The 3 Dumbest Financial Decisions I’ve Made

We’ve all been there and we’ve all done it.  We’ve made stupid financial decisions.  Decisions that have haunted us – haunted us for years after they were made.  It’s not unavoidable, but sometimes it feels that way.  Looking back we always feel stupid and wish we would have made different choices, but by that time it’s usually too late.

I’ve made several mistakes with my money over the years.  They’ve varied pretty widely as well – all the way from failed business opportunities to an impulse auto purchase!  I’d like to share these mistakes with you for two reasons.  First I’d like to think that by doing so you’ll be able to avoid making the same mistakes as I have.  I’d also like to invite discussion on the topic; what mistakes have you made with your finances?  With that being said I’ll continue on with the 3 dumbest financial decisions I’ve made!

#3 – I bought into the “own your own vending machine route” craze (if you could call it that)

About four years ago I got myself caught up in a ‘fantastic new business prospect’ where I thought I could earn a decent amount of money every month just by working about 4 hours a week.  I don’t really recall where I heard about it or how I got caught up in it, but I ended up buying six small candy vending machines which I planned on placing in high traffic locations nearby.  Unfortunately after six months I was only able to place one candy machine.  Three years later and I still have these damn machines.  Anybody want to buy some candy machines REAL CHEAP?

#2 – I did as so many people do and tried to live beyond my means.

When I was in my very early 20’s (I’m not that old yet!) I was not very responsible with my money.  I worked part-time while going to a community college and most months I spent more than I made.  Granted some of that is not my fault – school books are ridiculously expensive after all.  The fact is though that I bought things that I did not need just about every month and I constantly found myself charging things on my credit card because I did not have enough cash in my checking account to pay for them.  Eventually I was forced to pay down my credit card debt by taking out student loans.  It’s a better form of debt for sure, but debt is still debt.

#1 – I bought a brand new and (relatively speaking) very expensive car

I know I’ve already mentioned this in a previous post, The Worst Years of My Financial Life, but it is definitely the dumbest financial mistake that I’ve ever made.  This is my car:

She’s a beaut, ain’t she?  That right there cost me about $27,000 dollars.  Keep in mind that at the time I was making about $900 a month.  With my new auto loan that pushed my car payment up to about $400 dollars a month (my old one was half that).  I literally had just gotten my credit cards completely paid off and then I went and bought a car that I couldn’t afford.  As I mentioned earlier this is by far the worst mistake that I’ve ever made when it comes to my finances.

Please don’t fall into the same traps.  Debt is a terrible cycle and if not taken care of it will drag you into the depths of hell (or maybe your Mother-in-Law’s).

What financial mistakes have you made? I asked this months ago with the post I previously mentioned.  I’d like to get a discussion going.  The more that we share the more we can learn from others mistakes.  So who’s first?

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3 responses to “The 3 Dumbest Financial Decisions I’ve Made”

  1. Student loans can not be bankrupted, and credit cards can. If you hadn’t changed your ways that move repeated over and over would have come back to bite you. Glad to hear you learned from some lessons though. Congrats

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