Financial Regrets: Who Hasn’t Had a Few?

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?


3 Responses to Financial Regrets: Who Hasn’t Had a Few?

  1. Katie G. July 18, 2011 at 1:14 PM #

    Thank you for this post! I definitely regret not seeking to understand and pay my student loans during college.

    Even a little bit would have made a difference. Most of all, I regret blowing the $10,000 I made at an internship during a college summer. Student loans seemed like an un-important imaginary thing, and I figured I’d worry about them after college, when I had a real job and tons of money. Little did I know, God would humble me and refine me in a huge way, by bringing me face to face with $90,000 grand in debt after graduation.

  2. Amy W November 19, 2010 at 10:26 PM #

    I wish I would have started investing, even a little, when I started my first job at 14.

    I wish I wouldn’t have leased my first car, then financed my 2nd car. However, I’ve been car-free for 6 years now so I’ve made a lot of that back up. 🙂

  3. Oscar James November 15, 2010 at 9:06 PM #

    No doubt about it some of the best (and most painful) lessons about money can be regretful. I over financed a failing business in my early twenties that really did a number on my for several years.

    If I woulda, shoulda, coulda only know then what I know now.

    Thanks for sharing.


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