This week, since I'm in a bit of a bad mood, I thought I'd share some of the dumb stuff I've done with money over the years. Luckily, I guess, the good stuff has outweighed the bad. But here are a few things I wish I had taken back:
- Buying a new car. We've bought three cars during our marriage. Two were pre-owned cars (former leased models), but one was new. We did that because we wanted a certain model and simply couldn't find a used one at a reasonable price. Instead, we should have looked for a different model of car.
- Financing cars. All three cars have been financed. Our first one was bought on 5-year payments, which we paid off in 5 years. Our second was paid for with our previous home equity line; when we refinanced, that loan was rolled into our current home loan. Our third was paid for with our current home equity line, which we are slowly but surely paying off now.
- Not contributing the maximum to our retirement accounts early in our careers. Before we had children, that would've been the time to invest as much as possible. Although we did put 6%-10% in our 401(k) accounts once we were eligible, we really should have pushed it and put as much as our companies would allow in those accounts.
- Being too eager to buy a house. Although I love the house we're in how, I wish we had waited just a bit longer and saved up a bigger downpayment for it. Luckily we bought before the big run-up in home prices, though.
- Investing in the stock IPO of my company. In the tech stock run-up of the 1990s, my privately-held company went public. I bought 100 shares of stock at $11 each. A year later, the stock was worth $4. I managed to get out before it dropped even more.
- Sending my eldest daughter to a private elementary school. From an educational perspective, I'm happy with the decision we made. But from a financial perspective... ouch!
For more frugal tips, please go to my Linkup Parties page and check out the bloggers listed under Frugal Tips Linkups. There are lots of great ideas on each blog and I'm sure you'll find lots of wonderful tips!
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