PDA

View Full Version : Biggest financial mistake/regret?


2TxAgs
08-03-2006, 10:58 AM
Yesterday an old co-worker called. His last son is starting college in a couple of weeks. He says that he and his wife are celebrating because they just paid their last installment of their state's tuition plan. So before the kid starts, his 4 yrs of tuition are paid off!

How I wish I'd joined our state's plan! I hemmed and hawwed about whether or not to join, and on the last day it was open, I decided I should do it, but I didn't get the paperwork filled out by the deadline.

I think that decision will go down as my biggest financial regret. Yes, we are saving via a 529, but with the rate of increases in college tuition, that guaranteed plan would have been a real deal.

What is your biggest financial mistake/regret?

TxAg

Kellyscrapbooks
08-03-2006, 11:03 AM
My biggest financial mistake/regret was not fully understanding how important my credit score was when I was younger. It took YEARS to repair those stupid "kid" mistakes and I'm just now where I should have been years ago. <sigh> I'll make sure my kids don't ever make those mistakes.

Anthony1971
08-03-2006, 11:04 AM
Moving out of my Parnets house :lmao: (its been a few+++years)

KirstenB
08-03-2006, 11:28 AM
Running up credit cards when I was young. When I graduated from college, I owed $10000 on credit cards. DH and I had dated since high school, and got married right after college. He has always been much better with money than me.
He laid it on the line and told me how many years it would take to pay off making minimum payments. Then he said instead he planned on paying $400.00 a month (a huge sum of money for a combined income of $32000) for the next 2 years. I have never forgotten how miserable I was during that time...feeling guilty and poor, yuck! I have never had issues with spending again, and it's been 18 years. I feel like I'm at an AA meeting....it's been 18 years 3 mths and 4 days without a drop of credit spending, lol!
There's no one more obnoxious than a former spender!

sk!mom
08-03-2006, 11:32 AM
<sigh> I'll make sure my kids don't ever make those mistakes.

As the mom of an adult child let me say, Good luck with that ;)

disneysnowflake
08-03-2006, 11:57 AM
I can't think of anything for myself except maybe saving earlier for retirement.

I'll tell you a sad story about a relative of mine.

She called me last week hinting she needed help paying her 6 month car insurance premiums. I told her no.

In 2000 she got a second mortgage to pay off $20,000 in credit card debt.

In 2003 she racked up over $28,000 in credit card debt again. Once again they got a loan and paid it off.

Now it's 2006. She now owes over $40,000 in credit card debt.

What was charged on the cards? Stuff for her 2 high school girls.

Those girls get high priced clothing, hair coloring/styling, manicures, tanning, teeth whitening, cell phones, etc.

The girls are spoiled and think they are the queens of the school. They think nothing of telling other kids to their face how gross they are. They make fun of everyone and don't care who hears. They go shopping for new clothes every single week and it gets charged. When they go shopping they have to take friends and have to go out to eat. That gets charged. On it goes.

Both parents work full time. The dad even has a weekend job. They make about 60K a year together and are barely staying afloat.

They have never been on vacation. Even after payday there is barely enough money to buy food. They have mortgage, loan payments, utilities, gasoline, car payment, medical, and then those credit card payments.

At Christmas they only had one credit card that wasn't maxed out. For Christmas she went to this one clothing store that she had a $70 limit left on. She found a fake stone statue of a frog and gave it to her parents because that was the only thing at the clothing store she could find to charge.

I suggested 6 years ago that she do credit couseling. No, because they'd cut up her cards.

She says she barely sleeps anymore worrying about how she's going to pay all her bills. The girls are going to go to college next year. She has no idea how to pay for it.

So... don't use credit cards unless you really need to. It's not so great to owe $40,000 for things you no longer own.

Kay1
08-03-2006, 12:19 PM
Ugh! What an awful story, DisneySnowflake. You are wise to keep your wallet closed around that relative.

My biggest regret is not reigning in spending more when the stock market started to crash and Alan Greenspan began cutting interest rates like a madman. I make all my income from investments and it kills me that I lost some money.

