Nearly Half of U.S. Adults Have Made a Foolish Financial Mistake They Wish They Could Undo, Finds April Fool's Survey

Careless Spending, Not Using Coupons and Overdrawing Bank Account Top List of Most Foolish Mistakes

Mar 28, 2013, 07:00 ET from

WHITING, Ind., March 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Pranks will be played and jokes will be made in good fun this April Fool's Day, but foolish money mistakes are a more serious matter. A new survey reveals that nearly half (49 percent) of U.S. adults have made a foolish financial mistake that they wish they could undo. This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of from March 8thMarch 12th, 2013 among 2,216 U.S. adults ages 18 and older.

When it comes to the most foolish financial mistakes U.S. adults feel they have made, purchasing unnecessary items tops the list at 49 percent. A variety of other money missteps also made the list, including:

  • Not using coupons as much as I should – 28 percent
  • Overdrawing my bank/checking account – 24 percent
  • Only making minimum payments on credit card each month – 22 percent
  • Making late payments on credit cards - 20 percent
  • Making late payments on basic bills like insurance, utilities and rent – 18 percent
  • Loaning large sums of money to a friend or family member that wasn't paid back  – 17 percent
  • Not knowing what my credit score is – 14 percent
  • Not having adequate insurance coverage – 10 percent
  • Borrowing large sums of money from a friend or family member that I couldn't repay – 7 percent
  • Invested in the stock market – 6 percent
  • Co-signing on a loan that was defaulted – 5 percent
  • Bought a house – 4 percent

"Amid the hectic pace of everyday life, financial slipups are bound to happen," said Jackie Warrick, senior savings adviser at "What's most important is for consumers to be well-educated on money matters and prevent small mishaps from affecting their long-term financial health. Consumers are turning to a variety of resources, including mobile apps, financial professionals and social media sites to keep them in-the-know."

Warrick offers the following advice to those looking to avoid foolish financial mistakes:

  • Clip and click your way to savings – Not using coupons is like throwing away free money. Stay up to date on the latest coupons by checking out sites like for online coupon codes, grocery coupons and much more.
  • Cut back on extras – We all like to treat ourselves now and again, but unnecessary purchases and extraneous stuff typically create clutter in our lives, in addition to hurting our bank accounts. Avoid extra purchases and your wallet will thank you.
  • Seek out help – If you're unsure of how to fix a money mistake or just need some advice, there are endless helpful resources online and in your community. Don't be afraid to seek help if you need guidance.

Survey Methodology:
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Coupon Cabin from March 8th – 12th, 2013, among 2,116 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Allison Kaplan,  

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