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Looking Back At Financial Mistakes

July 13, 2008

My financial story isn’t like the majority of personal finance gurus or bloggers. I was never drowning in debt, I never had horrible credit, and I never hit rock bottom. This doesn’t mean I don’t have regret about some of my choices.

I went to a community college and lived at home during my schooling. The only bills I had were my car payment, insurance and gas. My rent was free. I had plenty of money to save but instead spent it all. The dealership where I worked even had a matching 401K plan but every time registration came around I would say “I don’t have enough money“. One time a co-worker who made the same amount I did told me that he had $10,000 dollars saved! I couldn’t believe it, Of course I just said, “I don’t have enough money to do that!“.

If I would have found a way to just put just $100 a month in a 401K fund that got an 8% return I would have $7,603 to my name right now. Money that could be used on the down payment for a house I’m now buying. What’s worse is I probably could have saved $200 a month, meaning I missed out on the opportunity to have $15,206. It’s not like I just don’t have that $15,206 dollars it’s like I lost that money by being a fool and spending it on meaningless stuff that I don’t even want anymore. Most people freak out when they lose money but by not saving or keeping track of it, they are losing money every month and not even caring or knowing about it.

The hard lesson I learned is to never let “not having enough money” be an excuse not to save. You have the money you just need to find where it’s going.