Sunday, April 20, 2014


It is my firm opinion that anyone who says they have lived their lives with no regrets is either incredibly selfish, or incredibly ignorant. I will accept that one might not choose to change anything, if given the chance to go back, but having no regrets is another matter entirely.

I have a few regrets. Mostly the kind where I would do things differently if I could go back, knowing what I know now. A few others, where, though I regret the outcomes, I probably wouldn't change it if I had the option of a do-over.

So I thought I would take a few minutes to list some of them. Perhaps my children, or their children will be able to use these post to help them chart a better course....

I'l probably start with one or two money related one's, then move the the harder stuff...

I regret ever buying a car with credit.

I have purchased Six cars in my lifetime.  The first was less than $2000. The rest have been around the $7k to $10k range. There have been a few trade-in's to soften the blow of the later cars. All told, the total asking price for those cars was probably(rough guess) $35,000 - $40,000. With the interest for the loans over those years, I actually paid roughly, $45,000 - $55,000.

I threw away to to fifteen thousand dollars, paying interest. enough to buy a seventh car in that time. Or new flooring for our home. Or a really nice family vacation, or, a decent start on a mission/college/wedding fund. Or...

If I could go back in time and talk to my pre-teen self, I would have told myself to sit down and work out the cost of a mission, a car, and college. Then I would have divided that amount up by the number of years I had until those events, then I would have started making payments at those rates, or as close to those rates as I was able. (I did have a savings account back then - my mother set it up - but I wasn't really actively involved in managing it. I put an arbitrary, small percentage in for my mission, but I really didn't consider any other expenses, like college, car, a down payment on a house, appliances... If I could do it over, I would set up savings goals for each of those, and start populating them). And when I finally did purchase my first car, I would have paid cash for it. Then I would have continued to "make payments on it" to myself, into that savings account, so that when It became necessary to replace that car, I would have paid cash for the next car. If I hadn't managed to save up enough by the time I got to that first car, I would have sucked it up for an extra year, and rode my bicycle to work in the rain and snow. I would have made car payments to myself, and paid for it in cash. If I could do it over, I would NOT take out an auto loan.

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