Biggest financial mistake/regret?

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by 2TxAgs, Aug 3, 2006.

  1. 2TxAgs

    2TxAgs DIS Veteran

    Jun 24, 2001
    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?

  2. Kellyscrapbooks

    Kellyscrapbooks DIS Veteran

    Feb 26, 2006
    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.
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  4. Anthony1971

    Anthony1971 DIS Veteran

    Mar 11, 2005
    Moving out of my Parnets house :lmao: (its been a few+++years)
  5. KirstenB

    KirstenB <font color=deeppink>Mom to "the nibbler"<br><font

    Aug 18, 1999
    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'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!
  6. sk!mom

    sk!mom DIS Veteran

    Dec 30, 2000
    As the mom of an adult child let me say, Good luck with that ;)
  7. disneysnowflake

    disneysnowflake DIS Veteran

    Feb 3, 2004
    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.
  8. Kay1

    Kay1 <font color=red>Check out Ricki's hidden Mickey!<b

    Aug 30, 1999
    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.


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

    punkin <font color=purple>Went through pain just to look

    Nov 28, 2001
    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?
  10. tinaluis

    tinaluis DIS Veteran

    Jul 14, 2000
    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. :(
  11. MissLiz

    MissLiz DIS Veteran

    Jul 21, 2006
    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.
  12. Caitsmama

    Caitsmama <font color=darkorchid>Closet Hannah Montana Fan!<

    Apr 13, 2006
    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.
  13. MScott1851

    MScott1851 <font color=font color=royalblue>Got a link for th

    Jun 7, 2002
    3,197 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.
  14. KelNottAt

    KelNottAt <a href="" targ

    Oct 29, 2002
    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.
  15. mrsbornkuntry

    mrsbornkuntry <font color=FF6666>I'm worried about raccoons<br><

    Jul 8, 2004
    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.
  16. pearlieq

    pearlieq <font color=green>They can sit & spin<br><font col

    Aug 3, 2004
    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!
  17. mousefanmichelle

    mousefanmichelle DIS Veteran

    Jun 29, 2006
    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.
  18. minkydog

    minkydog DIS Cast Member

    Dec 8, 2004
    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.
  19. ducklite

    ducklite <font color=teal>Take the Poly, it's fabulous!<br>

    Aug 17, 2000
    Not starting retirement savings earlier, and playing catch up for the past ten years because of it.

  20. travelbug

    travelbug DIS Veteran

    Mar 4, 2001
    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!
  21. disneysteve

    disneysteve DIS meet junkie

    Sep 29, 2002
    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.

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