…for me, personally…
I have a budget that I follow VERY LOOSELY, but it wasn’t always like that. I often get in a zone where I feel the need to either fix something or improve upon something. This area varies from deciding to do something about my belly to fixing a broken shelf in the bathroom. But now that I am on a personal finance kick (and since I may be off of it tomorrow) I want to focus on just that by thinking back to things I spent money on that just maybe I shouldn’t have.
**(note that this was first drafted sometime about 3 – 5 months ago, but finally finished today)**
- WordPress – when first registering, I opted for one of the premium membership tiers because I was feeling extra ambitious and entrepreneurial and had some sort of plans or ideas. Now though, about 3 months later(**), I write a post about once a week to which MAYBE 10 people read or like. I am also stuck with the domain that I now feel no connection with at all. This was somewhere in the $95-100 range.
- NBA 2K16 – looking back, I am guessing I had a day off on a pay day and decided to pull out my PS3, blow the dust off, turn ‘er on and … well after updating system … browse the playstation store and buy (download) this game. I was excited for a few minutes and I was looking forward to a good video game sporting challenge. Heck, it’s been about 30 years since I used to play Double Dribble for NES and about 25 years since going hours with friends at NBA Jams for Genesis. I tried playing a game right off the start and NOPE it wasn’t happening. So I went to the practice mode and learned. I thought I was learning how to play, at least. Because after finishing the practice modules I tried another exhibit game and gave up after the first quarter. It didn’t help that my team was the BK Nets. Overall, it was a frustrating afternoon and I made the decision that I did not want to play that game ever again; to relive those frustrating moments just to gain slow progress at achieving video game success. Too old for that. $55 – 60.
- Rosetta Stone Polish – this was about 5 years ago. I remember browsing the “lightning deals” on amazon when I came across this RS program. NOW ON SALE. Wow, only $99 dollars! (approximate) This item I wasn’t planning on purchasing in the first place could save me however much!..With all good intentions I had of challenging my easily distracted mind by learning the Slavic language of my supposed heritage, it never took off; I may have gotten partly through the first chapter. But if I ever did make it out to Warsaw and built up the courage to say “Czesc!” to some locals then I most likely learned that for free from youtube.
4. 3 Toyota Leases – When I first signed up for this blog, the first thing I wrote about was something I very passionately stood against; which was car leases. And unfortunately a few months after I published the blog to a few readers I found myself leasing my third straight Toyota; this time being a Corolla hatchback. My frustrations at the time were most likely noticeable at the dealership, but that didn’t matter since I eventually signed the paper work locking my soul to pay for this wagon for the next 3 years. Leases are good for people who like to drive new cars every couple years without any wonder of how the value of their investments are being effected. It may be better than I make it out to be, but it seems like an upside down and locked-in situation.
5. Suzuki Baby Grand Digital Piano – I remember November of 2017, I received a little ad for a piano store and the black Friday deals they were having that month on expensive pianos. Well, leading up to that point in that year, I had been wanting a piano for the purpose of re-learning how to play and for the simple fact that it would luxuriously complement the living room to our new condo. So when I looked at the ad I made a point to check the place out, just to see if there was any sweet deals on classic ivories! I didn’t know what to expect from walking into a piano store (aside from ahem…pianos). After a few minutes of walking around the store inventory, my facial shock of $2k+ sticker prices led them to show me the mini digital pianos. There was a small Yamaha that was nice; about $800 or so. But this reminded me of the ones that I had been looking at at Guitar Center for even cheaper. I was standing there, very undecided but leaning towards not purchasing until they walked me into a back store room. WAY in the back of the back store room sat a beautiful older (it has a floppy disc drive!) Suzuki digital piano. The original price, so the salesman said, was closer to $2k, but it is on sale for 1,400…But they could go down to even closer to 1,200. Or somewhere around there. Sounded like a deal, so I made a promise to come back in a few days after talking it with my wife. She said do it so we went back and I put it on a credit card; which means I probably paid closer to 1500 – 1,800 after interest! Yikes…
There you have it…5 of my biggest wastes of money I could think of…OK, so I promised you 10. I’m not THAT lazy. Here are the last 5
- I am still paying off the Cayman Island Honeymoon vacation that I put on credit card 3 years ago! Not that the trip was a waste of money, no way, it was paradise! But what, we could have been a little reasonable about it and said that WHOLE YEAR, OK we’re planning a bomb-ass trip after we get married. Let’s start saving now. Instead, I said to the travel agent, “…uh, here. I’m LOADED, I have ALL the money in the world on this account. Charge! Charge away! I LOVE INTEREEEEEeeesst…!!”
- Every cigarette smoked from 2001 – 2016. Of course, looking back at my past it’s easy to say what I could have done or what I should have done. But throughout my dark twenties, as I like to refer, I was buying packs of cigs at about a rate of 1 or 2 per week because I enjoyed all the pleasantries of smoking! But the slightly wiser and somewhat healthier man of today looks back at the reckless youth with such mindful nonsense like, “hey son, imagine what your insides would look like if you didn’t smoke all ’em cigs…BETTER YET, imagine what your bank account would like like if every $6 – $10 Camel/Pall Mall transaction went to savings instead? Hmmm
- Gym membership/personal trainer fiascoes – Summer 2010: What’s this charge? I thought I cancelled? ….. NO, you have to call this number to cancel. ….~ring ring~ I’d like to cancel my personal trainer…$250 ?? Summer 2013 (gym B) What’s this charge? (NOT AGAIN)
- Speeding tickets/traffic violations/insurance etc… again, reckless dark 20’s. I thought my dad was just being lame when he would say, “JUST SLOW DOWN.”
- my BIGGEST WASTE OF MONEY I COULD THINK OF is NOT INVESTING ANY OF IT IN 2008. I remember, I was 27 years old, telling my parents that I think it would be a good idea to put some money in the stock market, or at least SOME kind of market or investment (I didn’t know much about mutual funds or investing in general, I think I was hoping my parents had some clues). They replied with something along the lines of “oh you don’t want to go near there” But damn, the market was practically zeroed out and selling at insane values, to a point where if you invested then you’d have like 1000 percent return! How about some encouragement, ma! All I had to do was put one pay check in and try not to look at the ups and downs over the years.
There you have it. I hope my past helps me make better choices in the future. Or the present. You don’t really make choices in the future, right? People like to think they do but really …