Author Topic: Best Financial Decision You’ve made  (Read 8945 times)

BZB

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #50 on: December 23, 2022, 07:16:40 AM »
Getting a PhD in science and education/experience in another field so that I have a skill set that is unusual to find in one person. Also, getting divorced.

Metalcat

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #51 on: December 23, 2022, 07:46:03 AM »
Getting a PhD in science and education/experience in another field so that I have a skill set that is unusual to find in one person. Also, getting divorced.

We were just recently talking about exactly this in my journal, and discussing a book called "Range" and the value of diverse experience.

Silrossi46

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #52 on: December 27, 2022, 03:20:01 PM »
Taking a government gig.  Will retire after 31 years with 6 figure pension and full paid medical for life.

lifeisshort123

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #53 on: December 27, 2022, 04:56:31 PM »
Not overbuy on housing.  Start from an early age, even when there wasn't enough money to go around, to put things in savings/investments.

valsecito

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #54 on: December 27, 2022, 04:58:49 PM »
Mortgage refinance at the very bottom of the yield curve: 20 years fixed at 1.23% in June 2020. Inflation is eating our debt alive.

Sandi_k

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #55 on: December 27, 2022, 05:02:38 PM »
Taking a government gig.  Will retire after 31 years with 6 figure pension and full paid medical for life.

Me too! It will compensate for DH's under-saving over his career, and will allow us to retire in CA, instead of having to downsize and consider leveraging geographic arbitrage....

Michael in ABQ

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #56 on: December 27, 2022, 05:07:08 PM »
Taking a government gig.  Will retire after 31 years with 6 figure pension and full paid medical for life.

I assume that's not on the normal GS scale since 1.1 annual multiplier x 31 years is only 34.1% of your final salary and even a GS-15 is only in the low to mid 100,000s.


Edit: I just assumed federal government but there's also state and local government - which can have much better pensions.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2022, 09:30:02 AM by Michael in ABQ »

nouseforausername

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #57 on: December 27, 2022, 05:51:50 PM »
Taking a government gig.  Will retire after 31 years with 6 figure pension and full paid medical for life.

Not to pry -- but guessing it has to be a pension trust type plan for state or local govt.

I'm a fed, and my absolute best projection (30 years service, ending at age 57) is roughly 40k a year FERS.

I worked for a tiny non-fed govt. agency that had a crazy pension trust plan that vested only after 10 plus years of service. Since it was a trust, the employer made the contributions for all active employees at X % of their salaries. If employees left before 10 years (many, many, many did), they'd get nothing, but the employer's contributions on the departed employees' behalf were still held in trust for vested employees, which I guesstimated to be about four or five people.

I made the joke at the office that it was a tontine.  That joke did not go over well. But, strangely, every single one of the employees who had survived there to vesting knew exactly what a tontine was...
« Last Edit: December 27, 2022, 06:01:49 PM by nouseforausername »

iris lily

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #58 on: December 27, 2022, 08:17:38 PM »
What would you say is the best financial decision you’ve made?

My spouse.

For three main reasons: he had a big net worth when we got married, in today’s dollars that would be $240,000.  He is very frugal and he knows how to hang onto money. He’s hard-working and he can fix anything, any car any house do any carpentry/plumbing/electrical/cabinet work.

In our marriage I always made 2 to 3 times as much income as he did, but coupled with his initial assets and his ability to keep us from spending money on houses cars etc., we are a good economic team.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2022, 08:20:15 PM by iris lily »

RWD

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #59 on: December 27, 2022, 10:16:10 PM »
Changing my mind and not going to grad school for a masters degree. Allowed me to start earning a salary years sooner and more importantly enabled getting married / colocating with my wonderful (and frugal) spouse. If I had gone for a graduate degree I would have likely needed to live in a different state as my wife. Likely wouldn't have improved my salary significantly either.

Hula Hoop

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #60 on: December 28, 2022, 03:41:09 AM »
-not owning a car - has saved us a ton of money over the years.  We have schlepped 2 kids and ourselves around on public transport for a long time and it has worked OK although I do think we miss out on some things.
-marrying an uber frugal spouse -he also has never earned much but his frugality is amazing.
-choosing a high earning career path.  This was a great financial decision but I feel it wasn't the 'best' decision for me personally as I think I would have enjoyed other career paths more.

