Where's Margie's Money?



Do-Over!

 

(Photo credit)

Ever wish life came with a rewind button?  If only we could claim a “do-over” like when we were kids and gave a bad serve in four-square (my all time favorite recess game!).  Frugal in my Forties just wrote about the three financial do-overs she would claim if she could.  I have a lot more than three but here are my top picks:

1. I would never have bought a time-share with my ex-boyfriend.  He was my actual boyfriend at the time, a guy I had been dating and living with for several years (moved in with him at the age of 21 – another thing I would take back if I could!).  When I was 26 and he was 28 we were suckered into going to a time-share presentation at a local resort in exchange for two complimentary nights at a hotel and airfare to San Francisco (we never ended up using the airfare – there were way too many restrictions and black out dates).  The sales pitch was extremely high pressure and we got swept away in the dream of going on a vacation every year, paid for.  We ended up buying one and to this day we still make payments on it even though we broke up a year later.  We still have four years left on the loan and unfortunately, time shares are just an awful investment.  There’s no way we could sell now or later and reap any returns.  And what’s worse, neither of us have really gone on any fantastic vacations because of it.  I’m just counting down the days until we’re done making payments and we can rid ourselves of the thing (at a loss, for sure) so I can finally cut ties once and for all with the ex  (but thank goodness we are amicable and he holds up his end of the payments). 

2. I would have made better financial decisions in college.  I know, this is sort of a broad one, but there were SO MANY mistakes I made in my early twenties about money.  My college years created the unstable foundation for the rest of my twenties and it wasn’t until I got into my late twenties that I finally started pulling myself out of the bad habits I had created during my college years.  For instance, at the age of 18 – the FIRST WEEK – of college, I signed up for a credit card.  I wish I could shake my 18 year-old self by the shoulders and tell her to run away – far away – from those tables of credit card people offering free t-shirts and stress balls in return for 20 percent interest and debt.  My first credit card purchase?  I recall it vividly – I made a purchase from a Victoria’s Secret catalog – two boat-neck blouses to wear to sorority events.  Lovely.

Speaking of the sorority – that’s something I wish I had never done.  I made some great friends but I’m sure I would have made those friends with or without the expensive dues, initiation fees, and event expenses.  I used up the money I had saved working through high school on that darn sorority and looking back I definitely don’t think it was worth it.

 My sophomore year I moved out of the dorms into an apartment I really couldn’t afford with a girlfriend.  I had no idea how to budget and found myself bouncing checks left and right.  One month in the middle of summer we got a $300 electric bill and I have no idea how I scrambled that money together.  When my dad found out what a mess I had created with my credit cards (over the limit, late fees, etc.) he swooped in and paid them off.  Nice, right?!  The next month they were charged RIGHT back up and of course, like any responsible dad, he told me I had to dig myself out again on my own.  I wish I had listened to him and closed those accounts!

3. I would have bought a different car or not bought a car at all.  At the time that I broke up with my ex (the guy I bought the timeshare with) I was driving a 1998 Ford Ranger pick up truck.  It needed some work (a new clutch and new tires) but I could have driven it for several more years as it was paid for! Instead, I decided to trade it in for my current car – a 2006 Honda civic.  I love my car but I got absolutely screwed on the interest rate.  I walked into that dealership ALL by myself and got worked.  But I wanted a new car and so I got a new car.  Simon (the Civic) will be paid off in March of 2013 (2 years from now) if I continue making minimum payments.  I wish I had been much smarter and kept the truck.

So, those are just a few of my regrets.  If I had a fairy god mother I’d definitely ask to do-over more than just these three things. But, on the positive side, my credit is getting better, I’m making positive strides in budgeting and paying down debt and I’m much smarter about my money. 

 

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  1. * Frugal Forties says:

    I’m telling ya …I think college was the kiss of financial death for a lot of us.

    But it sure is a good feeling to start getting it under control, isn’t it?

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 6 months ago


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