

Minneapolis Financial Planner | Intrapreneur | Young Professional | Millennial Guru | Tech Aficionado | Traveler | Food Lover | Minnesota Wild Fan | Movie Quoter | Follow on Twitter| LinkedIn

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