Metalcat

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #61 on: December 28, 2022, 03:43:56 AM »
Changing my mind and not going to grad school for a masters degree. Allowed me to start earning a salary years sooner and more importantly enabled getting married / colocating with my wonderful (and frugal) spouse. If I had gone for a graduate degree I would have likely needed to live in a different state as my wife. Likely wouldn't have improved my salary significantly either.

Ugh, yes

I would likely be very rich had I taken the most promising job I was offered in undergrad. But I wanted a doctorate...making long term life decisions in your 20s is hard.

LD_TAndK

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #62 on: December 28, 2022, 04:22:28 AM »
Dumping my expensive clown house. That's been a fortune saved. oodles of time saved as well

nereo

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #63 on: December 28, 2022, 05:00:29 AM »
Changing my mind and not going to grad school for a masters degree. Allowed me to start earning a salary years sooner and more importantly enabled getting married / colocating with my wonderful (and frugal) spouse. If I had gone for a graduate degree I would have likely needed to live in a different state as my wife. Likely wouldn't have improved my salary significantly either.

Ugh, yes

I would likely be very rich had I taken the most promising job I was offered in undergrad. But I wanted a doctorate...making long term life decisions in your 20s is hard.

Of course it’s impossible to see very far down “the path not chosen”, but I turned down a job right out of undergrad with a salary equal to what I’m earning now more than a decade later and with both a masters and PhD. Maybe I would have been laid off and unemployed, who knows… but just looking at that salary and an a decade of earnings could have put me into the “fat fire” camp by age 40. Oh well…

Metalcat

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #64 on: December 28, 2022, 06:30:36 AM »
Changing my mind and not going to grad school for a masters degree. Allowed me to start earning a salary years sooner and more importantly enabled getting married / colocating with my wonderful (and frugal) spouse. If I had gone for a graduate degree I would have likely needed to live in a different state as my wife. Likely wouldn't have improved my salary significantly either.

Ugh, yes

I would likely be very rich had I taken the most promising job I was offered in undergrad. But I wanted a doctorate...making long term life decisions in your 20s is hard.

Of course it’s impossible to see very far down “the path not chosen”, but I turned down a job right out of undergrad with a salary equal to what I’m earning now more than a decade later and with both a masters and PhD. Maybe I would have been laid off and unemployed, who knows… but just looking at that salary and an a decade of earnings could have put me into the “fat fire” camp by age 40. Oh well…

I knew full well what I was turning down at the time. I just cared more about following my passion. In truth I don't regret there decision, I wouldn't have been happy in a non-caregiving career.

Silrossi46

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #65 on: December 28, 2022, 06:39:31 AM »
Taking a government gig.  Will retire after 31 years with 6 figure pension and full paid medical for life.

Not to pry -- but guessing it has to be a pension trust type plan for state or local govt.

I'm a fed, and my absolute best projection (30 years service, ending at age 57) is roughly 40k a year FERS.

I worked for a tiny non-fed govt. agency that had a crazy pension trust plan that vested only after 10 plus years of service. Since it was a trust, the employer made the contributions for all active employees at X % of their salaries. If employees left before 10 years (many, many, many did), they'd get nothing, but the employer's contributions on the departed employees' behalf were still held in trust for vested employees, which I guesstimated to be about four or five people.

I made the joke at the office that it was a tontine.  That joke did not go over well. But, strangely, every single one of the employees who had survived there to vesting knew exactly what a tontine was...

Yes vested after 10 years.  My salary is high which is key.  I am in Tech.

Silrossi46

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #66 on: December 28, 2022, 06:45:08 AM »
Taking a government gig.  Will retire after 31 years with 6 figure pension and full paid medical for life.

I assume that's not on the normal GS scale since 1.1 annual multiplier x 31 years is only 34.1% of your final salary and even a GS-15 is only in the low to mid 100,000s.

No we don’t use the gs scale.   We have a range for positions with salaries defined by the board. After 31 years I will be at 58% pay.  My salary will be over 200k at that time.

Dicey

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #67 on: December 28, 2022, 07:44:40 AM »
[I made the joke at the office that it was a tontine.  That joke did not go over well. But, strangely, every single one of the employees who had survived there to vesting knew exactly what a tontine was...
That was an interesting rabbit hole...

nereo

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #68 on: December 28, 2022, 09:25:48 AM »
[I made the joke at the office that it was a tontine.  That joke did not go over well. But, strangely, every single one of the employees who had survived there to vesting knew exactly what a tontine was...
That was an interesting rabbit hole...
I don't think those are legal in the US and wonder if that poster was from another country. Or maybe just using that word. I personally never heard of a public pension like that but maybe some public agencies have them. Usually it's the tax payers who pay our fancy pensions (thank you very much!) and not a trust fund set up by our employer.

