Valley First

Debt, budgeting mistakes dominate list of top money miscues

Simple adjustments can help Canadians stop playing the fool with their finances

March 29, 2015

Penticton, B.C.—April Fool’s Day may be a great day for fun and pranks, but mishandling your money any day of the year is no laughing matter. A poll of wealth advisors at Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union, recently revealed the biggest mistakes people are making with their money right now.

The survey found the top five foolish money mistakes are:

  1. Not having enough insurance
  2. Buying a home that’s too big or costly
  3. Making emotional decisions
  4. Carrying too much debt
  5. Not sticking to a budget

“I see many diligent people who have saved a nice little nest egg for retirement only to have it obliterated by an accident or illness,” says investment specialist Dominik Dlouhy.

This is a problem that can be fixed by a simple solution: getting the appropriate insurance. Many of us think we’re invincible but one accident can mean a reduction of income by 60 per cent, if not eliminate it altogether.

“Life insurance is important, but so is long-term disability and critical illness insurance, if not more so,” Dloughy says. “Chances are, you are more likely to get sick or have an accident that will leave you unable to work, if only for a limited time, than you are to die suddenly.”

He urges people to think about what they are going to live on if the unthinkable happens.

“Will your benefits through work cover your expenses or will you have to tap into your retirement savings or access credit to pay for your mortgage and your bills, all of which will have lasting negative consequences on your future finances,” he says.

Other money mistakes that people make, such as carrying too much debt or buying a home that’s too costly, can usually be fixed by making a budget.

“If you make a realistic spending plan and track your expenses you can easily see what you can and can’t afford, which will eliminate the problem of carrying a house with too big a mortgage and building up consumer debt.”

Knowing the mistakes you may be making is the best thing you can do to get your finances in order—and that’s no joke.

About Valley First

Valley First is a premier provider of banking, investment and insurance services for residents and businesses in the Okanagan, Similkameen and Thompson valleys. As a division of First West Credit Union, B.C.'s third-largest credit union with 54 branches and 38 insurance offices throughout the province, Valley First brings innovative products, an extensive branch network and local decision making to the banking experience. For more information on Valley First, visit

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