:furious:

Now, when I see something negative coming around the bend, I go into instant defensive mode.

punkin
08-03-2006, 12:24 PM
Not saving for retirement earlier. My DH inherited $5000 when he was 25 or so. If I had just put that money into retirement savings instead of blowing it, can you imagine hat it would be worth now?

tinaluis
08-03-2006, 12:33 PM
My regret is not saving all the $$$ DH made while working becuase now he's a SAHD and we're "making it" on my salary alone. We saved some while he was working, but when I think about how much we "blew" it makes my stomach turn. :(

MissLiz
08-03-2006, 01:04 PM
Student Loans!!!!

When I went to college, my parents didn't have anything saved up and I didn't have anything saved up, so I got student loans.

By the time I was finished, I was getting the maximum student loan every year even when I had a little money to pay for school from summer jobs, etc.

I am still working to pay them off and it's just a headache.

We have already started saving for my DD4's college because I don't want her to have to do the same thing I did.

Caitsmama
08-03-2006, 01:09 PM
My regret is probably the same as many others.. I wish i would have known about the "danger" of CC 's alot sooner. I was too young to have a cc, and was stupid in using it!! Now, neither me or my dh use cc's at all.

Oh, and when we bought our house, my regret about that one is: taking out an equity loan right away to fix / moderize things that really could have waited til we outright had the money.. Then we would have owed alot less on my morgage.

MScott1851
08-03-2006, 01:10 PM
Well...as a couple: Not putting a bigger down payment on our house. We didn't want to decimate our savings, but now I see we could have easily afforded it.

Personally: Living off my credit card my second semester of nursing school (when it was impossible for me to work). Took me FOREVER to pay that sucker off. I don't know why I even used it. I had a full scholarship, including housing, and my parents paid my car payment and insurance plus gave me $75 per week for food/gas. I just liked to shop and party and take road trips.

KelNottAt
08-03-2006, 01:16 PM
In 2002 DH and I had had it up to here with being landlords. So we sold our one and only rental property for $130,000. Last year, at the height of the real estate boom, those same townhouses were going for $250,000.

Oh, we still made a little money on the 2002 sale. (That's how we got our DVC. :cool1: ) But I nearly :faint: every time I think about what we could have if we held on to the property for another 3 years.

Oh well. Easy come, easy go. Live and learn.

mrsbornkuntry
08-03-2006, 01:26 PM
I have two. My first one is the same as previous posters, I wish I had known about the dangers of cc debt sooner.

The second is that I regret not listening to my Dh when we were making some major purchases such as furniture and pans. He always suggests that we pay more for higher quality, but in my cheapskate-ness I balked alot and we have ended up paying more in the long run to replace the things we bought when they broke. I have learned my lesson and took his advice last year when we had to replace some pans and my clothes dryer.

pearlieq
08-03-2006, 01:30 PM
Spending all of the money I had (and plenty I didn't!) before I turned 20 or so.

I worked from 14 on, but had nothing to show for it but a bad car and plenty of junk. If I'd saved, or even invested, all of that money I'd have been in a much better position when I was younger!

mousefanmichelle
08-03-2006, 01:38 PM
Getting a home equity loan to consolidate cc's is our biggest mistake - EVER! Problem is now that the cc's were "paid off" we used them again and the vicious cycle started all over again. Here we are with cc debt again. I have been reading these boards and going everywhere I can to learn how to budget and reduce debt. I have never been a budget-er - actually I just pay the bills and buy the groceries etc. there goes the money - quicker than you can say b-o-o. I am trying to change our ways to make life eaiser in the future. Sure is hard to change those ways tho...It stinks when you both work full-time and make good wages and all you are doing is exisiting. I am tired of that life so I am going to change it -starting now.

minkydog
08-03-2006, 01:42 PM
Credit card debt :sad2: We are in a position of being able to pay our way our of debt now, at great sacrifice, and once we are out of debt I will never have debt again.

ducklite
08-03-2006, 01:45 PM
Not starting retirement savings earlier, and playing catch up for the past ten years because of it.