Except in a few places, they are legal in the US but are somewhat taboo due to their macabre nature (those that die increase payouts to those still alive)
Interestingly they were one popular in the US in the 18th and early 19th centuries.
https://www.investopedia.com/terms/t/tontine.asp

IIRC there was a good freakinonomics podcast on Tontines and their history in the US

Dicey

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #69 on: December 28, 2022, 11:27:09 AM »
I think ERISA changed those long vesting period requirements. According to my middle of the night Google "research" Tontines were outlawed in the early 1900s. However, @nouseforausername said it was "like a tontine", which doesn't mean it actually was one. Given that they're not legal, you can see why his employer may not have appreciated his keen observation.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #70 on: December 29, 2022, 10:50:35 AM »
I married a frugal man.
Darn it, you beat me to it.  Marrying my wife was a hugely positive decision, financial and otherwise.  We help each other be financially wise.

What else would I put on the list?
--Career choice
--Modest first home
--Scholarships and working during college
--Learning to DIY just about everything
--Consistently resisting lifestyle inflation
--Investments on autopilot
--Developing technical skills beyond my primary job responsibilities
--Making myself super valuable at work so that when I threatened to leave, they bent over backwards (financially) to keep me

I've also benefited from a lot of good luck--parents who prioritized education and hard work, a natural curiosity, grandparents who helped fund college, buying our current house near the bottom of the GFC, having the right skills at the right time when my employer launched a new venture, good health, etc.

poetdereves

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #71 on: December 29, 2022, 06:28:39 PM »
A few things for me, but none of them were on purpose. Hindsight is 20/20 and I was just lucky enough to win many times.

1. Married my high school sweetheart who just so happened to end up modestly frugal and a high income earner.
2. Bought a house in Colorado Springs in 2013 and sold it five years later for $100k more and paid no capital gains.
3. Bought two rental houses in the midwest  before covid prices for under $100k each that rent for $1,600 each and are now worth ~$200k each.
3. Sold another house in the midwest for another $100k profit without paying capital gains.

At this point a solid percentage of my net worth is because of the real estate increases. Now, the amount we can passively invest from our higher incomes will surpass that and make us very stable for the future.

oneday

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #72 on: December 29, 2022, 11:40:53 PM »
Another data point for #1 best decision = divorcing spendthrift spouse.

Together we made similar income to what I make solo now*. Yet somehow we could not manage to save annually half what I've been saving each of these last few years on my own. I've rocketed towards FI in the last 4 years.**




*good job change would be 2nd best financial decision

**Well, 2022 so far has been a wash between new invested money & market losses, but I'm well positioned to reap the upside.

2sk22

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #73 on: December 30, 2022, 06:23:27 AM »
There are many things where I got lucky in but in terms of actual decisions that I have made:

- Watching an interview with Jack Bogle in the early 1990s that led me to start automated index fund investing relatively early in my career.
- Not hiring a financial advisor after I realized that its not real hard to look after money
- Living in the same house for over 25 years and not moving to an expensive school district. Both of our daughters have done very well in their careers after graduating from our decent but not top-rated school district.

stoaX

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #74 on: January 02, 2023, 05:50:41 AM »
When I was 24 and newly eligible for my employers 401k plan a colleague told me to put at least 15% of my salary in it. I protested that I needed every penny of my pay. She said I would never miss it and she was right. I'm glad I followed her advice.

AMandM

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #75 on: January 02, 2023, 06:49:50 AM »
I knew full well what I was turning down at the time. I just cared more about following my passion. In truth I don't regret there decision, I wouldn't have been happy in a non-caregiving career.

I married a frugal man with low consumerist desires. Otherwise, all my best decisions (in terms of life happiness) have been financially detrimental. That frugal man is an academic in a low-paying field, we had a lot of kids, and I was a SAHM. But like Malcat, we don't regret them. That life path is not something we could have done after FIRE.

