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Around the Internet => Antimustachian Wall of Shame and Comedy => Topic started by: melalvai on December 06, 2013, 10:28:52 AM

Title: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: melalvai on December 06, 2013, 10:28:52 AM
I've made some dumb mistakes lately and I'm hoping your stories will make me feel better and know that I'm not the only one. I also expect my own recent mistakes to pale in comparison to some of yours!

I ordered a new mattress. It arrived--and it is Full, not Queen. I thought they sent me the wrong one. But no, I ordered the wrong one! Well, at least this mistake won't actually cost me (much) more than time & frustration. I can return it, and I haven't even opened the package so that makes it a little easier to return, though it's a stinking big package and not easy to maneuver.

Today the check engine light came on. I took it in, and the mechanic cleaned out the carburetor and asked "Are you using premium gas?" D'oh! I remembered when we bought it he said synthetic oil only, but I had forgotten about the gas. He cleaned it out and didn't charge me. (I have the bestest mechanic ever!) Hopefully I didn't cause any serious damage and it isn't going to cost us. (The dumber mistake might have been this selection of car in the first place, I have been going back & forth about that, but right or wrong it was a carefully reasoned, thought out decision, unlike these other mistakes.)

So I'm feeling pretty stupid right now like maybe I should just go to bed (on the old mattress) for the rest of the day before I do anything else dumb!
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: andru365 on December 06, 2013, 10:45:31 AM
What kind of car is it?  Not many carbureted cars on the road these days
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: lifejoy on December 06, 2013, 11:06:14 AM
My dumbest mistake:

Blowing through $20,000 of inheritance due to grief and consumerist mindset.

However, did I learn from it? HELL YEAH. So maybe it's a good thing that I learned such a valuable lesson at such a young age. :)
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: frpeebles on December 06, 2013, 11:17:29 AM
A carbureted engine throwing a CEL due to use of regular gas? Sorry, smoke is being blown. Regular fuel is no 'dirtier' than premium. Premium's purpose is to prevent internal damage to high compression/performance engines, not to keep carburetor jets clean. Additionally, given that most CELs are emissions related what sensor was it that determined the carb was in need of a cleaning*? Assuming you have a carb... Which I highly doubt due to the aforementioned synthetic oil requirement...

I, too, want to know what car this is given carbs haven't been in regular service on passenger vehicles for a few decades.

Use premium fuel only if your car manufacture (or reputable engine builder) states it as a requirement. If it's not it's money down the drain for nothing.

*Answer: There is no sensor for this.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Jamesqf on December 06, 2013, 11:54:31 AM
A carbureted engine throwing a CEL due to use of regular gas?

A carbureted engine even having a CEL in the first place?  Maybe, but they have to be pretty rare.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: gillstone on December 06, 2013, 02:48:54 PM
I was rolling over my 401(k) from an old employer 3 years ago and used 10% of it on a pennystock *flinches awaiting the facepunch*.  The stocks went from 540 shares at 1.21/share through a 1:30 reverse split and now are 18 shares at .25 each. I hold on to them now to remind me why I should stay in index funds. 
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: melalvai on December 06, 2013, 05:02:18 PM
I don't really want to admit what kind of car it is because it is not MMM-approved. At least we paid cash for it and did not finance it.

It is in the manual that we should only use higher octane.

I thought he said something about carburetor but to be honest I don't know vehicular terminology and he might have said something else. Whatever it was, he cleaned it out and the sensor turned itself off after he did that.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: melalvai on December 06, 2013, 05:19:30 PM
But seriously...what I was hoping for was the type of mistake where you forgot something, overlooked something, clicked the wrong button, that sort of thing. The sort of mistake that is immune to logic, reason, etc. At least I'm assuming that everyone makes mistakes like that, that I'm not the only one? Please tell me that is true!
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Eric on December 06, 2013, 05:46:12 PM
But seriously...what I was hoping for was the type of mistake where you forgot something, overlooked something, clicked the wrong button, that sort of thing. The sort of mistake that is immune to logic, reason, etc. At least I'm assuming that everyone makes mistakes like that, that I'm not the only one? Please tell me that is true!

Sometimes I'll start a post and then I'll just
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: hybrid on December 06, 2013, 08:23:07 PM
Bought a house I could not afford at age 23.  By age 26 I was 30K in the hole.  Took years to dig out from that mistake.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Cinder on December 07, 2013, 03:06:42 AM
Shortly before finding MMM, I was convinced to spent $1700 on a stupid Kirby vacuum cleaner.  I didn't realize how dumb that was until to late.  The bastards didn't even give me the 'free bags' they said they would!

I feel ashamed every time I use it, but it serves as a reminder of how dumb one can be. 
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Junior667 on December 07, 2013, 04:11:39 AM
It may not be my dumbest mistake but it was the first one that came to mind.

I was repairing a folding treadmill and needed turn it over for some reason. I didn't pay attention where I grabbed it and when I picked it up, it folded on both my hands and I had no way to unfold it and no one else was home. I sat there stuck in my homemade idiot trap for about 20 minutes before I was able to wiggle one hand free.

I seem to have a gift for injuring myself in creative ways.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Charlotte on December 07, 2013, 04:26:29 AM
Went from debt free to $60k in the red. In one year.

Dumb, dumb, dumb.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: plantingourpennies on December 07, 2013, 05:59:48 AM
Meh...maybe not buying another duplex in '11. I passed on one that was next to my parents property; it was 70K but the value is now around 115K and rising.

If you haven't already done so, make peace with your past mistakes, or they will continue to haunt you! Read Your Money or Your Life for an interesting way to come to grips with your financial past.

best,
Mr. PoP
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: ender on December 07, 2013, 07:09:06 AM
I don't have a single "big" mistake I can point to. And at 25, the combination of "I want this!" mistakes I made before finding MMM/Dave Ramsey/Bogleheads didn't really hurt me the way they hurt a lot of others because I never went into debt for them.

If I retire early (35-40ish) probably the biggest mistake would be doing an on-campus masters for 2.5 years instead of working FT, though I did have a stipend during this time so I also didn't go into debt for this.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: gooki on December 07, 2013, 01:20:19 PM
Financing a car for $6k at 8% interest with insurance costing $1,500 a year. All when I was a student, and didn't need a car (had a bike, flat city).
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: kamikazejello on December 07, 2013, 01:54:42 PM
Went from debt free to $60k in the red. In one year.

Dumb, dumb, dumb.
Id love to hear the details on this
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: wtjbatman on December 07, 2013, 02:10:11 PM
Got my first full time job, decided to buy a year old mustang convertible. Had no credit, so had to get a co-signer, even then I ended up with an interest rate over 10%. Car payment ended up being $430 a month, and insurance was $130 a month. To put that in context, my take home pay from my new full time job was about $800 a month. Took me the full five years to pay it off. And I sometimes wonder why I ended up starting college later in life.

Car was pretty sweet though, and chicks dug it ;)
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: yyc-phil on December 07, 2013, 02:57:08 PM
hmmmm....getting married...once...twice...three times...

The third time is not a mistake though...
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Bruised_Pepper on December 07, 2013, 03:53:58 PM
But seriously...what I was hoping for was the type of mistake where you forgot something, overlooked something, clicked the wrong button, that sort of thing. The sort of mistake that is immune to logic, reason, etc. At least I'm assuming that everyone makes mistakes like that, that I'm not the only one? Please tell me that is true!

Sometimes I'll start a post and then I'll just

Once, I was applying for a Mailroom Clerk job online, but I dragged my resume into the wrong listing.  Now I'm a double-platinum rapper.  Oops.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: yyc-phil on December 07, 2013, 06:59:42 PM
But seriously...what I was hoping for was the type of mistake where you forgot something, overlooked something, clicked the wrong button, that sort of thing. The sort of mistake that is immune to logic, reason, etc. At least I'm assuming that everyone makes mistakes like that, that I'm not the only one? Please tell me that is true!

I once owned a 1972 VW van which I had left parked in my mom's driveway in Montreal a few years before. That van had taken our family on camping trips through Canada, the US, Mexico and Central America, and was reliable like only an old VW can be. I loved that van, its toaster-like shape so ugly that it was beautiful, the fact that it had been our home on wheels and took us everywhere without ever causing any issue, and I really wanted to admire its beauty one last time outside my window. So that summer, my wife, 6 month-old daughter, my wife's little 14-year old sister, and I decided to fly to Montreal to pick it up and drive back to Yellowknife. Before embarking on such a long journey, a little over 5,000 km, I took it to my VW mechanics for a complete inspection. The verdict: engine, tires, brakes, etc., were in perfect condition, everything was good to go, except the carburetor which could die at any time. Time was tight, and I didn't have time to order a new one, so I took a chance and decided to go for it. About 4,000 km into the trip, a few miles outside Valleyview (Alberta), the van started to putter, and the engine died on the side of a two-lane highway. I was actually pretty happy that we had made it that far, and although fixing a carb on an old VW is relatively simple, it was beyond my roadside abilities...so I called CAA (our AAA) and had my beloved van towed to the nearest garage in Valleyview. Unfortunately, it was a weekend and everything was closed, so I left it parked at the garage, not before writing a detailed account to the mechanic, including my assessment of the problem. We then proceeded to trek back to Yellowknife, a not-so-simple task in the middle of Northern Alberta. Our only option: hitch a ride with a local waitress to the nearest bus depot in Peace River, about 150 km north. We got there around 11 pm, found the cheapest place to crash -still over $100 in these parts of the world for a muddy truckers style motel, and caught the 6 am bus to Yellowknife, a 1000-km -and $800 bus journey, straight North. Eighteen hours later, we finally got home at 1 am, tired, hungry and dirty...

