First Person: My Free Ride With Nothing to Show for It

Yahoo Contributor Network

With a free ride and no financial responsibility, my 20s were lined with opportunity in which I never took advantage. With my youth and this wasted period of bountiful opportunity behind me, I look back and regret not taking advantage of this situation.

Here I sit in my very small efficiency apartment, in my small little home town. Working for a local electronics company, barely making ends meet, I wonder what I was thinking when i decided life was a party. I never imagined being 33, divorced already, and practically on the verge of what statistically is considered poverty.

In my 20s, I was actually doing pretty good for a young, single white guy. I was still living at home with my parents and working in a factory, making almost $27,000 a year in my mid-twenties. Never thinking of personal finance or my financial future. Now that I look back on those days, I wonder what exactly I did wrong. Well, to start---I should have saved.

Living at home was an opportunity that I passed up and can never take part in again. I had literally, no bills except for some fairly cheap car insurance. My 2000 Chevy Impala was paid for completely and my credit was shining for that reason. My parents paid all of the bills. They bought the food I ate. So what better time to party, right? Of course not, but that's not what I was thinking at the time.

Not taking advantage of this opportunity to save money for my future is a regret I live with daily. The company I was working for went out of business and I spent a few years getting married and divorced and trying to run a home business that never worked out. During that time, I racked up a lot of bills and eventually ruined my credit. If I had saved during this time of my life, I would most likely own my home and have a nest egg to sit on for the future and those "just in case" situations.

I can't take back the decisions that I regret making about my personal finance in my 20s, but I can learn from the mistakes that I made and do things the right way now. Just because I'm in my 30s now, doesn't mean it's too late to catch up. I'm just going to have to work twice as hard to get there!

*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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