Yakezie is a community of personal finance and lifestyle bloggers that work hard to selflessly help others. This post is part of the Yakezie blog swap. Today, Michelle from Making Sense of Cents and I are swapping blogs for a day. Please stop by her site to read my own Biggest Money Mistake.
Hi everyone! My name is Michelle and I blog over at Making Sense of Cents. Over at my blog, I talk about personal finance related topics such as budgets, student loans, and making money, but I also talk a lot about traveling, beauty and food. Today, I’m guest posting on my BIGGEST MONEY MISTAKE!
My biggest money mistake ended up being a chain reaction of mistakes. When I was younger, I had to move out (long sad story short, my dad passed away when I was 18). I moved out when I was 18. Even though I had a full-time job, I of course still did not have enough money.
I was going to school, renting a house (it was only $350 a month plus utilities), and worked full-time. I only had enough money for basic living expenses, but not enough for me to attend school. And we also spent too much on things we didn’t need (mainly clothes and a new car).
When I was 20 I bought a house. I was still in school but I hated throwing my money away at a nasty house that we were renting. We also had horrible neighbors, who actually threatened to kill us. But that’s a whole ‘nother story!
Anyways, we were making enough money to afford a house of our own, but still not enough for school. But we really wanted to move out so we took the plunge and applied for a mortgage, and surprisingly at the age of 20, we were APPROVED.
Our budget and expenses of course increased, by almost $1,000 a month due to the new house. We made enough, but were forced to scrape by due to our income not being too much more than our monthly expenses.
I then had to start taking out student loans so that I could graduate faster.
If the option was there, I would have lived at home after high school and during college (and possibly after college). We both could’ve saved so much money, but instead I moved out. Our bills weren’t too high, but of course I could’ve saved money and applied house bills towards debt instead if I would’ve lived at home. If I could give one piece of advice to anyone who is looking to obtain a obtain a degree in health care administration, business, nursing or any other type of education, it would be to try and live at home so you can save money.
I ended up graduating after 2.5 years, but I had to take out around $25,000 in student loans. I often think that if I didn’t buy my house so early and would’ve stuck it out at the rental house, I would’ve saved so much on student loan interest, and I also could’ve saved more for a house down payment.
However, even with these mistakes, I don’t fully regret anything. I love my life and wouldn’t be where I am today unless I would’ve done these things.
What’s your biggest money mistake?
When I was in college, I didn’t live on campus after sophmore year. I was working full time year round so it made sense to get an apartment. In order to do this, I calculated rent as part of my school expenses and just paid with the extra money from student loans. Which is iffy at best but I should have just been spending my paycheck on rent. Or, did what I did but start paying off my student loans as I was in schoo.
Thanks for having me!
Eric J. Nisall - DollarVersity says
I don’t regret my mistakes either. They are what help shape us into who we are today! Plus, we never (or at least hardly ever) know that we are making these mistake at the time. But, that’s all part of being human I guess 🙂
From Shopping to Saving says
We all make mistakes and after reading about everyone’s money mistakes today, I’m really realizing that we wouldn’t be who we are had we not made these mistakes. We wouldn’t probably have made PF blogs to bitch and whine about our mistakes 😛 We wouldn’t have found great support and made friends just by talking about our problems. We’ve learned from them and we are who we are because of these mistakes. We can carry them forward and teach others as well as our future children how to avoid these mistakes since we are so experienced!
I still think you have done amazingly well for yourself M. You’re truly inspiring!
I had big student loans after grad school, but I don’t think that was a mistake at all. I got them paid off in two years and have an MBA that has, and will continue to, help my career.
I moved out at age 17, which wasn’t easy but have no regrets about that.
Here are a few mistakes I did make along the way, though… http://eemusings.wordpress.com/2012/05/25/friday-five-my-worst-financial-decisions/
Miss T @ Prairie EcoThrifter says
I don’t know if I could pinpoint just one big money mistakes. I think I made a lot of little ones that added up to one big problem. As much as I wish I could have taken them back I am glad I have all the knowledge that I have now about finances. It has really helped me stick to my guns with saving and planning for the future. Not everything is for a loss.
SB @ FPR says
It was not a very darn mistake. $25k in student loan is not bad by the data of average student loan debt in this country. I am sure that education is helping you earn better salary today.
PB @ EconomicallyHumble.com says
My biggest mistake was not applying for every fellowship and grant I could find & focusing my attention on finishing my PhD as soon as possible (Im almost dine)…. or perhaps not educating myself about money. For these reasons I now blog and share ideas with other students,
The college/education/career decisions need to be made at such a young age. Often, before you know or understand anything about the world, it’s hard to see how anyone can completely avoid mistakes.
I’ve made a series of smaller financial mistakes throughout my life. One doozy was when I was in college, I actually signed a lease at one apartment, and decided to live in my fraternity so signed on to do that too. Two leases at the same time? Dumb. What I ended up doing was subleasing the apartment, but not after a few months of wasted rent. Clearly, I’m a vastly different individual now that I’m much older!
Yeah. I know I didn’t realize the money tree myth until I was at least 25.
Broke Professionals says
Not fully-funding my 401(k) for the first several years I worked – BEFORE I had kids, back when I had far more discretionary income!
Ouch. I wish I had been thinking about retirement far younger too.