The next morning, I called the mechanic, confident that I had given him very detailed technical information to fix the problem, and joyfully asked him if he was able to get the van going, and how much it would cost me...He laughed, and replied: It was an easy fix, and quite cheap on top of that, it'll cost you $40, I just filled your tank, you were out of gas...
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: fkampere on December 08, 2013, 06:12:50 AM
Buying a truck 2 years ago because I thought it would make me look cool not because I needed one.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: NinetyFour on December 08, 2013, 08:23:59 AM
Loved your story, ykphil!!  Very funny!
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Letj on December 08, 2013, 08:37:24 AM
Bought a condo in myrtle beach in 2007 for $200K that today it's worth $70K.  I can't get rid of it and the rent it generates does not cover the cost.  I have been pulling out about $1,000 per month since 2007 out of pocket.  It's one of those mistakes you just can't get out off quickly.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: ScienceSexSavings on December 08, 2013, 07:20:03 PM
I once bought a round-trip plane ticket in the wrong direction. Noticed it and got it reversed, thank goodness!
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: scrubbyfish on December 09, 2013, 12:21:42 AM
Spent $2000 to attend a series of 2-day workshops...located a 14 hour drive away, with no option for child care.

Um, did I forget I had a child?!?!?

I haven't been able to access a single workshop in the course. Bah.

Reading this thread I think I'm lucky, though -up 'til recently I was simply too poor (by any lender's standards) to access loans and similar errors!
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: rockstache on December 09, 2013, 10:46:47 AM
The other one is assuming my insurance is the best value. I'm with USAA which is awesome in almost all ways and I figured that the only way to get cheaper insurance would be to go with a less-than-reputable company....until I shopped around and cut my car insurance in half with a well rated company

Please tell me what company this is! I have USAA too, and I haven't found anything cheaper.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Cromacster on December 09, 2013, 11:01:04 AM
One mistake I made was to Rollover my 401(k) from a previous employer to my Roth.

I'm still on the fence whether this was a real mistake, it has its advantages and disadvantages.  The initial tax bill hurt since I did it all at once...that was probably the main mistake.  I was sorta sold on the "tax rates will only go up from here so you might as well pay them while they are (relatively) low"...yea I was dumb haha.

Also note that I'm only 26 and probably wont hit FI until 40-45.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Itchin4Scratch on January 02, 2014, 08:40:28 PM
My dumbest mistake was giving most of my life savings to my boyfriend ($7k) so that he could move to our dream city, find a job and apartment, and then send for me.  The plan was that I would keep my job until he sent for me, just in case he failed for some reason.   I thought $7k would be enough to support him though any hardship.  What could go wrong?

He stole my money and ran.  :(
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: sherr on January 03, 2014, 08:03:12 AM
My dumbest mistake was giving most of my life savings to my boyfriend ($7k) so that he could move to our dream city, find a job and apartment, and then send for me.  The plan was that I would keep my job until he sent for me, just in case he failed for some reason.   I thought $7k would be enough to support him though any hardship.  What could go wrong?

He stole my money and ran.  :(

Hey, look at the bright side; in the long run that may have been an excellent investment. Better to get rid of him sooner than later.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: scrubbyfish on January 03, 2014, 08:54:16 AM
What could go wrong? He stole my money and ran.  :(

How I adore you (person I do not know) for being able to write this now, to be able to look back and write this humorously!

I made the equivalent mistake several times over (though my "life savings" were tiny), each time in a new and creative way such that I could successfully fool myself time and again. Argh. I finally stopped doing this in my thirties: When a boyfriend insisted I put his name on the title of the house I had covered every single cost for, I finally ended my self-sabotage and simply declined to. Whew.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Clever Name on January 03, 2014, 02:33:02 PM
My biggest mistake was taking out student loans.  I had a scholarship that covered my entire tuition bill and then some, which combined with the Pell Grant I qualified for could have covered all my living expenses and let me graduate debt-free.  Instead I took out loans to the tune of $3000-4000/year so that I could eat out a lot and buy nicer versions of things I already didn't need and now I have $15,000 of debt to pay off.  Luckily I am in a fairly lucrative field (software engineering) and should be able to eliminate that debt within the next year, but that money could have been a nice foundation for my 'stache instead.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: mm1970 on January 04, 2014, 07:10:42 PM
So when I was young and single, I ate out.  A LOT.  As in, sometimes 3 times a day.  When I bought my house with my husband years later, I found a copy of my credit card statement from that time.  Oh My God.

But probably more expensive was buying the house.  We bought in 2004, which wasn't the peak, but it was pretty overpriced.  Our 2BR, 1BA, 1100sf house is right now worth about $130,000 less than we paid for it, and that doesn't count the $70k we've put into it.  Ouch.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: pipercat on January 04, 2014, 08:36:10 PM
Getting involved with multi-level marketing several years ago. Sure, there were minimal " required" expenditures, but there was always some sort of training or retreat to go to that would reveal the true key to success! Although some of the training was worthwhile on a personal level, it certainly did not improve my business. The big pep rally-type conferences were unnecessary. I could have gotten the same inspiration by checking certain books out of the library.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: ichangedmyname on January 04, 2014, 09:09:47 PM
Getting involved with multi-level marketing several years ago. Sure, there were minimal " required" expenditures, but there was always some sort of training or retreat to go to that would reveal the true key to success! Although some of the training was worthwhile on a personal level, it certainly did not improve my business. The big pep rally-type conferences were unnecessary. I could have gotten the same inspiration by checking certain books out of the library.

I also did this but only went to the initial "seminar" and shelled out 5,000 pesos which is a little over $100 nowadays. Then I didn't do anything. So I just basically handed them my money.

Many times I have friends who have asked me to join some sort of MLM product. I just refuse. When they selling point is not how great the product is but how much you can earn by recruiting people to sell the product for you? Then I keep on walking.

Also I signed up for Avon so I can get discounts on the products. I still have products I haven't opened.

Also, yesterday I opened 5 sub accounts in my Ally online savings and funded them so I went over my 6 transaction limit and was charged $10. I haven't gotten over it.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: strider3700 on January 05, 2014, 11:38:45 AM
I bought a brand new motorcycle. over paid because I didn't know you could haggle on new.  Drove it off the lot with 2 km and it instantly lost 30%of it's value.  Put 7000km on it in 3 years.  Saw another biker die on the road by my house and sold it for 40% of what I paid.  In the grand scheme of things it was a relatively cheap lesson
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: ritchie70 on January 08, 2014, 11:06:12 AM
The other one is assuming my insurance is the best value. I'm with USAA which is awesome in almost all ways and I figured that the only way to get cheaper insurance would be to go with a less-than-reputable company....until I shopped around and cut my car insurance in half with a well rated company

Please tell me what company this is! I have USAA too, and I haven't found anything cheaper.
Geico

As far as I can tell, insurance is something you need to put out to bid every few years or the rates get out of control. I went from State Farm to Allstate a few years ago and the total insurance cost dropped about 40% if I remember right.

I assume the Allstate price will go up and we'll have to switch somewhere else in another couple years.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: eyePod on January 08, 2014, 12:23:17 PM
Buying a subwoofer/amp set for my tan toyota camry while in high school.  At least I waited till black friday.  And it did look pretty cool but it seemed to drain my battery a lot quicker than when it wasn't hooked up.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: melalvai on January 09, 2014, 01:44:46 PM
As far as I can tell, insurance is something you need to put out to bid every few years or the rates get out of control. I went from State Farm to Allstate a few years ago and the total insurance cost dropped about 40% if I remember right.

I assume the Allstate price will go up and we'll have to switch somewhere else in another couple years.

I thought so too. When I found out my husband's new job came with a discount on insurance through another provider, and at the same time we were getting a new car, I got quotes from our current company (Allstate) and the other company (Liberty something). The Allstate quote horrified me-- we've been with them for a decade and that ought to count for something, right? But when I told them what Liberty was quoting us, they suddenly found us a better deal that beat Liberty. It included the words "loyalty bonus".
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: amused_bouche on January 09, 2014, 01:53:14 PM

I was repairing a folding treadmill and needed turn it over for some reason. I didn't pay attention where I grabbed it and when I picked it up, it folded on both my hands and I had no way to unfold it and no one else was home. I sat there stuck in my homemade idiot trap for about 20 minutes before I was able to wiggle one hand free.


This reminds me of the time, back in my gym-going days, when I stepped on a treadmill THAT WAS ON. And on a full run speed, nonetheless. Some douchecanoe had gotten off and decided to leave it running. I saw him look sheepishly back from the water fountain as I was face planted on the floor trying to figure out what had just happened. I never before thought to double check whether the treadmill was left on but didn't make that mistake again.

Then I quit my membership and never looked back.

Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Posthumane on January 09, 2014, 02:02:35 PM
I've had a number of the "overpaid for x..." mistakes like everyone else, but there are always new ones that come up that go with your original question of "clicked the wrong button, forgot something, etc."

A recent one that comes to mind is getting an expensive set of glasses, which I get reimbursed through work. However, I simply forgot (or more accurately neglected) to submit the expense, even though the $400+ receipt was hanging on my pinup board for months. Eventually the reimbursement period expired.