ETA: On reflection, it occurs to me that the one financially good decision outweighs all the others. Despite having always had an income below the local median, our NW is above the average, which is itself far above the median NW.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2023, 11:08:52 AM by AMandM »

2sk22

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #76 on: January 02, 2023, 07:05:45 AM »
When I was 24 and newly eligible for my employers 401k plan a colleague told me to put at least 15% of my salary in it. I protested that I needed every penny of my pay. She said I would never miss it and she was right. I'm glad I followed her advice.

That was excellent advice and much credit to you for actually following it!

stoaX

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #77 on: January 02, 2023, 10:44:15 AM »
When I was 24 and newly eligible for my employers 401k plan a colleague told me to put at least 15% of my salary in it. I protested that I needed every penny of my pay. She said I would never miss it and she was right. I'm glad I followed her advice.

That was excellent advice and much credit to you for actually following it!

When I was 24 it was hard for anyone to get anything through my thick skull. Fortunately she was as subtle as a brick upside the head. Otherwise I would've followed my own dopey inclinations. 

Money Badger

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #78 on: January 02, 2023, 06:58:06 PM »
This would be a good thread to send to every college kid we know to help them avoid as many of the pitfalls of relationships, societal "spendy" pressures and self-image...   

For me, it was going to my home state university that was literally only $100s in tuition per quarter with motivation to succeed from a tough financial upbringing and REALLY getting on a good starting job on a track that allowed me to save and invest early.    The return on that investment and the difference in the trajectory I had compared to my relatives who went to VERY pricey, multiple degrees, "good colleges" then really didn't accumulate much at all is startling.   

BicycleB

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #79 on: January 02, 2023, 07:26:39 PM »
Bought cheap house with multiple bedrooms back when houses were cheap, in city I'd moved to because of good low property values + general thriving. Then renting out the extra rooms and keeping my cost of living low while property value rose for the next 25+ years. Rent was good, appreciation fantastic, overall package covered half of my cheap FI.

ATtiny85

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #80 on: January 03, 2023, 06:42:22 AM »
When I was 24 and newly eligible for my employers 401k plan a colleague told me to put at least 15% of my salary in it. I protested that I needed every penny of my pay. She said I would never miss it and she was right. I'm glad I followed her advice.

That was excellent advice and much credit to you for actually following it!

When I was 24 it was hard for anyone to get anything through my thick skull. Fortunately she was as subtle as a brick upside the head. Otherwise I would've followed my own dopey inclinations.

I occasionally float the general topic to the much much younger engineers and there have been two that seemed to really grab it go. They are going to be super happy in the future. One, who only had about three years at the company, immediately said "oh yeah, I have been maxing it out since my first year." I expect to hear him FIREing on out of here in a few years.

snic

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #81 on: January 03, 2023, 08:15:07 PM »
Closing my eyes and jumping of a cliff.

That is what our real estate agent told us to do when we were looking for a house to buy in the Bay Area in early 2000. Every house was going for well over asking with multiple offers. We finally found a cute little house in a nice neighborhood, asking $369k. We bid $485k (wheeee, right off the cliff) and won against 10 other offers (apparently, someone else also offered 485, but our letter to the seller indicated that we planned to get a dog and that made all the difference. I hate dogs so it was a... white lie?). Anyway, we sold the house 7 years later for $760k.

By the way, buying and selling in the crazy Bay Area market taught me the importance of staging. I wouldn't dream of putting a house on the market without staging it now.

moneytaichi

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #82 on: January 03, 2023, 09:07:51 PM »
Oh, one more: opening a Roth IRA for both myself and spouse early on. We're well past the 5-year rule now. Well, one of them.

I also believe in converting traditional to Roth IRA early and often, to the top of the current tax bracket. Gives you future flexibility. Very glad I started doing that years ago.

+1. Roth IRA gives us flexibility to manage ACA income during ER years. It can easily amount to over $10K per year.

dignam

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #83 on: January 04, 2023, 06:31:35 AM »
Leaving my ex.

Starting passive, automatic investing when I was in my 20s.

Job shopping to see my market value.  Even though I like my job, it nudged them to give me a significant pay raise.

Just Joe

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #84 on: January 04, 2023, 10:18:43 AM »
As others here have said: success is often making good decisions for 20+ years. We've tried. In life order:

- Parents modeled good money wisdom. We didn't talk about making or managing money nearly enough though. Still don't. Had to figure that out ourselves. Thanks MMM forum.

