The following is a blog swap post from Crystal at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff, where she writes about finding the balance between paying your bills, saving for your future, and budgeting in the fun stuff along the way. You check out my post at her site today too!
I have written before about the biggest financial mistake I ever made. My husband and I invested in a failing game store owned by a “friend” that ran it into the ground in less than a year. My husband and I lost about $15,000. Today’s post is all about what I would do over if given the chance.
Many Opportunities to Bail
I would probably have convinced my husband to avoid investing in a business that we knew very little about. I also wouldn’t have rushed in thinking that we could fix whatever was wrong simply because we could manage our own personal finances well. Young arrogance is a special sort of problem that I bet we would all like a chance to do over, right?
Lastly, I would not have thrown in an additional $9000 over 3 months after the first $6000 was sucked up like water. Yep, we had a lot of chances to lose a lot less but failed to take any of them until we hit our agreed upon limit of $15,000.
Could Have Been Worse
Of course, hindsight is 20/20. A 23 year-old with savings is simply not as experienced as they will be down the road. Who knows, maybe losing that $15,000 right before we bought our house saved us from getting a larger mortgage. I might not have fought as hard for $114,000 price we ended up getting on a foreclosure. It may have kept us from investing even more in our 30’s into an even worse business venture and hurting our early retirement prospects instead of simply making home renovations more difficult. In short, it could have been worse.
How I Try to View It Now
$15,000 ended up being the price we paid for a small business education. I learned that you should get all of the details up front because even friends twist the truth. I learned that a business is only as good as the person running it – all of the hours I spent balancing the checkbook meant nothing compared to the bad business decisions that our “friend” made daily on the store’s behalf. Good thing I was not involved with the taxes–even online tax software couldn’t rescue us from the poor decisions. I learned that my husband and I work very well together. Finally, I learned that I seem to hold grudges way longer than my husband does. He’s pretty much over this since it happened 4 years ago but I still want to slap a lady in the face…so I guess I also learned that I have anger issues…
Overall, I wish we didn’t have to lose $15,000 to learn a few big life lessons. I am glad our lives weren’t ruined by it and that we didn’t allow ourselves to lose more, but I will probably always regret it just a bit. I know that I will be extremely lucky in life if that is the biggest financial mistake we ever make, so I will try to keep that in mind.
What is the biggest financial mistake you ever made? How would you do it over?