An older on that comes to mind was from my university days. I went to the final exam for one of my courses and was sitting outside the exam area for a while waiting for them to post the seating list for the exam. I was a bit early but not overly so, so I was suprised there weren't other people around waiting nervously as well. About 10 minutes before the shceduled exam time they still hadn't posted the seating list, so I got suspicious and went to a computer to check the schedule. Sure enough, the exam had actually taken place the day before... This led to me failing a class that I had otherwise good grades in, and having to retake it the following summer.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: ch12 on January 09, 2014, 04:32:37 PM
What could go wrong? He stole my money and ran.  :(

How I adore you (person I do not know) for being able to write this now, to be able to look back and write this humorously!

I made the equivalent mistake several times over (though my "life savings" were tiny), each time in a new and creative way such that I could successfully fool myself time and again. Argh. I finally stopped doing this in my thirties: When a boyfriend insisted I put his name on the title of the house I had covered every single cost for, I finally ended my self-sabotage and simply declined to. Whew.

This is exactly what my roommate's and my fathers were worried about. We set up a household account to pay our monthly bills. Her dad asked her, "What will you do if she takes the money and runs?" When she told me that, I said that we both have equal skin in the game. We equally contribute and benefit from any household expenses (electricity, groceries, Internet, etc.). We've been friends for 8.5 years at this point; we were best friends in college. She's the only one of my college friends that I regularly kept up with at least once a week over the entire 4 year period.

Also we live together. It's not like I can just up and vanish in a day. We work at the same company, and we have one car (mine). Anywhere that she goes, I go. The reverse is true.

I ended up soothing my father's fears by explaining that, no, I was not giving her access to all my bank accounts. That would be stupid. At the beginning, we were contributing $250 each to start out and then refilling the account once a month up to a limit of $500. Does putting hundreds of dollars in a shared account require trust? Sure - but it's substantially less trust than giving my roommate/best friend access to all of my money. Plus, the benefit of a shared account means that we jointly pay any household bills, and I never have to chase her down for money. It doesn't matter who pays for groceries, since it comes out of the same account. We have a box for receipts. We have access to the same bank information for the one account we share of my 12ish accounts.

Her father, his doomsday predictions proven wrong (more severe than the 1 quoted above), has persisted in being nervous about her not having her own car. We live in Madison. We're both introverted, even though I'm out and about way more often than she is. She goes on walks alone, and we pretty much don't see one another all day at work. I work out in the apartment complex's gym for a couple hours a day. When she needs to go somewhere, I drive her there. Having another passenger in the car means that I halve the cost of my gas. It's worked out fine.

It seems crazy to me to give my life savings to someone else, but that doesn't mean that you can't trust anybody.

EDIT: This thread reminds me of my favorite line of the book Happy Money. It goes something like "Everyone has experiences that turned out to be not what they expected. Liz went surfing on the North Shore of Hawaii and got attacked by a shark. Mike tried Diet Coke Lime."
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: GuitarStv on January 09, 2014, 04:44:53 PM
I saw Batman and Robin.  In the theatre.  Not on a dare.  GuitarStv's innocent life may never recover from the shatteringly horrible trauma that was that movie.  Why was Mr. Freeze gigantic?  Why was Bane in the movie?  Why did anyone think Clooney would work as Batman?  Why did the suits have carved nipples?  Oh God, I'm getting flashbacks again . . .
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: tracipam on January 09, 2014, 04:51:04 PM

Ah, these sorts of things are what I call "paying the stupid tax."  My most recent--forgetting to keep my mudroom (with washer and dryer) warm during the recent cold snap.  BURST went the pipes.  Duh!

Back in ancient history--barely scraping the required GPA my first semester in college to keep my scholarship, then breezily deciding to take 3 more credits (of harder classes) --goodbye, scholarship!  My $8000 mistake. Live and learn. 
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: AlmostIndependent on January 09, 2014, 06:15:06 PM
I once bought a round-trip plane ticket in the wrong direction. Noticed it and got it reversed, thank goodness!

I did that once.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: eyePod on January 12, 2014, 01:38:33 PM
I saw Batman and Robin.  In the theatre.  Not on a dare.  GuitarStv's innocent life may never recover from the shatteringly horrible trauma that was that movie.  Why was Mr. Freeze gigantic?  Why was Bane in the movie?  Why did anyone think Clooney would work as Batman?  Why did the suits have carved nipples?  Oh God, I'm getting flashbacks again . . .

Oh the nipples.

Clooney made a great Bruce Wayne.  Terrible Batman.  Michael Keaton surprisingly made a great Batman.  Terrible Bruce Wayne).

Still surprise but Christian Bale was a pretty good combination of Wayne/Batman.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: msilenus on January 12, 2014, 02:38:02 PM
When I was applying for college as a stupid teenager I checked the wrong box on my application.  Transferring into the major I wanted was prohibited at the time, so I stuck it out and now have a B.A. in mathematics.

It shaped my education in weird ways, but didn't really impact my life in the long run.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Tempe on January 14, 2014, 12:31:41 AM
I've had a number of the "overpaid for x..." mistakes like everyone else, but there are always new ones that come up that go with your original question of "clicked the wrong button, forgot something, etc."

A recent one that comes to mind is getting an expensive set of glasses, which I get reimbursed through work. However, I simply forgot (or more accurately neglected) to submit the expense, even though the $400+ receipt was hanging on my pinup board for months. Eventually the reimbursement period expired.

An older on that comes to mind was from my university days. I went to the final exam for one of my courses and was sitting outside the exam area for a while waiting for them to post the seating list for the exam. I was a bit early but not overly so, so I was suprised there weren't other people around waiting nervously as well. About 10 minutes before the shceduled exam time they still hadn't posted the seating list, so I got suspicious and went to a computer to check the schedule. Sure enough, the exam had actually taken place the day before... This led to me failing a class that I had otherwise good grades in, and having to retake it the following summer.

I had something similar only it was that I didn't how up for the 1 out of 2 days class course on cpr. I originally signed up thinking oh, 2 days I can get it out of the way sooner. I realized I missed the class the day after and went through a bunch of appeals and things, but because I had no doctors note, and I missed 50% of the class I was marked as failed. And that moved my credits from  15 to 13 so I lost 240$ in a pell grant, and still paid 200$ for the class. I was out 440$ and had the fn marring my straight A's. I then took the cpr/first aid with classmates who had the same thing happen and we paid a total of 80 each$, with free snacks and subs.
 Thank god my grades don't mean anything for the future but failing that class still hurts. It didn't help the teacher was a total jerk when I contacted her. I did end up having way more fun with the training I did with my classmates till I got snubbed afterwards by them, but the training was shorter too.  7 hours vs 16 hours.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: shotgunwilly on May 08, 2014, 09:37:53 AM
What could go wrong? He stole my money and ran.  :(

How I adore you (person I do not know) for being able to write this now, to be able to look back and write this humorously!

I made the equivalent mistake several times over (though my "life savings" were tiny), each time in a new and creative way such that I could successfully fool myself time and again. Argh. I finally stopped doing this in my thirties: When a boyfriend insisted I put his name on the title of the house I had covered every single cost for, I finally ended my self-sabotage and simply declined to. Whew.

Where do y'all find these jackasses? And why... just, why? Oh right, nice guys finish last?
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Workinghard on May 08, 2014, 10:19:42 AM
Loved your story, ykphil!!  Very funny!

Me too! I'm still laughing. Sounds like something I would do.  😉
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Brad_H on May 08, 2014, 10:21:26 AM
Whenever I have to send an email to my colleagues or boss it always start it out full bore; glorious and profane, then I edit it down until it is work appropriate... sometimes tho, I don't.

Also, I signed up for one of those door-to-door magazine subscription services for about $50 dollars but after a few months of not receiving my magazines I called the number on the receipt to complain. I ended up getting talked into renewing subscriptions, that I hadn't been getting, so that I could continue not getting them for another 12 months.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: TreeTired on May 08, 2014, 10:30:13 AM
Hands down,  biggest dumbest most expensive mistake I ever made was to buy a freaking Timeshare.  So worthless I can't give it away.  It's a perpetual negative annuity of maintenance fees that will never go away.  (I stopped paying them 10 years ago and "abandoned" the property, but still get bills)

Please don't make the same mistake!
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Workinghard on May 08, 2014, 10:32:43 AM
Our dumbest mistake was moving our young adult son across country. We rented a Uhaul truck, which was way bigger than we needed, but was cheaper than smaller ones, plus we could tow his car. He had his bedroom furniture and personal belongings and we picked up some used miscellaneous stuff locally.  By the time we got through paying for the rental and the gas, we could have easily bought all new furniture for his apartment.😡
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Workinghard on May 08, 2014, 10:34:36 AM
Hands down,  biggest dumbest most expensive mistake I ever made was to buy a freaking Timeshare.  So worthless I can't give it away.  It's a perpetual negative annuity of maintenance fees that will never go away.  (I stopped paying them 10 years ago and "abandoned" the property, but still get bills)

Please don't make the same mistake!

I've heard Dave Ramsey tell people to donate the time share to charity. At least that way they would get a tax write off. He has also mentioned advertising them on eBay.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Elaine on May 08, 2014, 10:42:58 AM
I majored in Writing. So...
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Clover on May 08, 2014, 11:12:25 AM
About two weeks ago I was wondering why I hadn't received my tax refund.  It should have been in my account much sooner unless the IRS was running really behind.  When I started looking into it I found that I completed the return, paid the software providers fee, but then never actually made it to "submit return" section. 

