I have written about my biggest money mistake before, but I never shared what I actually learned from it. For those that don’t know me, my name is Grayson from Debt Roundup. I have dealt with the depths of debt, but have since pulled myself out of the dark hole and am working toward building my net worth.
In a nutshell, when I got out of college, I thought I was making a ton of money. So, in my extreme haste, I decided that it would be a great idea to buy a Jetski. I didn’t really buy it, but financed the whole purchase instead. I was drawn in by an extremely low monthly payment. I didn’t even think about the total purchase. I also didn’t pay attention to the fact that they low monthly payment was only a short term thing. If I didn’t pay off the loan in 3 years, then a very large jump in interest rate would happen. Well, since I focused on the minimum payment, I never focused on paying down the loan.
In the end of the whole ordeal, I had a broken down Jetski while still owing close to $7,000. I sent the Jetski to a repair shop and later found out they did no work. They wouldn’t even give my money back. I ended up selling the Jetski for only $800 and had to pay off the rest of the loan with another loan. Terrible!
The Important Lesson Learned
Looking back at my Jetski purchase, I realize one thing. We cannot change the past. We can’t change what we did before. We can only control what we are going to do from then on. We can control what we do today, tomorrow, a year from now, and 30 years from now. This is what we can control.
If I would have put myself down and constantly kicked myself for making such a stupid purchase, I would have never recovered. I would still be kicking myself to this day. My best advice that I can give is that you need to move on from the bad money mistakes. Don’t focus on it too much and just figure out how to act differently.
Ask yourself one simple question: “How did I get into this money mess?”. The answer you come up will be able to shape your financial future. Once you realize why you made the financial mistake, then you can come up with a plan to never make that same mistake again. Constantly making the same mistake is why most people stay in debt. I don’t like making the same mistakes over and over again. Remember the old saying:
“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”
This should tell you that mistakes happen. There are a wide variety of reasons, but they happen. If you end up making the same mistake again, then you are the only one to blame. You can’t point your finger at anyone else. To achieve anything in life, you have to take accountability for your actions and then create a game plan. Accountability is key here. I had to take it when I made my big money mistake, but I made sure to make a game plan, so I would never repeat the same mistake.
I still have the urges to make big purchases on occasion. It is the nature of consumerism. We make money and we want to spend it on things we enjoy. Since crashing and burning with my Jetski purchase, I have started to take steps to keep me from having massive buyer’s remorse.
If I come across something that I want, I still go through all of the typical buying emotions. One thing that I have started to incorporate is research. A lot of research. When something catches my eye, I will step away from it and go research. I usually jump online to compare prices and read a lot of consumer reviews. I do this in order to come up with a consensus about the product. Do I actually need it or do I just want it? Is it priced correctly? How positive were the customer reviews? Do I have the money right now to pay for it.
These are just a few of the questions that I ask myself. I learned the hard lesson when purchasing that Jetski, so I am making sure that I don’t do it again. Yes, research takes time, but since that mistake, I have not had a case of buyer’s remorse. I have never wanted to give back the product or feel that I made another mistake. I would rather take some time to research it properly then jump in too quickly.
So, there you have it. You have now learned more about my big money mistake and what I learned from it. As I said, everyone makes mistakes, but it is how you react to the mistake and where you go from there that defines you.
What is a money mistake that you have made? What did you learn?