Anne

travelbug
08-03-2006, 02:02 PM
My biggest regret is not grasping the tremendous power of compound interest, and letting those precious early years go by before I started any retirement investing. Even when I was earning very, very little, I think I could have squeezed even a few dollars out of each paycheck to start investing. I am in a very good pension program, but recognize the importance of building retirement accounts outside of the pension. Wish I'd started investing when I got my very first paycheck!

disneysteve
08-03-2006, 02:03 PM
Mine actually ended up turning out ok, but I didn't know it at the time.

My biggest mistake was being talked into buying life insurance as an investment when I was young and naive. When I could have gotten dirt cheap term coverage, a salesperson sold me a universal life policy. It was much more costly, but she explained how it would build cash value and we could use that money to buy a house or for retirement or whatever.

After having the policy for a couple of years, and learning a lot about finance in the meantime, I cancelled the policy paying a substantial surrender charge, but I was glad to be out of it.

The good part is that the company was later sued in a class action case for misrepresenting the policies as investment products. I received a settlement in the case that pretty much refunded the money I had paid in while I had the policy.

Moral of the story is to keep your insurance and investments seperate.

vellamint
08-03-2006, 02:22 PM
I have three....

Not waiting longer to have our first child thereby increasing our downpayment on the house. We put down 20% but if we had waited another year or two we could have put down over 50%.

Dormer said house in order to give the kids and ourselves more bedroom space.......sure it has GREATLY appreciated the value of our home BUT our taxes are skyhigh and the tax abatement will be over soon. Should have realized that it was a lot less costly to hire a mothers helper to get them out of my hair and away from each other!! (Thats a joke people!!) (kind of...)

Doing too much too fast when we first bought the house (again the house - do you see a pattern here). We rushed into doing the kitchen because my loving brother offered to do it a housewarming gift. Well never have friends and relatives do ANYTHING for you is my motto now and we have since redone it 3 times (yes you heard that right - 3 times in 16 years) before we finally got it right. That kitchen and a few other things were rushed into and now I see we should have sat back and waited a few years to really understand what can be done "cheaply" and what cant. AND sometimes you really dont know what you want until you live in a home for awhile.

MrsPete
08-03-2006, 02:31 PM
Financial regrets? Other aspects of my life, sure, I can come up with regrets, but I don't have a lot here!

I guess the worst financial decision I've made was NOT refinancing our starter house. We bought it at 8.25% interest; when we'd been there 7-8 years, rates dropped. We talked about refinancing, but decided not to go to the trouble -- after all, we planned to move within a year, and we thought it wouldn't be worth the trouble and the cost. We stayed there almost 11 years. If we'd been more realistic about how long we were going to stay in that house, we'd have known it would've been worthwhile to refinance.

karynnix
08-03-2006, 02:43 PM
cashing in 401K...twice. It was quick money, but just about killed us at tax time. What were we thinking?? Now we are in our 30's and JUST NOW getting started saving for retirement. Stupid, stupid, stupid... :sad2:

NeverlandClub23
08-03-2006, 02:59 PM
Oh Lord, I have SO many. And I'm still learning. My biggest one (but thankfully didn't blow up in my face) was taking out a loan for my boyfriend (now ex of many years) so he could get a boat and make the payments to me. After we broke up I went through heck trying to get him to pay and getting him to get his own loan. I was miserable for about a year and was paying for many of the payments myself and the insurance which was $800 a year (he still had the boat). Luckily when he got the loan he was also trying to win me back at the same time and ended up repaying all of the money I had spent while he still had the boat in his posession, but I knew better than to get sucked in the second time (I just wanted the money). Also, I would LOVE to have all of the money I've wasted on ex boyfriends. I would be rich!

But I haven't done any damage to my credit score, as being in a financial family, I've always known how important money, my credit score, and having a secure and stable future is.

DVC Sadie
08-03-2006, 03:12 PM
I have made plenty of mistakes along the way and I think everyone does to a certain degree. I think all of us can sit back and look at things we could have done differently.

One that stands out for me is selling waterfront property a year or two too soon. If we had not sold it at that time and had waited we would have made so much more.