Oops, at least I didn't have to pay penalties and fees.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Wolf_Stache on May 08, 2014, 11:14:46 AM
I majored in Writing. So...

I guess I did it the right way round, majored in accounting, and write at night. Although I sometimes wish I'd take the college opportunity to take a bunch of writing classes.

Stupid mistakes? hmm... I put my name in a 'drawing' at a fair I attened when I was 22. Got a call, "Oh, you won! But you have to pay $200 to collect your prize!" Stupid me, I PAID IT! Gaa! And ended up with NOTHING, since, surprise! It was a scam!

Other mistakes I've made are mistakenly having things shipped to an old address because I didn't double check the shipping information on a online order. Of course, whoever got my package made off with it, and since the company hadn't made a mistake I was out the money.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Cpa Cat on May 08, 2014, 11:24:15 AM
I bought a mandolin to slice my vegetables thinly. Then I forgot about the safety precautions and sliced the tips of my fingers off. I tried to stop the bleeding at home, but ended up needing to go to the ER.

The doctor there looked at my wounds and grinned, saying, "If I were a betting man, I'd say that -someone- didn't follow the directions while using a mandolin."

Thank you, that will be $1000.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Clover on May 08, 2014, 11:28:30 AM
Stupid mistakes? hmm... I put my name in a 'drawing' at a fair I attened when I was 22. Got a call, "Oh, you won! But you have to pay $200 to collect your prize!" Stupid me, I PAID IT! Gaa! And ended up with NOTHING, since, surprise! It was a scam!


Oh, I've done that one too!  Only it was my fiance (now husband) who won a free trip for two to the Bahamas.  Except, those port fees canít be waived!  He had to pay about $200 for port fees.  But, he didnít have a credit card back then.  So, against my better judgment,  I gave my cc info out over the phone so we could get a ďfreeĒ trip to the Bahamas.  That was about 20 years ago and Iíve still never seen the Bahamas.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Wolf_Stache on May 08, 2014, 11:57:57 AM
Stupid mistakes? hmm... I put my name in a 'drawing' at a fair I attened when I was 22. Got a call, "Oh, you won! But you have to pay $200 to collect your prize!" Stupid me, I PAID IT! Gaa! And ended up with NOTHING, since, surprise! It was a scam!


Oh, I've done that one too!  Only it was my fiance (now husband) who won a free trip for two to the Bahamas.  Except, those port fees canít be waived!  He had to pay about $200 for port fees.  But, he didnít have a credit card back then.  So, against my better judgment,  I gave my cc info out over the phone so we could get a ďfreeĒ trip to the Bahamas.  That was about 20 years ago and Iíve still never seen the Bahamas.

Aha, yep! Same scam. Its been too long, but yeah, mine was for a free trip for 2 to somewhere or other (maybe the Bahamas). Yeah, I wasn't savy enough yet, it was my first job, etc.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Cinder on May 08, 2014, 01:01:26 PM
Our dumbest mistake was moving our young adult son across country. We rented a Uhaul truck, which was way bigger than we needed, but was cheaper than smaller ones, plus we could tow his car. He had his bedroom furniture and personal belongings and we picked up some used miscellaneous stuff locally.  By the time we got through paying for the rental and the gas, we could have easily bought all new furniture for his apartment.😡

When my brother moved cross country, from PA to WA, my dad bought a truck that was large enough he could put his car and his project boat in the back, replaced the breaks on it, drove cross country and then sold the truck when he got over there.  He actually sold the truck for more then he got it for.  Basically enough to cover the cost of the breaks, and only effectively paid for gas.

When he got over there, he bought an RV, lived on someone else's land with just a hose and an extension cord hookup. 

He basically lives the 'ERE' lifestyle, but he doesn't live off a nest egg, just works a little bit for his money. 
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Franklin on May 08, 2014, 01:23:35 PM
I once locked myself out of my office.  So I went around to the opposite office and climbed over the wall.  I accidentally cut my hand on the drop ceiling frame, and then realized I had hopped over the wrong wall.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Workinghard on May 08, 2014, 02:00:38 PM
[quote author=Cinder link=topic=11242.msg287332#msg287332 date=1399575686

He basically lives the 'ERE' lifestyle, but he doesn't live off a nest egg, just works a little bit for his money.
[/quote]

Sounds like my first husband. I was amazed that he worked for the highway department and never spent a paycheck. He made enough money on the side to pay for living expenses.  He would've been a great MMM.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Quark on May 09, 2014, 08:46:26 AM
Our dumbest mistake was moving our young adult son across country. We rented a Uhaul truck, which was way bigger than we needed, but was cheaper than smaller ones, plus we could tow his car. He had his bedroom furniture and personal belongings and we picked up some used miscellaneous stuff locally.  By the time we got through paying for the rental and the gas, we could have easily bought all new furniture for his apartment.😡

Did you turn in the Uhaul in the son's new city? Major mistake. Always turn it in where you rented it. Then its 20/day vs hundreds.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: BlueHouse on May 09, 2014, 12:10:11 PM
Our dumbest mistake was moving our young adult son across country. We rented a Uhaul truck, which was way bigger than we needed, but was cheaper than smaller ones, plus we could tow his car. He had his bedroom furniture and personal belongings and we picked up some used miscellaneous stuff locally.  By the time we got through paying for the rental and the gas, we could have easily bought all new furniture for his apartment.😡

Did you turn in the Uhaul in the son's new city? Major mistake. Always turn it in where you rented it. Then its 20/day vs hundreds.
Trucks you pay by the mile which adds up quickly, especially on top of gas. Trailers however it's a great idea to bring them back
If you move somewhere everyone else is escaping from, it's a great deal. I moved from Atlanta to Chicago some years ago and U-Haul practically paid me to drive the truck up there.  It was dirt cheap and I had my pick of over 30 trucks in all shapes and sizes to use. 
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Chris@TTL on June 17, 2020, 11:08:21 AM
There's some good insight in here, old as this thread is. Lots of personal mistakes that have turned into financial ones. I wonder if anyone has any updates?

My worst mistake involved picking individual stocks instead of index funds (https://www.tictoclife.com/individual-stocks-vs-index-funds/), hands down, at least in the financial realm and selling during the 08-09 Great Recession.

Weak hands and all that. It's had quite the knock-on effect in the order of many tens of thousands of dollars in compounding growth lost. Perhaps owning individual stocks wasn't the play.

Did anybody go to cash during the recent 2020 "trench" dive in the market and regret it?
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Just Joe on June 17, 2020, 02:12:28 PM
A carbureted engine throwing a CEL due to use of regular gas?

A carbureted engine even having a CEL in the first place?  Maybe, but they have to be pretty rare.

Love that on this non-gearhead website so many people know that a car with a CEL doesn't have a carburetor!
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: ixtap on June 17, 2020, 02:22:01 PM
I misread the per mile cost for transferring Delta miles. They are ridiculously high, but in my haste, I thought they were telling me the value of the transferred miles and I was just giving them my cc information to pay the more reasonable transfer fee. I usually read very, very carefully, but in this case, I managed to skip over the most important (or at least the most expensive) details. You cannot get this reversed, even if you call within seconds of the click. The cc gave me the money back and Delta just charged it again.

As if that wasn't enough, while making the transfer, the ticket price actually dropped, so DH already had enough miles without the transfer. We just paid a couple hundred dollars to move miles from my account to his for no apparent reason.

And then, the trip itself, which was supposed to happen last month, was cancelled.

Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Michael in ABQ on June 17, 2020, 02:39:28 PM
My first car was passed down from my brother and it had gone through a starter with him and then another one while I had it. I drove over to a friend's house and when I went to leave the car wouldn't start. Damn I thought, have to replace the starter again. My dad came over to help me and brought some tools. It took about 45 minutes to get it out and we took it to the auto parts store to get it tested and buy a new one. It tested fine so we went back to reinstall it and call a tow-truck. The tow-truck driver shows up, gets inside to stick it in neutral and says "did you try putting it in park?".

It was an automatic and I had left it in drive so the engine wouldn't start - there was nothing wrong with it. I felt very dumb at that moment having just wasted a few hours and almost wasting hundreds of dollars on a tow and mechanic.

Eventually I replaced the corroded battery cable and never had another issue with the starter going out.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: v8rx7guy on June 17, 2020, 03:17:36 PM
Bought a vehicle previously owned by a smoker.  Did not notice the smell on the test drive, but noticed every day for the next 2 years until I finally just had to sell it.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: mm1970 on June 17, 2020, 06:29:44 PM
I misread the per mile cost for transferring Delta miles. They are ridiculously high, but in my haste, I thought they were telling me the value of the transferred miles and I was just giving them my cc information to pay the more reasonable transfer fee. I usually read very, very carefully, but in this case, I managed to skip over the most important (or at least the most expensive) details. You cannot get this reversed, even if you call within seconds of the click. The cc gave me the money back and Delta just charged it again.

As if that wasn't enough, while making the transfer, the ticket price actually dropped, so DH already had enough miles without the transfer. We just paid a couple hundred dollars to move miles from my account to his for no apparent reason.

