The $3.3 million dollar mistake the average person is making:
Bottom Line: Opportunity cost of money is the most important conversation that's almost never had with regard to spending, saving or investing. It's a simple concept. What's the best use of your available resources possible and what's the trade off for making decisions that aren't consistent with the best use of your resources. Even if that sounds opaque it isn't. It's crystal clear actually.
The greatest wealth creation machine in the history of the world is the United States stock market. Posting an average rate of return of 10.1% historically. That's the best use possible over the long term. You can weigh that against whatever other decisions you're making with it generally. Now that's not to say that you should mindlessly invest everything you can without consideration/pragmatism. For example it's better to buy a home than to rent and make payments to someone else in perpetuity (owning your home debt free is my first rule of retirement). All of this being said NerdWallet produced the best opportunity cost information I've read outside of my own material.
You might be familiar with my "millionaire plan". It's the plan that demonstrates that the average person, earning average money - can be a millionaire within 25 years. It's simply $1,000 per month invested in an S&P 500 fund. NerdWallet just calculated the lifetime opportunity cost of Millennials not investing in stocks and opting for non-risk savings instead. For the average Millennial it's a staggering $3.3 million. It's a great life lesson. The stock market is viewed as risky due to misinformation by some. As was demonstrated by NerdWallet - the biggest risk of all is not participating.