EthansMom
08-03-2006, 03:41 PM
About 5 years ago, DH was becoming disenchanted with his job/employer and started thinking about changing companies. He had a distant relative in a similar field with whom he discussed his feelings and that relative "sold" DH on the idea of moving to the other side of the country to work for his small business. The job was not what DH had been told it would be, he never got the "ownership" in the company he had been verbally promised, and toward the end of his contract, DH was depressed and demoralized.

Had DH found a different job near to our first home, we would have gained $200k in equity in 2 years (hindsight is 20/20) and we would have stayed in an area we loved.

On the plus side, DH and I made certain that he had a written contract and he got "almost" everything guaranteed in that contract. I have no doubt that we would be in a much worse position if we had not gotten the necessities in writing (moving expense reimbursement, salary, vacation days, etc.). Also, DH was able to get a new job (back across the U.S.) with an employer that treats him well.

Lesson learned: If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Also, don't make decisions based on verbal promises.

arminnie
08-03-2006, 03:45 PM
A couple of people have mentioned selling too soon. Mine was selling too late.

Instead of sort of breaking even (except for the selling costs) I kept holding out for a better price in a cascading real estate market and ended up not only losing all of my down payment but owing over $45,000 at the closing. And that was just one of three houses. One I sold for $15,000 under the loan and another for $85,000 UNDER the loan amount.

I swore I would never buy again, but fortunately I did eventually buy five years later (for once at the bottom of a market not the top) and made a substantial profit on that property.

I still don't believe in having an investment that you have to "feed". It may not be possible to just hold on when you have $500-$1000 a month negative cash flow per property that you can't even live in. All of my properties were houses that I had lived in, when I was transferred I just never sold anything.

My motto - for every boom there is a bust (and the reverse).

lnh'smom
08-03-2006, 03:59 PM
I think our biggest financial mistake was not saving money when we were first married. We didn't charge on credit cards or anything we just spent what we earned on eating out all the time, trips, movies, DVD's etc. Our attitude was, we can do what we want since we don't have kids yet. It makes me sick to think how much money we wasted on nothing. :guilty:

Chicago526
08-03-2006, 04:14 PM
I don't really have any, but DH does. Just before we met (like the week before we met!) he traded in his old truck for his current truck. Nothing wrong with it, he just wanted a new one. He was upside down in the loan on the old truck, so they rolled that into the new loan. Now he has a $440 a month payment for 6 years (4 years still left!) on this truck, which is now worth less than the outstanding loan because of all the miles he puts on it (he has a very long commute) and no longer has a warrenty, so we need to pay money for upkeep, too.

Had I met him before he did the trade in, I would have talked him out of it. He tells me it's my fault, I should have met him sooner! :rolleyes:

nuzmom
08-03-2006, 04:28 PM
Regret 1 - not saving more money when I was working and making big money.

Regret 2 - never learning how to live with a budget (still working on that one)

Regret 3 - having a mortgage payment based on 2 incomes. We built our house on family property. I designed the house from scratch (I had experience doing so). My DH and I did a lot of the work and we are very emotionally attached to the home. We LOVE our home, HOWEVER, I HATE the payment. It's not so much the mortgage as it is the taxes!!!!!! Ugggh.

momof3littlelilos
08-03-2006, 04:30 PM
Mine was a domino effect mistake. I "took time off" from college at 19.
When I finally went back I was 24 and a single mom, which led to me taking out more of the student loans I was offered than I would have otherwise. My son got sick, I took a semester off here and there and at 38 am still a semester short of a B.A.
So, I'm in debt and not real employable...thankfully I have this SAHM thing as a cover ;)

My stepdaughter is currently "taking time off" from college, and I worry that this is going to mess things up for her like it did for me. Oh well, It's a drag when your kids "know" more than you do! :lmao:

missj1975
08-03-2006, 05:30 PM
]Also, I would LOVE to have all of the money I've wasted on ex boyfriends. I would be rich!