And then, the trip itself, which was supposed to happen last month, was cancelled.
Ouch
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: mm1970 on June 17, 2020, 06:32:06 PM
One day I was getting to work, and my boss pulled up to ask me a question.  I had a system, where I'd turn off the car with my right hand, click the seatbelt, open the door with my left hand and lock it with my left hand.  Get out, close the car.

He interrupted me in the middle of this.

I got out of the car and locked it, but left the car running.
My husband had literally just taken off on an airplane with the spare key.

Boss called AAA.  Boy they broke in pretty quickly.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: mm1970 on June 17, 2020, 06:34:15 PM
Another one.  I didn't know how to cook for a long time.

The night before my Professional engineer's exam (I'd taken 2 days off to brush up), I was "cooking" dinner.  My dinner was frozen veggie burgers, but they were stuck together.  I used a knife to slice them apart, and sliced open my palm.  Oops.

Had to wrap the hand in a towel, drive myself (rush hour) to the Army base, and get stitches in my left hand AND a tetanus shot in my right arm.  The day before an 8 hour exam.

I passed.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: ixtap on June 17, 2020, 06:44:43 PM
One day I was getting to work, and my boss pulled up to ask me a question.  I had a system, where I'd turn off the car with my right hand, click the seatbelt, open the door with my left hand and lock it with my left hand.  Get out, close the car.

He interrupted me in the middle of this.

I got out of the car and locked it, but left the car running.
My husband had literally just taken off on an airplane with the spare key.

Boss called AAA.  Boy they broke in pretty quickly.

I had a stretch where I was either always working two jobs or working and going to school. Sometimes, I was working two jobs and going to school. While I had a place to lay my head, I practically lived in my car. So much so, that when we had a creative writing assignment to describe our favorite room, I wrote about my car.

I can not tell you how many times I left the lights or the radio on because I had been sitting there before my next thing, sometimes with the keys locked inside. Luckily, this was long enough ago that it was easy to break in with a coat hanger and it was a manual transmission, so as long as I could convince someone to give me a push, I didn't need to pay for this mistake. Still fits the "dumb" label, though!

Another one.  I didn't know how to cook for a long time.

The night before my Professional engineer's exam (I'd taken 2 days off to brush up), I was "cooking" dinner.  My dinner was frozen veggie burgers, but they were stuck together.  I used a knife to slice them apart, and sliced open my palm.  Oops.

Had to wrap the hand in a towel, drive myself (rush hour) to the Army base, and get stitches in my left hand AND a tetanus shot in my right arm.  The day before an 8 hour exam.

I passed.

That puts my ouch to shame, since mine was only mental!
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: MaybeBabyMustache on June 17, 2020, 06:52:02 PM
I misread the per mile cost for transferring Delta miles. They are ridiculously high, but in my haste, I thought they were telling me the value of the transferred miles and I was just giving them my cc information to pay the more reasonable transfer fee. I usually read very, very carefully, but in this case, I managed to skip over the most important (or at least the most expensive) details. You cannot get this reversed, even if you call within seconds of the click. The cc gave me the money back and Delta just charged it again.

As if that wasn't enough, while making the transfer, the ticket price actually dropped, so DH already had enough miles without the transfer. We just paid a couple hundred dollars to move miles from my account to his for no apparent reason.

And then, the trip itself, which was supposed to happen last month, was cancelled.

Ouch. That one hurts.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: RainyDay on June 18, 2020, 06:41:58 AM
Listening to a bf advise me to buy a tech-oriented mutual fund in 1999.  I invested $1500, and the next year it was GONE. 

I consider it a relatively inexpensive way to learn an important lesson:  don't listen to financial advice from friends.

Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Njdealguy on June 18, 2020, 01:07:01 PM
Selling all my investments on March 4 this year when S&P 500 was at 3170 and never buying back in after markets bottomed out March 23rd when S&P hit around 2250, for thinking it was a dead cat bounce all this time that would go back down and never did.  Finally bought in Thursday last week at S&P at 3002, so missed out on what could have been additional 33% worth of gains!

Attempted market timing failed!
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Njdealguy on June 18, 2020, 01:10:32 PM
Listening to a bf advise me to buy a tech-oriented mutual fund in 1999.  I invested $1500, and the next year it was GONE. 

I consider it a relatively inexpensive way to learn an important lesson:  don't listen to financial advice from friends.

For the case I mentioned above some friends were actually trying to advise me to buy back into my investments earlier, which wouldve actually been great if listened to them for my case!
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: solon on June 18, 2020, 01:42:43 PM
Listening to a bf advise me to buy a tech-oriented mutual fund in 1999.  I invested $1500, and the next year it was GONE. 

I consider it a relatively inexpensive way to learn an important lesson:  don't listen to financial advice from friends.

I'm not sure that's the right lesson. Good advice can come from many sources, including friends.

You should listen to advice, but then carefully consider it in light of your unique situation, and decide for yourself which advice to follow.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: MudPuppy on June 18, 2020, 01:50:20 PM
My single biggest I think was that I needed a new car about 2 months after graduating college so I financed one. It was a modest, used car, but I was newly 20 and had almost no credit and unimpressive income history. I never thought to check the interest rate they gave me. About a year and half to maybe 2 years later is look on my statement. It was like 10%. Needless to say, I started paying it off double time, but still.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: StachingforLife on June 18, 2020, 02:12:00 PM
I've made tons of financial mistakes so far but have been pretty good the last 2 years so yay for that. But for sure my dumbest mistake was cosigning a 6 year auto loan for $20,000 @ 18% (yeah you read that right) for my mother. Last summer, she lied to me about paying it despite borrowing money from me many times up until then but conveniently decided not to ask me to pay the car payment the 2 months she couldn't. My credit was hit pretty bad from that. I knew not to cosign loans for people but let my emotions control my actions the day I signed that stupid loan. Lesson learned.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: FlytilFIRE on June 18, 2020, 03:41:58 PM
I think I win!!! Had 1000 stock options from my company at $5. The price of the stock went to $45. Did I spend the $5000 to get at the $45000? No way. Everyone said it was going to $60.

Three years later, the company went into bankruptcy. Stock options went bye-bye. Only a $40,000 mistake.

Sometimes you gotta laugh, or you'd cry. Still made it to retirement this year.

You can, too!
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Chris@TTL on June 18, 2020, 08:14:04 PM
@FlytilFIRE  - just try not to do the opportunity cost math on that 40k since you lost it with the market returns ;) That's pretty bad.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: FlytilFIRE on June 18, 2020, 09:15:54 PM
No, even I'M not dumb enough to waste sleep over it. Plus, it was about 10 years ago, so I've managed to make up for it.

The moral of my story is, first, don't be greedy. Second, don't try market timing. MMM stresses it, but too late for my mistake!
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: RainyDay on June 19, 2020, 07:00:25 AM
Listening to a bf advise me to buy a tech-oriented mutual fund in 1999.  I invested $1500, and the next year it was GONE. 

I consider it a relatively inexpensive way to learn an important lesson:  don't listen to financial advice from friends.

I'm not sure that's the right lesson. Good advice can come from many sources, including friends.

You should listen to advice, but then carefully consider it in light of your unique situation, and decide for yourself which advice to follow.

True, but so far I've been unimpressed with the advice from friends and family.  Aside from the above example, I've heard these (all from different people):

In the 2nd week of March this year:  I'm selling everything and going to cash. You should, too.

In early May this year:  Get out now, while you still can!

I sold everything and went to all cash in 2008 and never changed it.  I'm so glad I did, because I still have the same amount!

I once made a $100,000 on a house so I'm never investing in the stock market. (note her current property hasn't appreciated AT ALL in the past 15 years)

Anyway, so far I've been much more impressed with the advice of Mustachian internet strangers!
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: thedigitalone on June 19, 2020, 12:08:15 PM
I was heavily into mining bitcoins, starting back when CPU mining (!) was profitable and the bitcoin faucet was giving out 5 BTC to anyone who bothered to click.

Followed it through to GPU mining, selling the completed blocks as soon as possible to payoff the hardware and electricity expenses.  Built up the farm to be 12 computers each with 2 dual-GPU cards which heated the house nicely and ran up $1k/mo electric bill.

After a while I'd paid off all the hardware but then the first halving event took place and the whole thing became unprofitable.  I sold off the hardware, parked a couple of hundred bitcoins in a wallet on a USB stick and got on with life.

A few years later I looked up Bitcoin and was shocked what happened to the price!  Never did find that wallet, though I did later recover a couple of bitcoins from a different USB stick that was misplaced but not the big one.

Not really a mistake, made a profit and had some fun in the end, sure wish I kept track of that missing USB stick though, it has over $1m BTC on it.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: joleran on June 19, 2020, 07:03:33 PM
Didn't buy into my first 401k because I didn't understand it was tax deductible (though it worked like an non-deductible traditional IRA).  It was also a weak match, a vesting schedule, and higher expense ratio funds but I would have eventually been able to leave when I did with the full match and roll it over.  Also took me a while to figure out you repay 401k loans with after-tax dollars so it's not an amazing backdoor that lets you actually drop more cash into a 401k than would normally be allowed, but at least I never took one out.

I didn't sell anything in the recent crash, but bought ~$3000 worth of put options the first day of the giant bounce after the crash, predicting continued decline below March 23 by mid May.  I don't mind the loss overall because if I didn't do it, I would have been selling a significantly greater amount of stock (like probably 50k worth) low instead due to fears of job loss and general craziness.  Definitely focused my mind that I want to carry an emergency fund after all unless I can figure out something better.

