Here's a fun article about stupid money moves with lots of contributions from readers along with tips for how to avoid common pitfalls.
Several posters cited bad decisions about vehicles: getting the wrong one, paying too much or incurring perfectly avoidable damage.
"CTBob1" bemoaned the day he leased a car, saying he "will never, ever, ever do that again."
"Maybe it makes sense for rich people who are very responsible and hardly ever drive, but for me it ended up costing me some serious $$$$. I went waaaaay over the allotted mileage and I didn't take the best care of the car. . . . I ended up throwing good money after bad and took out a loan to buy my car outright when the lease ended in order to avoid any fees." ...
- Buy for the long haul. People who buy cars and drive them for 10 years or more can save, over a lifetime, hundreds of thousands of dollars on vehicles compared with people who swap out their cars every five years. The savings compared with those who lease are even greater.
My stupidest money move (that I can remember) was selling my 1991 Ford Escort in 2000 for $500 because I had already bought a new car and just wanted the old one out of my driveway. The Escort had some engine trouble (a thrown piston or something) but was drivable and easily repaired, and it was probably worth a few thousand dollars. Dumb!
What's the biggest money mistake you've made?