- An enlistment in the US Navy as a young, single guy many years ago. From that the GI Bill. Vet discounts. VA home loans. Looks good on resume. Helped me figure out alot about life, sent me to live in Italy for three years which was a great education that I still appreciate. Flip side: delayed graduation and better incomes. Made ~$14K a year in the military back then.

- Being poor enough to be required to DIY things - especially car and home things. Still do today. Do it right or get stuck doing it again soon so - do it right. Made us not afraid of quality used things which saves us money. We keep our things longer. Can spot things with utility left in them.

- Dear wife. Like minded. Frugal. Works hard. Not a consumerist. Buys when she needs something or wants something. Doesn't want something constantly. Wants quality over quantity. A bit of a homebody like me. A good weekend is often just relaxing around the house spending no money.

- Our houses. We've made modest money on each and every one b/c every one needed some R&R and our region is growing. Really enjoying our current home on a big patch of country land.

- Our kids. They've been the typical kid-raising expenses but I've learned as much from raising kids as anything else. Empty nest coming soon.

- LCOL (maybe MCOL now) college town. Relatives long suggested we move to the big city for more money but we've done very well here.

- Employer / career paths. We could perhaps make more money elsewhere but it would come with more stress, more hours, a metro address, two possible long commutes, more car expenses, no more carpooling with DW, HCOL. Laid back lifestyle is more important to us. DW is doing well in her career. Our combined income is more than we need. Some days for us look like coasting to retirement. Generally like our jobs since we need jobs for now.

- Generally good mental and physical health. Not perfect. Always room for improvement.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #85 on: January 04, 2023, 10:22:05 AM »

By the way, buying and selling in the crazy Bay Area market taught me the importance of staging. I wouldn't dream of putting a house on the market without staging it now.

Staging is super important in any area.  Any market.  It is amazing how many people don't bother.

afuera

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #86 on: January 04, 2023, 10:48:03 AM »
When I was 24 and newly eligible for my employers 401k plan a colleague told me to put at least 15% of my salary in it. I protested that I needed every penny of my pay. She said I would never miss it and she was right. I'm glad I followed her advice.
This!  I asked my mom how much I should put in my 401K when I started my first job and she said the same thing, put as much in as the government will allow!  Every year afterward, I had to lower my contribution percentage with each raise so I wouldn't miss out on my company match. 

Really all my smartest decisions can be chalked up to "listen to my mom", she is the one who sent me a link to MMM's blog after all... ;)

moof

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #87 on: January 04, 2023, 11:13:36 AM »
Best decision was to try desperately never carry a credit card balance.  Having seen my parents struggle financially during my formative years (OK, my entire childhood really) I saw in particular how "just charge it" was such a trap for the desperate and exhausted.  I think I have carried a balance for maybe 3-4 months of my life combined, usually when a large reimbursement didn't show up soon enough.  The mindset spilled over into paying ahead on student loans, car loans, and so forth.  Being in any sort of debt just left me feeling ill.

Once you force yourself to live within your means, it is a tiny change to then live below your means.

I also think back and thank my ~23 y.o. self for firing up a spreadsheet and crudely mapping out early retirement math.  In retrospect it was horribly crude with some wrong assumptions, but I had a rough idea what it would take to retire in my mid-50's.  I beat that by a decade, but the idea was there just a couple years out of college.  At the time I was blindly following the "Save 10%" mantra for my 401k, and the spreadsheet results were depressing at that savings rate (basically pointing to my late 60's), and I was quickly motivated to get to where I could save more to pull it in.  The spreadsheet correctly clued me in that going from 10% to 15%, or even 20% could slash roughly a decade or even almost two decades off my working years for pretty modest spending impacts.  I think the two relevant quotes are “No plan survives contact with the enemy” and "Failure to plan is planning to fail", which are not contradictory and well worth keeping in your mind when tempted to berate your past self.


FrugalShrew

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #88 on: January 04, 2023, 12:01:02 PM »
Best financial decision I've made was to pay off my student loans as quickly as possible, back in the day. It saved me tens of thousands of dollars in interest payments. It also helped me to avoid lifestyle inflation at the time, since I continued to live like a student in order to pay down my loans.

Just Joe

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #89 on: January 04, 2023, 03:20:51 PM »
Best decision was to try desperately never carry a credit card balance.  Having seen my parents struggle financially during my formative years (OK, my entire childhood really) I saw in particular how "just charge it" was such a trap for the desperate and exhausted.  I think I have carried a balance for maybe 3-4 months of my life combined, usually when a large reimbursement didn't show up soon enough.  The mindset spilled over into paying ahead on student loans, car loans, and so forth.  Being in any sort of debt just left me feeling ill.