Not so worried now because this crash came at a crazy time where I was just starting to go from basically 100% equities to 70% for a retirement bond tent.  Now I'm building that remaining 30% as at least half-cash though given the current bond environment - might just be by next mistake, we'll see!
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Steeze on June 19, 2020, 07:37:38 PM
Had a bag a weed in my coffee mug, fell out of my backpack in class, didn't notice, and another student turned it in. A classmate knew it was mine and ratted me out to the police! ended up on probation, almost got kicked out of school (at 90k in debt!). To make matters worse I was already going through court for a DUI earlier in the year in another state. Luckily the two states never found out about the other charges - I ended up on probation, classes, counseling, community service for two years straight - one of those years was the year after I graduated college. I lost a job offer of 100k+ / year which I already signed a contract for because of the DUI. The year after school I made whopping 20k,the following year made around 35k, next year I made 45k. Took me 7 years to get back to $100k. I figure I lost at least $500k if not more by now.

So ... don't be stupid ... on the other hand I was a sever alcoholic and am now pretty much sober. $500k well spent maybe, at least I am not dead.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: JAYSLOL on June 19, 2020, 09:36:17 PM
Me being dumb moment for today, was driving around town (work vehicle - hold those face punches) and was in the middle of a conversation with a colleague on Bluetooth through the vehicle system, got to where I was going and just got out of the vehicle mid-conversation and walked over to look around the site completely having forgot I was literally in the middle of listening to him talk.  Fortunately I left my phone in the car, remembered and then walked back over to it after 60 seconds and he was just finishing up saying something.  WTF is wrong with my brain.  Seriously. 
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: js82 on June 22, 2020, 05:01:04 AM
Some smaller ones:

-Gave some money to an ex(~$5000) to help her in her attempt to start a small business.  Neither the business nor that relationship made it in the long run.

-The $3000+ speeding ticket.  When you're already going a bit over the speed limit and you miss the sign where it drops by 20 mph and there's a cop waiting right there, it's REALLY not good.  The cop was not amused, the speeding ticket was actually consider a greater offense than reckless driving, and while the ticket itself ended up being somewhere around $600, my insurance was... not amused.  I wasn't speeding quite badly enough to lose my license, but enough to cost myself a pretty substantial sum of cash.


But the biggest/most costly mistake in general for me is:
-Doing a poor job of investing early in my career.  This includes both not maximizing my tax-advantaged accounts(despite having more than enough money to do so), but more tragically, leaving significant sums of money (<50k) uninvested for extended periods of time.  When you consider that "early in my career" was the years right after the GFC where stocks were climbing out of the abyss pretty quickly, I'm certain that I cost myself tens of thousands of dollars simply by not putting that money in an index fund.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Just Joe on June 22, 2020, 11:03:07 AM
One day I was getting to work, and my boss pulled up to ask me a question.  I had a system, where I'd turn off the car with my right hand, click the seatbelt, open the door with my left hand and lock it with my left hand.  Get out, close the car.

He interrupted me in the middle of this.

I got out of the car and locked it, but left the car running.
My husband had literally just taken off on an airplane with the spare key.

Boss called AAA.  Boy they broke in pretty quickly.

Did that on a cold night. Left the engine running while I purchased carry out food. Came out, realized my stupid mistake. Fortunately it was an older car and very easy to break into without breaking anything. Did a repeat performance on a weekend sightseeing tour. Easier to give a passenger a spare key for the day. My excuse is that I was very sleep deprived during that period (military).

We don't have enough time for all the stupid stuff I've done over the years. ;) Mostly minor but sometimes I had to repeat a mistake before getting wiser.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: JAYSLOL on June 22, 2020, 09:05:44 PM
One day I was getting to work, and my boss pulled up to ask me a question.  I had a system, where I'd turn off the car with my right hand, click the seatbelt, open the door with my left hand and lock it with my left hand.  Get out, close the car.

He interrupted me in the middle of this.

I got out of the car and locked it, but left the car running.
My husband had literally just taken off on an airplane with the spare key.

Boss called AAA.  Boy they broke in pretty quickly.

Did that on a cold night. Left the engine running while I purchased carry out food. Came out, realized my stupid mistake. Fortunately it was an older car and very easy to break into without breaking anything. Did a repeat performance on a weekend sightseeing tour. Easier to give a passenger a spare key for the day. My excuse is that I was very sleep deprived during that period (military).

We don't have enough time for all the stupid stuff I've done over the years. ;) Mostly minor but sometimes I had to repeat a mistake before getting wiser.

Iíve gotten pretty good at breaking into the vehicles Iíve owned, I can lock the keys in my car and be in within 10 seconds, if Iím outside my house and need to open the car for something but donít have the keys I always break in rather than walk back in the house to get them, itís faster, lol
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: tungu2 on June 23, 2020, 01:34:29 AM
I was convinced by a guy I dated to join him on an international trip. I initially refused, but his insistence that he would miss me too much was sweet. Last minute tickets were expensive, and I also ended up paying for a hotel room for two because he couldnít change his reservation (he was traveling with friends and already paid for their room together), I also paid for several of his meals because he had troubles exchanging currency and I also paid his fine because he was irresponsible and wanted to just let it slide...
On the bright side, the city was amazing, and I really enjoyed alone time without him and his friends. After that I decided to only date people with similar views, including being responsible with money.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: ducky19 on June 23, 2020, 10:41:35 AM
I was convinced by a guy I dated to join him on an international trip. I initially refused, but his insistence that he would miss me too much was sweet. Last minute tickets were expensive, and I also ended up paying for a hotel room for two because he couldnít change his reservation (he was traveling with friends and already paid for their room together), I also paid for several of his meals because he had troubles exchanging currency and I also paid his fine because he was irresponsible and wanted to just let it slide...
On the bright side, the city was amazing, and I really enjoyed alone time without him and his friends. After that I decided to only date people with similar views, including being responsible with money.

I vote that doesn't qualify as a dumb mistake since you learned such a valuable lesson from it!
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Gremlin on June 23, 2020, 08:55:25 PM
One day I was getting to work, and my boss pulled up to ask me a question.  I had a system, where I'd turn off the car with my right hand, click the seatbelt, open the door with my left hand and lock it with my left hand.  Get out, close the car.

He interrupted me in the middle of this.

I got out of the car and locked it, but left the car running.
My husband had literally just taken off on an airplane with the spare key.

Boss called AAA.  Boy they broke in pretty quickly.

Did that on a cold night. Left the engine running while I purchased carry out food. Came out, realized my stupid mistake. Fortunately it was an older car and very easy to break into without breaking anything. Did a repeat performance on a weekend sightseeing tour. Easier to give a passenger a spare key for the day. My excuse is that I was very sleep deprived during that period (military).

We don't have enough time for all the stupid stuff I've done over the years. ;) Mostly minor but sometimes I had to repeat a mistake before getting wiser.

Iíve gotten pretty good at breaking into the vehicles Iíve owned, I can lock the keys in my car and be in within 10 seconds, if Iím outside my house and need to open the car for something but donít have the keys I always break in rather than walk back in the house to get them, itís faster, lol
Not me, but someone I'm married to who will remain nameless ;-) once managed to lock the keys in the car three times in the space of an hour and a half.  Needed the assistance of our AAA equivalent on all three occasions.  The guy who helped told her that he'd never seen anything like it in over 40 years on the job!  I don't think I've ever seen my wife as embarrassed as she was that day.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: JAYSLOL on June 26, 2020, 10:29:10 PM
One day I was getting to work, and my boss pulled up to ask me a question.  I had a system, where I'd turn off the car with my right hand, click the seatbelt, open the door with my left hand and lock it with my left hand.  Get out, close the car.

He interrupted me in the middle of this.

I got out of the car and locked it, but left the car running.
My husband had literally just taken off on an airplane with the spare key.

Boss called AAA.  Boy they broke in pretty quickly.

Did that on a cold night. Left the engine running while I purchased carry out food. Came out, realized my stupid mistake. Fortunately it was an older car and very easy to break into without breaking anything. Did a repeat performance on a weekend sightseeing tour. Easier to give a passenger a spare key for the day. My excuse is that I was very sleep deprived during that period (military).

We don't have enough time for all the stupid stuff I've done over the years. ;) Mostly minor but sometimes I had to repeat a mistake before getting wiser.

Iíve gotten pretty good at breaking into the vehicles Iíve owned, I can lock the keys in my car and be in within 10 seconds, if Iím outside my house and need to open the car for something but donít have the keys I always break in rather than walk back in the house to get them, itís faster, lol
Not me, but someone I'm married to who will remain nameless ;-) once managed to lock the keys in the car three times in the space of an hour and a half.  Needed the assistance of our AAA equivalent on all three occasions.  The guy who helped told her that he'd never seen anything like it in over 40 years on the job!  I don't think I've ever seen my wife as embarrassed as she was that day.

Yep, thatís kind of how it started for me too.  I locked my keys in once, had the tow truck driver open it (saw how fucking easy he made it look), and vowed never to have to call them again, and the next time I locked them in I went inside a random business office nearby and asked if I could borrow a metal ruler, they said sure and two minutes later got the locks open.  With a bit of practice it takes only seconds. 
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: The_Big_H on June 28, 2020, 11:53:19 PM
One day I was getting to work, and my boss pulled up to ask me a question.  I had a system, where I'd turn off the car with my right hand, click the seatbelt, open the door with my left hand and lock it with my left hand.  Get out, close the car.