I can totally relate. Apparently I was a magnet for losers who couldn't keep jobs. But I have learned from my mistakes. Now I just enjoy being single and spending all my money on Me!Me!Me!

mt2
08-03-2006, 05:48 PM
Not buying an AP to Disneyland when I lived in LA for 7 months. I went once a month while I was there never knowing about an "AP". I learned about them after I finished school and moved back to TX. :thumbsup2

I guess it was good though because I wouldn't have studied on the other 3 weekends. :lmao:

runwad
08-03-2006, 10:55 PM
Ok you won't really appreciate this since you don't personally know my DH but he is financially illiterate but when we married he wanted to take all the money we made on our wedding and buy my companies stock which at the time was 5 bucks a share...well I had learned you never put your eggs in one basket and veto'd that, well what do you know 2 years later that stock was at $32/share, we could've made a cool 50 grand, I've never heard the end of it...so remembering that debacle a few years ago he tells me to buy Sirius stock because of Howard Stern going there and it's going to make a lot of money so I thought I better cause last time I didnt and look what happened.... so I bought some at 7 bucks share, you know what it is now??? Somewhere close to 4 :confused3 Stick with mutual and index funds people!!!

Disney Doll
08-03-2006, 11:28 PM
Not starting to save for retirement sooner.

Spending a lot of money for about 5 years in our mid-30's trying to have a baby, which was unsuccessful. Of course, if it had been successful, I'd have thought it was the best $$ I ever spent!

TEK224
08-04-2006, 12:18 AM
I'm with those that should have been warned about cc debt. Travelling is my weakness. I'd just charge it, have a good time and worry about paying for it later.

I'm much better now, but still have to catch myself sometimes.

stemikger
08-04-2006, 12:31 AM
Everything I know about money I learned from making mistakes. The first one is buying life insurance as an investment.

The second is taking out a 30 year mortgage instead of a 15. I would have been almost done paying if I took out a 15.

The third is walking away from a business without selling any of the equipment. That was a big one. I probably walked away from about $40,000.

But no sense living life with regrets. The positive side of all this is the knowledge I have gained.

That is why when I meet someone in their 20s. I try really hard to convince them to start investing their money. I wish someone told me that stuff when I was younger. I'm 42 now and I have become the official money expert to my family. Most of them are older then me and they still don't get it. So I consider myself lucky that even with all the mistakes I am at a good place now.

HugsForEeyore
08-04-2006, 12:53 AM
My hugest regret was not using savings to improve my appearance when I was younger, which I think hampered how I presented myself, which therefore affected how employable I was. I had a very poor smile due to palate/teeth issues, which my parents refused to pay to correct when I was young. I truly believe my poor appearance negatively affected how interviewers perceived me, and I had a hard time advancing in a career. I finally wised up at age 33 and used up almost all my savings for surgery/orthodontics to fix my mouth. And I am hoping it will pay off - now I have a part-time job in a new field, but I am still looking for the full time benefits job (but my appearance is far better so I am very hopeful :) ). But I feel I would have advanced in a career FAR sooner if I were more presentable. MANY wasted years there, floundering in sub-par jobs. :(

Appearances matter incredibly - wish I woke up on that WAY before my 30's. :(

deide71
08-04-2006, 01:34 AM
Oooooh, mine's easy.

My husband was employed by a telecom company in the mid 90's through 2004. He was good about putting 10% of his income into his 401k with a 4% employer match, he wasn't so good about diversifing. He put the bulk of it into his employer's stock, since that had the best return. You can see where this is going...At one point in 1999 he had 70,000 in his 401k, of course the stock started on a free fall, but we never changed our allocation. Today that account is 35,000.

Live and learn.

stemikger
08-04-2006, 04:39 AM
Originally posted by dide71
My husband was employed by a telecom company in the mid 90's through 2004. He was good about putting 10% of his income into his 401k with a 4% employer match, he wasn't so good about diversifing. He put the bulk of it into his employer's stock, since that had the best return. You can see where this is going...At one point in 1999 he had 70,000 in his 401k, of course the stock started on a free fall, but we never changed our allocation. Today that account is 35,000.

Ouch. It could be worse I saw a couple on Oprah who had a million in Enron Stock. They were in their mid thirties and had their eye on early retiement. Well you know what happened to their million.

JoiseyMom
08-04-2006, 07:54 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kellyscrapbooks
<sigh> I'll make sure my kids don't ever make those mistakes.


