First Person: Financial Choices I Regret Making in My 20's

Yahoo Contributor Network

Spending money in my youth was a favorite pass time. I wish I had heeded some sage advice I'd been given. Unfortunately, I was too naive to pay attention to such advice.

When I was 18 I decided I knew enough about life to be married and become a mom within the first year of my marriage. Please don't get me wrong here, I love my son and my daughter but, had I waited and worked for a year and saved all that I made, this first year would have been much smoother financially. Plus I could have invested a lot of that money and let it earn some interest over the next few decades.

Later, a Realtor leased us a small 2 bedroom house. He tried to sell it to us numerable times for a mere $12,000. He was willing to do a lease option. For a mere $250 per month, we could have owned said house. Had we purchased this house we could have added on or built an even larger home in time. The lot was a double lot and very nice. In today's economy, it's now worth over $90,000. Not a fancy house, but a house nonetheless.

Of course, no regret would be complete without being honest about how I spent my tax refunds. It's been said if a youth puts away as little as $2,000 per year until they are 25 years of age, then doesn't add to that money or take away from it, they could be a millionaire when they retire. I didn't do it, I always spent every last dime of my tax refund. Only the memories of a trip to Disney Land one time, remind me of my spent money. The rest were spent on silly things that I didn't need.

Instead of making any of these wise decisions, I spent my money frivolously. I cashed in 401K plans whenever I left a job position, I continued plunging myself into debt. At long last, I am debt free, but it came with high interest rate and a lot of stress that really didn't need to be there.

Today, I share these stories with my teens. I help them set up bank accounts and start saving money. I share financial mistakes to help them make wiser decisions. I tell them they are young and they still have time to prevent financial mistakes.

*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a personal finance story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.

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