The personal finance blog Watson Inc asked a great question recently: what do you wish you had done differently financially?
The author named four of his own financial regrets: financing a car, taking out too much in student loans, not getting started with investing earlier, and not delaying grad school until he could better afford the tuition.
I, too, regret financing a car when I was in my mid 20s. That came about because of another regret: not taking care of my previous car. I ruined the engine by not keeping up with some very basic maintenance and that led to my need for another car, which I foolishly financed. I can also relate the Watson’s regret about not investing earlier. I was clueless about saving and investing until I went through a true financial crash and burn.
The point of taking stock of past mistakes is not to beat ourselves up about them, but to learn from them. I kept the car that I financed until it had well over 100,000 miles on it, making sure to keep up with all of the recommended maintenance, as I have with every car since.
What about you? What are some of your greatest financial regrets? And how have you used those mistakes for good?