Trust me when I say that I’ve made my share of stupid financial mistakes in my 35 years on this earth. Also believe me when I say my life would have been a lot easier if I didn’t make any mistakes with money in my teens, then again in my 20s. But you know what? I learned from them and they’ve made me the financially responsible person I am today – and that’s why I have no regrets.
I made some mistakes, but I only made them once and that’s pretty cool. I’m not ashamed of my past because I learned from my mistakes, I did whatever I had to (literally) do to pay off my debt and now I live a very different life.
I’m a better person for my stupid financial mistakes and I like to share my story because if I can help even one person avoid making the same errors with their money then I will be happy. I like to think that I’ve helped more than one and hopefully that number goes up after you finish reading this.
Here are three stupid financial mistakes I made, but don’t regret:
I bought a new car
Worst. Decision. Ever. But you know what I’ll probably do it again. However next time I buy a new car I will be prepared for the financial commitment. I wasn’t ready the first time around. In 2007 I purchased a brand new Honda Civic for no reason other than I didn’t have one. Yes, I know, stupid.
I was 27 years old, had a good job as a financial planner, never had anything of my own and all my friends had cars so I wanted one too. One day on my lunch hour I went to Honda and bought a new car. A year later when the market crashed I couldn’t afford the $500 monthly car payment. I did the best I could, but three years later I ended up selling the car with less than 30,000 miles on it.
Financial lesson number one: don’t ever buy something just because you’re keeping up with the Joneses. You can’t afford to be in the Jones family.
I took money for granted
When you work in investments and the market is booming there is a lot of money to be made…A LOT OF MONEY. However, when the market crashed globally there was NO MONEY to be made. In 2007 I was making a six figure income and I never thought that a year later I would be dead broke.
I never saved a single penny (or should I say nickel because we don’t have pennies in Canada) because I was young and stupid and thought there would always be money to be made. I was wrong.
Financial lesson number two: always save because you never know what’s going to happen in the world, in your life or with your job.
I used credit card cash advances
Oh good Lord this was a stupid idea. When I was 28 I got my first platinum MasterCard with a $10k limit and I thought I was on top of the world. I used it to purchase expensive electronics, go on vacation and put gas in my new Honda – remember how expensive gas was in 2008?
After the market crash my income dropped by half and I couldn’t afford to pay rent. Some people would get a second job, some would move, but not me. No sir. What did I do? I took out cash advances from my shiny new platinum MasterCard to pay my rent. That’s a mistake that helped me rack up over $50k in debt by the time I was 29.
Financial lesson number three: Don’t take a cash advance on your credit card because the interest rate is higher than on purchases and there is no interest free grace period.
Join the newsletter
Subscribe to get our latest content by email.