One good financial decision and a whole lotta bad ones

As part of the M-Network’s big group post today, here are my ONE good financial decision…and a whole lotta bad ones!  Like most of the other members of the network, I found it much easier to think of the things I have done wrong with money, and could only come up with one right - possibly even semi-smart! - financial decision.

The ONE good financial decision was when I made certain I could afford my mortgage.  The real estate agent tried to talk me into going $35,000 more than what I was looking for, but I dug my heels in (in true stubborn Capricorn fashion) and refused to go above what I personally determined my limit to be.  As a result, my mortgage payment over six years later is only $610 PITI and is only 20% of my income during the school year.  I am quite happy to say I do not need to worry about getting on the VA Foreclosure list…and rumor has it there are over 3,000 foreclosures in this town of only 150,000 for just this month.

Now, for my long list of “stupid” when it comes to money:

  • Getting a credit card when I was an 18 year old freshman at college.  Let’s see here…I had no job and tuition bills and had to buy textbooks…what was I thinking??
  • Financing the Ford Escort ZX2 that I have finally paid off.
  • Financing the 1984 Ford fullsized Bronco from a buy-here pay-here lot because they were the ones who had what I wanted… not to mention my credit was shot from getting that Citibank credit card as a dumb 18 year old college freshman.  It’s a toss-up as to which one soaked me for the most interest.
  • Buying a horse on the bank credit card I got as a 19 year old.  No, I am not kidding.  I think I finally paid that horse off in 2000…three or four years after I sold him.
  • Fifteen years of smoking, and thirteen years of drinking (legally).
  • Sixteen years of my adult life not making a budget.  OK, so I really didn’t understand the concept, but it really did hurt me.  “What you don’t know won’t hurt you,” is such a lie.
  • Not investing!!!  I had six years in the army and countless jobs that offered a 401k plan, and have never taken advantage of it.  Now I am 34 and getting very nervous about not having anything saved for retirement…now that I realized I would live past the age of 30.

Well, that is the short list just from off the top of my head.  So, what does the rest of the network say?

Enjoy, everyone!