What's your biggest financial mistake?

Avatar for donovansmommy2000
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
What's your biggest financial mistake?
19
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 10:26am
Just wanted to get the board moving! What's your biggest financial mistake? And what did you learn from it??

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Avatar for zaboz
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 04-09-2003 - 11:40am
My biggest mistake (trust me, there are lots to choose from) is not learning

how to save. Do you ever get your Social Security statements (showing how much you've earned in your lifetime) and just shake your head?

And then I realize, not only do I NOT have savings,

I'm actually in debt. So I've spent all of it and more. If I just would have put

away 10% of every single check, I'd have a very nice savings account. Instead,

I'm struggling to pay off the debt that I don't even remember spending.

What I learned is that from now on, I'm going to live below my means. Saving is going

to be a priority, especially once I'm done with my debt. But even now, I have to get

in the habit of putting something away every single check. I wish someone had stressed that to me when I was younger.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Tue, 04-08-2003 - 4:49pm
That's a great question - hopefully others' mistakes will help people learn!

My biggest regret is taking a 100% commission job 2 1/2 years ago and failing at it. I actually turned down a job that paid $28,000 per year because I found that insulting since I had a Master's degree. Instead, I took the 100% commission with a big earning potential, not considering the fact that I would be good at some parts of the job and not great at the most imperative part: sales/solicitation!! I tell ya, I would much rather have made "only" $28K than the about $5K that I made the first year! And with dh in school, that's not much, I look back and have no idea how we survived!

Our "rock bottom" was charging groceries, gas, even our rent one time! That sucked! Also, because we didn't want to deal with it, we didn't assess our situation and think about where we stood and what we should do, etc. I think when we moved here, dh started school, etc., we may have had 3-5K on CCs. After my "non-paying" job, when I changed to another (steadily-paying) job, I evaluated everything and we had about $24,000 in CC debt. About a year later (now), we have more like $17,500. Not as much of a chunk gone as I would like, but dh is still in school and we did have to put a few things on there in the meantime (emergencies, not frivolities).

Overall, although I would have preferred that all of this didn't happen, I definitely learned a lot, I have a plan to get rid of it, and I'm not longer afraid to look at it - rather, "excited" (or as excited as one can get about this type of thing) about watching it go down. I am also grateful for the experience in that I have learned to live on very little, and I will be grateful in the future for what we have and won't take things for granted. I think that if we had started out and both had well-paying jobs, had a house, etc., and never had much to worry about financially, we might just be used to spending that much, maybe still get into CC debt, and have the mindset that we couldn't save much, etc. Now we know when we get to that point, that we'll be able to do it all when everything is paid off! Dh and I were really afraid to check our credit scores in the past because we thought they would be ruined, but we did that last summer and, luckily, they have remained good. That also gave us peace of mind.

Thanks for the good question! Jen

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 8:29am
I guess my biggest mistake was charging expensive items thinking I can afford the minimum payment, so it's no big deal. I even bought an electronic Piano ($2500!) on my charge card. It piled up to the point that I was forced to charge necessities because all of my money went to minimum payments!

Sharon

 

Avatar for cowboy4me
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 8:18am
The little plastics cars are bad, if you have no control over you spending. This is what I have learned from it. I'm only using cash/checks from now on. There will be only special occiasion that I use credit, but then the cards going back in the safe. No more, carrying it around with me all the time.

"Love knows hidden paths."~~German Proverb

Jenny

Avatar for cl_beckymk
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Sun, 03-30-2003 - 2:06pm
You know...I think that is mine too...I got impatient wanted the bigger house and we were doing OK (not great) - when we moved into this house in 2000 we had no CC debt. Now we have over $9,000 - Hmmm...probably not the smartest move to jump into this big of a house.

And of course, we didn't have a safety cushion and now that DH is laid off I'm *really* regretting it...his unemployment doesn't cover the mortgage, if we were still in our litle house, it would have not only covered the mortgage, it would have left us about $300/month for other bills. :(

So, I'm kicking myself for not holding out just a little bit longer (there are smaller houses in the neighborhood that would have worked just as well and costs less).

Becky

Avatar for cl_beckymk
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Sun, 03-30-2003 - 2:01pm
That is great advice....I'm almost to the panicking stage right now with DH's lay-off and I'm trying so hard to think logically as to what we can do to stretch out keeping our home, etc... and I know some of the things I'm thinking of are probably going to be playing with fire but it's so hard to think rationally when you are overwhelmed with the situation.

I'm trying to use logic, though...what I have in mind *seems* logical. Just not sure practical. LOL!!

Becky

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-2003
Sat, 03-29-2003 - 10:26pm
I bought a used car for 14000 and the blue book is only worth 7000, the car payment is 400.00, now the car is being reposesed because i can't afford it. Biggest mistake I ever made.
Avatar for tigerlilysr
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 03-29-2003 - 10:24am
Choosing to remain ignorant & trust my dh had it handled. Michelle
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Sat, 03-29-2003 - 9:42am
Thinking that credit was my money and I could spend it.

cl-12by10

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 03-29-2003 - 7:52am
My biggest mistake is when I paid off two credit cards and didn't close the accounts. Of course I started using them again and now they both have balances on them. They're almost paid off and this time they WILL be closed.

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