As the mom of an adult child let me say, Good luck with that ;)


It really isn't that difficult. I have 2 sons in their early 20's. I got them both credit cards for college, and I co-signed them. They learned by example that mom and dad paid their credit cards off every month, and not to put anything on it you can't pay off. Both of my sons now have their own credit cards, and they pay them off in full. They see their friends though buried in credit card debt. They are both financially responsible. One that just moved out and got his own apartment, hasn't gotten cable or internet yet, because he is going out of town for 3 weeks.

So, it can be done.

StephMK
08-04-2006, 08:51 AM
Oooooh, mine's easy.

My husband was employed by a telecom company in the mid 90's through 2004. He was good about putting 10% of his income into his 401k with a 4% employer match, he wasn't so good about diversifing. He put the bulk of it into his employer's stock, since that had the best return. You can see where this is going...At one point in 1999 he had 70,000 in his 401k, of course the stock started on a free fall, but we never changed our allocation. Today that account is 35,000.

Live and learn.

Oh yeah, I hadn't thought about that as one of ours but we did the exact same thing. :sad2: Besides stupid spending when we were younger, we have some financial mistakes that are more hindsight related. If we'd kept our condo 2 more years, we would have been able to sell for $100K+ more. LIkewise, if we'd gone ahead to be house poor when we purchased in 1999 instead of buying a townhouse instead, we'd be living in a great house now. We did well w/our townhouse equity but single family really skyrocketed & we would have been able to trade up. As it was, we did trade up but it's to a small, outdated SF. Maybe a blessing since it's pretty cheap to run though.

My most recent was forgetting to send in a rebate form before the deadline. :furious: Just stupid on my part!!

PolyHereWeCome
08-04-2006, 09:33 AM
My most recent was forgetting to send in a rebate form before the deadline. :furious: Just stupid on my part!!
Oh, I am so there with you on this! Don't beat yourself up, I'm sure you don't miss them often, so pat yourself on the back for all you have saved.

No real regrets, did the best I could with the information I had along the years, but sure did waste a lot of money paying rent when I was single. Didn't realize I'd stay there as long as I did (8 years) and it was pricey -- Could have bought a little house or condo for what I dropped on rent.

LisaNJ25
08-04-2006, 09:35 AM
Not buying a house 7-9 years ago when the market was alot lower, we only had 1 child and I had a good ft job.

There is no way we could afford a house in this state now.

disneysteve
08-04-2006, 09:37 AM
I know hindsight is 20/20, but to all of you who say your biggest mistake was selling too soon, I don't count those things as mistakes because there is no way you could have known at the time what would happen. You sell when you need to sell.

I think a mistake is when you do something and should have known better or didn't do your homework first or got good advice and didn't follow it. So don't beat yourselves up about selling for a good price at the time and making a decent profit just because you could have made more if you waited. You couldn't possibly have known that so it wasn't a mistake. It was the best decision you could make with the information you had available.

disneysteve
08-04-2006, 09:39 AM
My most recent was forgetting to send in a rebate form before the deadline. :furious: Just stupid on my part!!
I did that last year when I bought my laptop. There were 6 or 8 different rebates between the computer, the printer the wireless router, etc. I got a few of them in but missed two of the largest ones. I wasn't happy but it was my own darn fault.

sk!mom
08-04-2006, 11:10 AM
I did that last year when I bought my laptop. There were 6 or 8 different rebates between the computer, the printer the wireless router, etc. I got a few of them in but missed two of the largest ones. I wasn't happy but it was my own darn fault.

I absolutely hate rebates! I have said that after my experience this summer trying to get a rebate for a JVC car stereo purchased from Circuit City that I will not buy anything else based on the rebate. It almost feels like a scam. They advertise the price after rebates and then sometimes make it very difficult to get the rebate. Of course they do this because so many of us forget or make a mistake and then they sold it at the regular price.

The JVC rebate was to be in the form of a cash card. I sent in all paper work to receive the rebate and then was to be notified by email with an activation code for the card. When they sent the email they required that I supply my birthdate and SS# to complete the rebate. I can't imagine why they would need this info and have let my complaints be known to both companies.