He interrupted me in the middle of this.

I got out of the car and locked it, but left the car running.
My husband had literally just taken off on an airplane with the spare key.

Boss called AAA.  Boy they broke in pretty quickly.

Did that on a cold night. Left the engine running while I purchased carry out food. Came out, realized my stupid mistake. Fortunately it was an older car and very easy to break into without breaking anything. Did a repeat performance on a weekend sightseeing tour. Easier to give a passenger a spare key for the day. My excuse is that I was very sleep deprived during that period (military).

We don't have enough time for all the stupid stuff I've done over the years. ;) Mostly minor but sometimes I had to repeat a mistake before getting wiser.

Iíve gotten pretty good at breaking into the vehicles Iíve owned, I can lock the keys in my car and be in within 10 seconds, if Iím outside my house and need to open the car for something but donít have the keys I always break in rather than walk back in the house to get them, itís faster, lol
Not me, but someone I'm married to who will remain nameless ;-) once managed to lock the keys in the car three times in the space of an hour and a half.  Needed the assistance of our AAA equivalent on all three occasions.  The guy who helped told her that he'd never seen anything like it in over 40 years on the job!  I don't think I've ever seen my wife as embarrassed as she was that day.

Yep, thatís kind of how it started for me too.  I locked my keys in once, had the tow truck driver open it (saw how fucking easy he made it look), and vowed never to have to call them again, and the next time I locked them in I went inside a random business office nearby and asked if I could borrow a metal ruler, they said sure and two minutes later got the locks open.  With a bit of practice it takes only seconds.

Makes one wonder why even lock the car.   I started leaving it unlocked and it doesnít bother me
1) unless you want a stained car seat and $0.38 in change ...  Not much of value inside.
2) hopefully if some thief does decide to have a look theyíll note the unlocked door versus smashing the window
3) $5000 car often parked next to $30,000+ cars... donít have to be the fastest runner to not get eaten by the bear and all
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: FindingFI on June 29, 2020, 05:57:41 AM
[SNIP] I just filled your tank, you were out of gas...

Did almost the same thing about 10 years ago except it was a motorcycle I was riding home around midnight, and I called my dad when it "broke down" on the side of the road. At least it was only a 15 minutes trip for him and we didn't have to lift a motorcycle into the bed of his truck.  In my defense it had no fuel gauge, but I still felt quite dumb.

Once I really messed up booking plane tickets.  I was going to have a layover no matter what and wanted to make it long enough to leave the airport, check out the city for the evening, and then go back for the next flight. So I tried to maneuver the airline's website to provide me what would normally be an undesirable set of flights. Well, I booked the first leg of the trip there and the return trip in June, which was displayed on screen as Jun, but the second leg got booked in January, which showed as Jan. I didn't catch the difference between the 'u' and 'a' until I was at the layover city airport trying to check in for the flight, for which I had no ticket. That mistake cost me the change fee, maybe $100, plus increase in fare, another $300, but at least there was still an available seat and I made it to my destination on time.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: DadJokes on June 29, 2020, 03:33:42 PM
One day I was getting to work, and my boss pulled up to ask me a question.  I had a system, where I'd turn off the car with my right hand, click the seatbelt, open the door with my left hand and lock it with my left hand.  Get out, close the car.

He interrupted me in the middle of this.

I got out of the car and locked it, but left the car running.
My husband had literally just taken off on an airplane with the spare key.

Boss called AAA.  Boy they broke in pretty quickly.

Did that on a cold night. Left the engine running while I purchased carry out food. Came out, realized my stupid mistake. Fortunately it was an older car and very easy to break into without breaking anything. Did a repeat performance on a weekend sightseeing tour. Easier to give a passenger a spare key for the day. My excuse is that I was very sleep deprived during that period (military).

We don't have enough time for all the stupid stuff I've done over the years. ;) Mostly minor but sometimes I had to repeat a mistake before getting wiser.

Iíve gotten pretty good at breaking into the vehicles Iíve owned, I can lock the keys in my car and be in within 10 seconds, if Iím outside my house and need to open the car for something but donít have the keys I always break in rather than walk back in the house to get them, itís faster, lol
Not me, but someone I'm married to who will remain nameless ;-) once managed to lock the keys in the car three times in the space of an hour and a half.  Needed the assistance of our AAA equivalent on all three occasions.  The guy who helped told her that he'd never seen anything like it in over 40 years on the job!  I don't think I've ever seen my wife as embarrassed as she was that day.

Yep, thatís kind of how it started for me too.  I locked my keys in once, had the tow truck driver open it (saw how fucking easy he made it look), and vowed never to have to call them again, and the next time I locked them in I went inside a random business office nearby and asked if I could borrow a metal ruler, they said sure and two minutes later got the locks open.  With a bit of practice it takes only seconds.

Makes one wonder why even lock the car.   I started leaving it unlocked and it doesnít bother me
1) unless you want a stained car seat and $0.38 in change ...  Not much of value inside.
2) hopefully if some thief does decide to have a look theyíll note the unlocked door versus smashing the window
3) $5000 car often parked next to $30,000+ cars... donít have to be the fastest runner to not get eaten by the bear and all

When I was a teenager, a couple druggies went through the whole neighborhood and pulled the stereos out of every car with unlocked doors, including mine. So I always lock my doors now.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Just Joe on June 30, 2020, 09:01:57 AM
Did almost the same thing about 10 years ago except it was a motorcycle I was riding home around midnight, and I called my dad when it "broke down" on the side of the road. At least it was only a 15 minutes trip for him and we didn't have to lift a motorcycle into the bed of his truck.  In my defense it had no fuel gauge, but I still felt quite dumb.
Do you know about a motorcycle fuel reserve knob? Even my vintage Vespas have them.

Re: stereos. Back in the 1990s we had that problem and you could buy stereos that would slide out of the dash and had a carrying handle. Some people had cases for their radios. We would take them into stores and restaurants with us. Then detachable stereo faces were invented.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: DadJokes on June 30, 2020, 09:31:58 AM
Did almost the same thing about 10 years ago except it was a motorcycle I was riding home around midnight, and I called my dad when it "broke down" on the side of the road. At least it was only a 15 minutes trip for him and we didn't have to lift a motorcycle into the bed of his truck.  In my defense it had no fuel gauge, but I still felt quite dumb.
Do you know about a motorcycle fuel reserve knob? Even my vintage Vespas have them.

Re: stereos. Back in the 1990s we had that problem and you could buy stereos that would slide out of the dash and had a carrying handle. Some people had cases for their radios. We would take them into stores and restaurants with us. Then detachable stereo faces were invented.

Newer motorcycles frequently don't have them, though they should have a gaslight if they don't use the reserve system.

At 18-years old, I was riding a Harley Sportster through eastern New Mexico one evening. I had half a tank when I went through one town. I figured that would be plenty to get to the next town. It was before the days of widespread GPS, and I was unfamiliar with the area, so I didn't even know the rough mileage. My gaslight came on when I was still 40 miles from the next town. I ended up slowing down to ~45 mph and hugging the gas tank to reduce wind resistance to get every mile I could on that deserted highway. Thankfully, I made it. It turned out to be about 90 miles between towns.

New Mexico is not the place to wait until your gaslight is on to start looking for gas stations.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Just Joe on June 30, 2020, 11:49:10 AM
That was a close one! The first time I drove out west the distances were an important education.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: FindingFI on June 30, 2020, 12:02:43 PM
Did almost the same thing about 10 years ago except it was a motorcycle I was riding home around midnight, and I called my dad when it "broke down" on the side of the road. At least it was only a 15 minutes trip for him and we didn't have to lift a motorcycle into the bed of his truck.  In my defense it had no fuel gauge, but I still felt quite dumb.
Do you know about a motorcycle fuel reserve knob? Even my vintage Vespas have them.

Re: stereos. Back in the 1990s we had that problem and you could buy stereos that would slide out of the dash and had a carrying handle. Some people had cases for their radios. We would take them into stores and restaurants with us. Then detachable stereo faces were invented.

Newer motorcycles frequently don't have them, though they should have a gaslight if they don't use the reserve system.

At 18-years old, I was riding a Harley Sportster through eastern New Mexico one evening. I had half a tank when I went through one town. I figured that would be plenty to get to the next town. It was before the days of widespread GPS, and I was unfamiliar with the area, so I didn't even know the rough mileage. My gaslight came on when I was still 40 miles from the next town. I ended up slowing down to ~45 mph and hugging the gas tank to reduce wind resistance to get every mile I could on that deserted highway. Thankfully, I made it. It turned out to be about 90 miles between towns.

New Mexico is not the place to wait until your gaslight is on to start looking for gas stations.

Before I thought I had broken down, I turned to reserve and got another 2 or 3 miles before is sputtered to a stop again. Never relied on the reserve again after that. It was such a short distance that I assumed something was broken.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: DadJokes on June 30, 2020, 12:07:11 PM
Did almost the same thing about 10 years ago except it was a motorcycle I was riding home around midnight, and I called my dad when it "broke down" on the side of the road. At least it was only a 15 minutes trip for him and we didn't have to lift a motorcycle into the bed of his truck.  In my defense it had no fuel gauge, but I still felt quite dumb.
Do you know about a motorcycle fuel reserve knob? Even my vintage Vespas have them.

