Do You Have Financial Regrets?

by Kristina on April 2, 2012 · 7 comments

regretGood Morning Dinks.  As you may remember I have a very unhealthy financial past and I do have some financial regrets. I don’t regret making the mistakes because learning from my mistakes has helped me become financially responsible.  However I do regret that I let my finances suffer for so long.  Eventually I made a conscious decision to turn my financial life around and get my personal finances in order.

I was the product of what I now refer to as “The Britney Spears Effect.”  This refers to the out of the control, reckless, and excessive spending behaviour that occurs in young professionals when they start earning a moderate to high salary at a relatively young age. We often see this reckless behaviour in Hollywood starlets such as Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, and Lindsey Lohan; however it also happens to regular young people who have regular day jobs.  If we don’t have someone to help us manage our money and guide us financially we could end up regretting our financial mistakes.

Make the Decision To Make Changes

I am now responsible with my money because I learned from my irresponsible mistakes in the past.  I used to enjoy my income without any conscious planning for my future wellbeing. One day I finally decided to “grow up” and I made the conscious decision to start paying off my debt, start paying my bills on time, and start saving money on a regular basis.  I now save money in both my short-term emergency savings fund as well as my long-term retirement savings account because I know what it’s like to have an emergency and not have any emergency savings funds.

I am not exactly sure which light switch went off inside my brain that made me start to clean up my financial messiness, but it had a lot to do with the fact that I was sick and tired of seeing my high credit card balances.  I was tired of making payments and not seeing my credit card balances decrease; so I decided to make a change and actively do something to change it.

Find The Root Of The Problem

It is ok to make mistakes as long as we learn from them.  Before we can make any changes in our financial lives we have to find the root of our problems. Before we can change our spending and saving habits we have to first know what we are doing wrong and how our problems started.

I don’t mind sharing my financial story because I want to help people learn from their own mistakes and (if possible) I want to help people avoid making the same mistakes that I made in the past. All financial problems are fixable, but it does take time.  It may take only a few quick months to make a devastating financial mistake, but it can take several years to totally repair our financial situation. I personally feel that if I am learning from my mistakes I can help others learn too, because if it is happening to me the odds are that it is also happening to someone else.

Share Your Financial Story. What is your biggest financial regret?

Photo by calmenda



{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Daisy April 2, 2012 at 9:20 am

I think my only financial regret was from when I was in my first year of college and spent all of my income on clothes rather than tuition. I took out loans for that. I was an idiot, because I was working almost full-time and that’s how I’ve paid my tuition recently. I learned from it, definitely!

2 Modest Money April 2, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Ahh, so now I know who to blame! Britney Spears! Damn her!
I’m in almost the same boat. I was reckless with my money, spending it all on things that I didn’t really need. My biggest financial regret would have to be my expensive car. Considering how much I paid into it and how much it’s dropped in value, I obviously didn’t think that decision through.

3 Kristina April 2, 2012 at 5:37 pm

@Daisy we have very similar stories :-)
@Modes Money oh I know all about regretting the car purchase. Sometimes I really miss my car but I definitely don’t miss the financial committment.

I know that people say that we should never regret anything, but sometimes it’s hard to move forward when our past financial mistakes are still haunting us. Besides without mistakes we would never learn!

Thanks for sharing your stories.

4 Dave @ DebtBlackHole April 3, 2012 at 9:46 am

My biggest financial regret is not putting enough money aside when I went full-time with a business venture. I can trace the source of all of our financial nightmares to that one naive mistake. If I had saved an additional 6-9 months worth of expenses- I don’t think we would have had to file Bankruptcy.

A painful lesson…

5 Carrie Smith April 3, 2012 at 12:30 pm

I’m like you Kristina, I made lots of financial mistakes, but I don’t particularly regret them. I am glad I made them because I learned a lot and continue to grow each day from those experiences. My biggest financial mistake was buying a house at 23 years old. I had no idea what I was getting into. It was physically, emotionally and financially draining. But at least for the future, I know what to expect if I want to become a home-owner again.

6 LB April 13, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Paying off debt, saving most of the money for a trip and taking it early instead of waiting. Came back after the vacation to a job that cut my hours in half and took away all my benefits. Now I might have to go into some debt in order to move and get a stable job. I don’t regret the trip and I won’t regret the move, but I regret I wasn’t out of debt a little longer so I could enjoy it. :(

7 Young Professional Finances April 16, 2012 at 11:51 am

My biggest financial regret is not learning how to budget sooner – I have no idea where my first 2 years of income went. Also, I lost a deposit when I was trying to buy a house and looking back, I really should have been smarter about that. Painful things to go through but hopefully, they made me financially smarter.

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