Back on original topic:
Biggest financial mistake- loaning money many years ago to a family member. When they did not pay it back as promised it created a very difficult situation. Never again and I have been asked.

sk!mom
08-04-2006, 11:41 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kellyscrapbooks
<sigh> I'll make sure my kids don't ever make those mistakes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sk!mom
As the mom of an adult child let me say, Good luck with that


It really isn't that difficult. I have 2 sons in their early 20's. I got them both credit cards for college, and I co-signed them. They learned by example that mom and dad paid their credit cards off every month, and not to put anything on it you can't pay off. Both of my sons now have their own credit cards, and they pay them off in full. They see their friends though buried in credit card debt. They are both financially responsible. One that just moved out and got his own apartment, hasn't gotten cable or internet yet, because he is going out of town for 3 weeks.

So, it can be done.

I completely agree that it isn't hard to teach your children to be financially responsible. My "Good Luck with that " comment was in reference to "I'll make sure my kids don't ever make those mistakes." Despite all of the teaching that parents do, adult children make their own decisions and I personally know many parents of adult children (myself included) who shake their heads at some of those decisions.

If your sons have taken all your training and advice to heart and made no financial mistakes, then kudos to you and may you always be so blessed.

disneysteve
08-04-2006, 11:52 AM
They advertise the price after rebates and then sometimes make it very difficult to get the rebate.
At least in my case, they didn't make it tough to get the rebate. I just neglected to do it in time.

One thing I hate is when the rebate is in the form of a Visa debit card - Cingular does this. I hate those because most of the time the store cashiers don't seem to know how to process them. I'd much rather get a check.

NeverlandClub23
08-04-2006, 11:55 AM
I completely agree that it isn't hard to teach your children to be financially responsible. My "Good Luck with that " comment was in reference to "I'll make sure my kids don't ever make those mistakes." Despite all of the teaching that parents do, adult children make their own decisions and I personally know many parents of adult children (myself included) who shake their heads at some of those decisions.

If your sons have taken all your training and advice to heart and made no financial mistakes, then kudos to you and may you always be so blessed.

I agree. My parents were VERY financially responsible and co-signed on both of my brother and my credit cards when we were younger. They made it look easy. We both buried ourselves in debt (but no late/missed payments or high APR's, just alot of debt for young adults to have). My parents paid off of their cards every month, are very financially stable, and my mom is an accountant and tried her best to show us that you can't always just go charge anything you want. We, of course, thought our parents didn't know what they were talking about and didn't realize how quickly all of those little charges add up. My parents limited our credit line availabilty on the cards they co-signed on but we both opened up cards in just our names, that my parents had no control over. A few years went by and we started realizing the impact of all of that debt. I have dug myself out completely and my brother (27) is still doing the same. I'm glad that's a lesson I learned early in life instead of later. Some kids take in the responsibilities and consequences of having debt from watching their parents and some have to make that mistake themselves, no matter how hard you try to teach them.

vellamint
08-04-2006, 10:47 PM
At least in my case, they didn't make it tough to get the rebate. I just neglected to do it in time.

One thing I hate is when the rebate is in the form of a Visa debit card - Cingular does this. I hate those because most of the time the store cashiers don't seem to know how to process them. I'd much rather get a check.


AH - Cingular....yes I was supposed to get two $30 rebates back but could have SWORN they said it would be mailed to me separately 3 weeks after I received the phone only to find 6 weeks later that the rebates came IN the welcome kit that came with the phone. I only opened up one welcome kit (we had gotten three phones) and that particular phone did not have a rebate associated with it.

BOY was I MAD at myself!!! Even if it was only a Visa Debit Card (which I DID NOT KNOW until I read these boards - which was what made me go look into the welcome kit 6 weeks later).

SarahKate
08-05-2006, 12:26 AM
Credit cards, for SURE.

My mother (God rest her soul, she passed away 3 years ago) thought it was a good idea to give me my own credit card when I was about 18. No education on using it, nothing on budgeting. It was an AMEX and had to be paid off every month. Needless to say, I got in over my head and couldn't pay it off every month. Then I got JC Penney, Famous, Lerner, you name it I had it.