Once you force yourself to live within your means, it is a tiny change to then live below your means.

I also think back and thank my ~23 y.o. self for firing up a spreadsheet and crudely mapping out early retirement math.  In retrospect it was horribly crude with some wrong assumptions, but I had a rough idea what it would take to retire in my mid-50's.  I beat that by a decade, but the idea was there just a couple years out of college.  At the time I was blindly following the "Save 10%" mantra for my 401k, and the spreadsheet results were depressing at that savings rate (basically pointing to my late 60's), and I was quickly motivated to get to where I could save more to pull it in.  The spreadsheet correctly clued me in that going from 10% to 15%, or even 20% could slash roughly a decade or even almost two decades off my working years for pretty modest spending impacts.  I think the two relevant quotes are “No plan survives contact with the enemy” and "Failure to plan is planning to fail", which are not contradictory and well worth keeping in your mind when tempted to berate your past self.

Good post. We made the CC mistakes when we young, poor and newly married. I remember wondering if anyone really ever paid off a CC. And we did eventually and we've never carried a balance since.

Just another milestone in my self-education. Also includes: compound interest (savings and debt), finding Mint.com via Lifehacker.com and looking at my very sloppy spending. And soon after (before?) finding MMM via a friend.

GuitarStv

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #90 on: January 04, 2023, 03:23:30 PM »
Marrying the right woman probably tops the list.  Very close second would be way back in highschool when I was debating whether to take English or Computer Engineering I landed on the second path.

HPstache

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #91 on: January 04, 2023, 04:05:22 PM »
Bought a duplex fresh out of college in 2007.  Lived in half almost rent-free for a decade, moved out when it was time to start a family, rented both sides and had it paid off it 15 years.  Now it is worth 2.5X what it was before and cashflows a nice amount.  Making that purchase and using it well will likely go down as my best financial decision.

BFGirl

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #92 on: January 05, 2023, 06:14:55 AM »
Technically "worst" financial decision was divorcing a high earning frugal to the point of obsessive spouse.  But my mental health and the mental health of my children was more important.

Best financial decisions:

1.  Switching from private to government 20 years ago.  Allowed me to have flexibility for family but provided the financial stability when I needed to divorce.
2.  Buying a home in a new subdivision when prices were low and selling for twice what I paid for it early last year.

jrhampt

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #93 on: January 05, 2023, 12:26:07 PM »
Not being a car person.  Buying used for reliability and good mpg and not having car payments.
Negotiating my salary constantly in my 30s by switching jobs and interviewing around and getting counter offer from current company.  Surprising what you can get if you ask for it.
Working from home for the past 10+ years.
Marrying well (practical partner with compatible interests who likes to DIY lots of things).
Not having kids wasn't a financial decision, but it's probably saved us lots of money.
Loving and heavily using the library and the Y instead of buying lots of books and joining more luxurious gyms.
Maxing out my 401k (although I didn't get religion on this until my early thirties).
Refinancing/recasting mortgages when opportunity arises.
No cable tv.

JLee

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #94 on: January 05, 2023, 01:27:18 PM »

Kris

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #95 on: January 05, 2023, 02:10:19 PM »
Turns out, quitting my tenured, full professor job almost seven years ago to be a full-time author has been my single best financial decision. Go figure.

techwiz

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #96 on: January 05, 2023, 02:16:12 PM »
Paying 16K for private training program and getting industry certified in a number technology fields.  It doubled my salary and helped jump start my career in the IT world.

Samuel

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #97 on: January 05, 2023, 02:55:32 PM »
I actually find it difficult to identify one "best" financial decision I've made. Turns out there's a lot to be said for simply avoiding the biggest money pitfalls (large student loans, spendypants partners, prolonged unemployment, lifestyle inflation, consumer debt, major health issues, gambling or substance addictions, etc) while always living solidly below your means.

BicycleB

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #98 on: January 05, 2023, 06:33:59 PM »
Turns out, quitting my tenured, full professor job almost seven years ago to be a full-time author has been my single best financial decision. Go figure.

@Kris - very impressive!

PDXTabs

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Re: Best Financial Decision You’ve made
« Reply #99 on: January 05, 2023, 06:40:41 PM »
My BS in Computer Science from a state school.