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One of my favorite things to do is make fun of myself, and it’s partly because I make it so darn easy.
After all, I provide an endless stream of fodder for my own jokes, like the fact that I wear pajamas every day, all day. Or the many times I have gotten drunk and performed tragic reenactments of my favorite songs during karaoke. Or the time I texted my old boss and her husband with the simple words, “love you,” because I mistakenly thought I was texting Greg.
My Worst Money Mistakes
Well, today I thought I would share some of my most embarrassing and worst money mistakes. You know, the kind you look back on and wonder what in the world you were thinking. I’ve made great strides in my financial life over the past few years, but I haven’t always made decisions that were in my best interest. Want to know more about my worst money mistakes? Keep reading, because I’m about to spill the beans:
Buying a Brand New Car…with No Money
Just the other day, I wrote about the fact that so many people actually choose to be car poor. Unfortunately, I have first-hand experience with giant, soul-crushing car mini-mortgages. When I was in my early 20’s, I financed around $25,000 to buy a brand new Mitsubishi Galant. Even worse, my job at the time only paid around $8 an hour.
I’m not sure what I was thinking, or how I even expected to pay such a huge car loan back. I do know that my payments were somewhere around $500 per month and that they consumed half of my income or more at times. Fortunately, I hunkered down and paid my car loan off as quickly as possible. I believe the experience is what led me to seriously despise car payments, and vow not to ever have one again.
Financing a $1,300 Vaccuum
One day I was minding my own business at home when a door-to-door vacuum salesman offered to do a free demonstration and even shampoo the carpet in my living room. I must’ve been bored because it sounded like a great idea at the time. Over the next few hours, however, I started to fall in love with the Kirby Sentria vacuum and all of its various attachments. Even though I hadn’t planned on it, I chose to buy it once his demonstration was over with. Even worse, I financed it! Yes, I swear. And it wasn’t because I didn’t have the money. It just seemed like the right thing to do at the time. (Sad face)
And yes, I still have it. Keeping it and using it forever is the only way I can justify the purchase.
Paying For a Disgusting Habit
These days, I literally want to vomit whenever I smell cigarette smoke. Seriously. In fact, I can’t be friends with you if you smoke. Nothing personal. But, back in the day? I thought that smoking was awesome. It helped me stay thin (or so I thought) and made me feel like a real adult.
Keep in mind, this was over ten years ago, so it was long before the days of electronic cigarettes that are more affordable. It’s hard to estimate how much I paid for cigarettes over time, but I would guess it was at least several thousand dollars. Yuck!
Failing to Track Our Spending
As we all know, it doesn’t matter how much money you make if you spend it all. Unfortunately, we spent far too many years spending lavishly on home upgrades, toys, fancy foods, and stuff. It wasn’t until we began tracking our spending that we realized we were spending over $1,000 per month on food for three people. Yes, I’m serious.
Not tracking our spending was one of our biggest money mistakes because it allowed us to lose track of reality. Since we didn’t know how much money we were wasting, we didn’t stress out about it at all. In fact, we personified the statement, “Ignorance is bliss.”
Well, guess what. It isn’t.
Recovering From My Worst Money Mistakes
I’m happy to be a reformed spender, and I’m glad that I no longer have to be the victim of my own bad decisions. However, it’s still fun to look back and see just how far we’ve come. At least now I can look back and shake my head at my crazy antics, knowing that we’ve done so well since we changed our ways. And the good news is, no matter how bad your worst money mistakes are, it’s never too late to change.
What are some of your worst money mistakes? Do you find them funny now?