I ended up with several thousand in cc debt. I went thru Consumer Credit Counseling and they set up a plan for me, which I successfully completed (I HIGHLY recommend this organization - there are a lot of shady places out there now, but this one is truly non profit and there to help you, not rip you off).

Fast forward a few more years (to around 1999), planning a wedding, honeymoon, etc. Started using a credit card again. So now in 2006 we have about 12k in cc debt. We are doing much better and very rarely use them except for emergencies - and all the balances are transferred to a brand new Capitol One account for 2.99 for life (drops down to 1.99 after a year!).

The other thing I regret is retirement. I still do not have one set up. All I have to do is walk down to HR and do it (and HR is in MY building!) but have I done it? Nope!

We are making baby steps though - getting the debt paid down, getting money into savings.

sbpuckett
08-05-2006, 12:35 AM
Wow! I don't even know where to start... in the 10 years I've been married I've made quite a few. Let's see... how about the usual credit card debt. I didn't have any real debt until I got married and my DH started charging everything. His family never had any money (mine didn't either for that matter) so he had no idea how to act when he started getting a real paycheck. We didn't save anything and still have no savings at this point. Then, after my father passed I used my inheritance to buy my DH his dream car (an 80's model Camaro) and we bought our first home without a down payment and a step-rate loan rate (gotta love the military benefits). Then my DH decided to leave the military to work for my uncle with a promise of a very nice salary... yeah, we all know how that worked out. We went without his paycheck for 4 months before we got smart and he found a paying job. Hmmm... then let's add refinancing to pay off the credit card debt and various other debts we had accrued by this point. Then... yes, there's more... we ended up filing bankruptcy a couple of years ago and are slowly building ourselves back up. Our credit still sucks but we aren't in any real debt except for some medical bills I owe due to a car accident I was in last year. I had no medical insurance (everyone but me had it) and the guy who hit me didn't have sufficient insurance to cover all of my bills. Sooo... my lessons learned:

1. I do not need numberous credit cards with enormous credit limits.
2. Never buy a house without a down payment.
3. Credit scores are very very very important
4. Never work for family or friends.
5. Life happens...

I finally got health insurance this past spring and am trying to pay off the rest of my medical bills so that we can start putting money into savings, retirement funds, college funds, and a down payment for a house.

Oh yeah, when I left teaching I received a letter from the state about my 401K. It didn't say how much I had accrued but wanted to know whether I wanted to roll it or cash it out. Thinking I shouldn't have much in there (I had only taught for the system for 4 years) I decided to cash it out for help with moving expenses (we were moving back here at the time). Imagine my surprise when the $5000 check came... I knew tax time was going to be ugly but we also really needed the money to get the utilities turned on and to make ends meet until my DH got his first paycheck. Next time I'll ask...

jay-nee
08-05-2006, 08:30 AM
(1) Getting married to a spender! FYI, divorced now. :cool1:
(2) Putting all my 401K $ into company stock - diversified now. :confused3
(3) doing a huge addition to our house that ex-H had to have - selling house now to move to small condo :rolleyes:
(4) buying a car with 6 yr financing - what the HECK? - only 1+ yr left though :furious:
(5) CC debt - paid off recently, but had to pay for car repairs and DS15 medications because ex-H lost job and didn't have med insurance :furious: :furious: :furious:
(6) having too many pets - sometimes our vet bills would be bigger than our house payment for months on end - now we only have a dog, a cat, 2 pet rats, and a pony (who might have a new home today - pray for us that this is "the" home for her...). :blush:

Honestly, if #1 hadn't ocurred, probably only #2 would have been an issue, but who knows... I am also the product of parents who never talked about money with their kids. Yep, my siblings are both in trouble money-wise. :sad2: Please talk to your kids about how much stuff costs, planning for expenditures, paying cash as much as possible, and saving for later in life (you know, delayed gratification - can you imagine that?).

Now...present day...very small CC debt, paying bills on time (early if CS paid on time), small EF in place, etc --- yep, I'm getting there...even as a single mom of 2 working only PT so that I can homeschool. It can be done people, but it's hard, really hard... :snail: