One of the most common and costly financial mistakes is buying a 4X4 vehicle. Whether it be a pickup or the increasingly popular SUV, unless a 4X4 is a necessary part of creating income, it is one the worst investments a person can make. 4X4s are significantly more expensive than other vehicles to buy, and they are also more expensive- sometimes much more expensive, to drive and maintain. Families can often save up to $10,000 or more- not including interest, on the purchase price of a vehicle if we can get past the 4X4 craving. But the savings don't stop there. In an era of high gas prices, the cost of driving a 4X4 compared to other vehicles can add up to several hundred dollars a month in fuel costs for an active family. This cost difference can make special occasions like family get-togethers and vacations a downer, because fuel costs can ruin the fun.
The other common and costly mistake many families make is purchasing a home we can't afford. This is often driven by good intentions. Most of us want our home to be a place of security and comfort for our family. This desire is often used as justification for purchasing a home that doesn't fit our budget. Although our intentions may be good, using these good intentions to justify buying a home we can't afford can actually make our families less comfortable by increasing financial stress levels and increasing time spent away from home to pay the bills.
In the end, whether it be 4X4s, homes or any number of other things that tempt us to spend more than we can afford, spending money we don't have robs us of our family's most valuable commodity- time spent together.