Re: stereos. Back in the 1990s we had that problem and you could buy stereos that would slide out of the dash and had a carrying handle. Some people had cases for their radios. We would take them into stores and restaurants with us. Then detachable stereo faces were invented.

Newer motorcycles frequently don't have them, though they should have a gaslight if they don't use the reserve system.

At 18-years old, I was riding a Harley Sportster through eastern New Mexico one evening. I had half a tank when I went through one town. I figured that would be plenty to get to the next town. It was before the days of widespread GPS, and I was unfamiliar with the area, so I didn't even know the rough mileage. My gaslight came on when I was still 40 miles from the next town. I ended up slowing down to ~45 mph and hugging the gas tank to reduce wind resistance to get every mile I could on that deserted highway. Thankfully, I made it. It turned out to be about 90 miles between towns.

New Mexico is not the place to wait until your gaslight is on to start looking for gas stations.

Before I thought I had broken down, I turned to reserve and got another 2 or 3 miles before is sputtered to a stop again. Never relied on the reserve again after that. It was such a short distance that I assumed something was broken.

Only 2-3 miles with the reserve tank? That's lame.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: FindingFI on June 30, 2020, 12:12:27 PM
Did almost the same thing about 10 years ago except it was a motorcycle I was riding home around midnight, and I called my dad when it "broke down" on the side of the road. At least it was only a 15 minutes trip for him and we didn't have to lift a motorcycle into the bed of his truck.  In my defense it had no fuel gauge, but I still felt quite dumb.
Do you know about a motorcycle fuel reserve knob? Even my vintage Vespas have them.

Re: stereos. Back in the 1990s we had that problem and you could buy stereos that would slide out of the dash and had a carrying handle. Some people had cases for their radios. We would take them into stores and restaurants with us. Then detachable stereo faces were invented.

Newer motorcycles frequently don't have them, though they should have a gaslight if they don't use the reserve system.

At 18-years old, I was riding a Harley Sportster through eastern New Mexico one evening. I had half a tank when I went through one town. I figured that would be plenty to get to the next town. It was before the days of widespread GPS, and I was unfamiliar with the area, so I didn't even know the rough mileage. My gaslight came on when I was still 40 miles from the next town. I ended up slowing down to ~45 mph and hugging the gas tank to reduce wind resistance to get every mile I could on that deserted highway. Thankfully, I made it. It turned out to be about 90 miles between towns.

New Mexico is not the place to wait until your gaslight is on to start looking for gas stations.

Before I thought I had broken down, I turned to reserve and got another 2 or 3 miles before is sputtered to a stop again. Never relied on the reserve again after that. It was such a short distance that I assumed something was broken.

Only 2-3 miles with the reserve tank? That's lame.

Lame indeed. I still suspect that there was something wrong with the reserve system, possible that the petcock was installed incorrectly and the my 2-3 miles came from whatever was in the petcock rather than the fuel tank itself. Never did confirm, just filled the tank often after that.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Just Joe on June 30, 2020, 04:06:39 PM
Maybe you had a bunch of rust and sediment in the tank clogging the reserve. Or that motorcycle had a dastardly previous owner that modified the valve eliminating the reserve feature. I've seen both.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Michael in ABQ on July 02, 2020, 11:47:53 AM
Did almost the same thing about 10 years ago except it was a motorcycle I was riding home around midnight, and I called my dad when it "broke down" on the side of the road. At least it was only a 15 minutes trip for him and we didn't have to lift a motorcycle into the bed of his truck.  In my defense it had no fuel gauge, but I still felt quite dumb.
Do you know about a motorcycle fuel reserve knob? Even my vintage Vespas have them.

Re: stereos. Back in the 1990s we had that problem and you could buy stereos that would slide out of the dash and had a carrying handle. Some people had cases for their radios. We would take them into stores and restaurants with us. Then detachable stereo faces were invented.

Newer motorcycles frequently don't have them, though they should have a gaslight if they don't use the reserve system.

At 18-years old, I was riding a Harley Sportster through eastern New Mexico one evening. I had half a tank when I went through one town. I figured that would be plenty to get to the next town. It was before the days of widespread GPS, and I was unfamiliar with the area, so I didn't even know the rough mileage. My gaslight came on when I was still 40 miles from the next town. I ended up slowing down to ~45 mph and hugging the gas tank to reduce wind resistance to get every mile I could on that deserted highway. Thankfully, I made it. It turned out to be about 90 miles between towns.

New Mexico is not the place to wait until your gaslight is on to start looking for gas stations.

This is true. Outside of cities and towns there is basically nothing. Even on the freeway it's generally about 50 miles between cities with nothing in between but desert (or grasslands in eastern New Mexico). Not like some parts of the country where you'll have houses and farms, etc.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: iris lily on July 04, 2020, 11:18:38 AM
Leaving retirement money on the table, about $10,000.

It was a pension from an old job decades ago. I did not pay attention to the specifics of this pension. But it started paying out at age 55 and I didnít claim it because in my mind I thought surely I had to be older, or else it was there  building up for me later, or something.

But no. It started paying out and if I didnít take it I lost it.
Dumb dumb dumb.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Chris@TTL on July 05, 2020, 10:29:46 AM
But no. It started paying out and if I didnít take it I lost it.
Dumb dumb dumb.

Ouch. Did you just need to sign a doc and say "yes, I'll take it"?

Hopefully, in the grand scheme, 10k will have had little impact. But, might depend on how long ago this was :)
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: iris lily on July 05, 2020, 11:47:49 AM
But no. It started paying out and if I didnít take it I lost it.
Dumb dumb dumb.

Ouch. Did you just need to sign a doc and say "yes, I'll take it"?

Hopefully, in the grand scheme, 10k will have had little impact. But, might depend on how long ago this was :)
pretty much yep just file to get it.

Fortunately the $10,000 is a drop in the bucket.

Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Kashmani on July 06, 2020, 11:33:29 AM
Graduate school. Had a perfectly serviceable engineering degree and got talked into a masters. Hated it but, having no real-world experience had become basically unemployable. Switched careers into law which tacked on another three years. During those five years total, saw friends who got jobs out of undergrad buy houses (this was in the early 2000s, before prices went crazy), fix them up on evenings and weekends, sell them for more, and then buy their "family" house before I had even graduated.

Total opportunity cost: $500,000, consisting of:

- five years' lost salary @$50,000/yr: $250,000
- Tuition: $50,000
- Loss of housing appreciation: $200,000 (this is in Canada, where prices never reset post-2008).

I finally reached the financial crossover point two years ago, at age 39. However, that was after two decades of very long hours; first in school and then in practice. Subtract those hours and I am still a good five years away.

Don't get me wrong. I like my current job and I am financially stable. But the numbers are what they are.

My half-million dollar error in judgment.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: imadandylion on July 08, 2020, 11:41:53 AM
^My biggest mistake also involves higher education, but it was more the subject matter of the degree and less about schooling itself. I wish I chose something else. It does have 'transferable skills' but annoyingly I also didn't realize I didn't want to do this into perpetuity until recently. So all in all, I do regard it as a waste of time and money, honestly. Definitely not worth the dramatic tuition increases - higher cost and same low quality of education. Also, knowing what I know now I would've gone to an international university instead, it would've been more affordable!

Also, I regret the consumerist spending in my college years - my roommate and I would have a habit of going shopping for fun because we literally had nothing better to do. I didn't get into tons of debt but I wish I spent my time working on something else instead of shopping, and of course, the money would've been better served on something like investments.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Monerexia on July 11, 2020, 11:07:01 PM
Loaning my niece $2500 for the vet when she called me crying and begging that her dog had been hit by a vehicle a month ago. She is 20, has never worked, has no driver license, lost her social security card, etc. Dog was dead less than eight hours after i made the payment. She has not contacted me since. Her father has proven so toxic and hateful since that I have blocked him from texting and have plans to never speak to him again. No respect, no gratitude.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Taran Wanderer on July 12, 2020, 01:19:38 PM
I haven't made too many big mistakes.  This has helped our family become very well off financially through a reasonably good savings rate and a long series of good, steady decisions.  I probably made a mistake by not taking more risks.  And no matter how much we travel, we should spend less money on stuff and spend it to travel more.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Chris@TTL on July 12, 2020, 03:27:05 PM
...  And no matter how much we travel, we should spend less money on stuff and spend it to travel more.

Ah... I'm right there with you.

I know there are bigger problems with the pandemic than my minor complaints, but damn the coronavirus for this. Can't wait to get "back in the saddle".
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: bloodaxe on July 12, 2020, 05:09:41 PM
I made the decision at 18 to go to an extremely expensive private liberal arts school for undergrad. I had scholarships but still took out a lot of money in loans.

I did meet my wife there and I chose a profitable major, so it worked out for me in the end.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Just Joe on July 14, 2020, 08:53:55 AM
Loaning my niece $2500 for the vet when she called me crying and begging that her dog had been hit by a vehicle a month ago. She is 20, has never worked, has no driver license, lost her social security card, etc. Dog was dead less than eight hours after i made the payment. She has not contacted me since. Her father has proven so toxic and hateful since that I have blocked him from texting and have plans to never speak to him again. No respect, no gratitude.

Ahh family... Ain't they just the best?

At this point it seems like everyone's family is at least a little messy. Certainly no Norman Rockwell paintings of our family. 
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Monerexia on July 14, 2020, 10:46:59 AM
Loaning my niece $2500 for the vet when she called me crying and begging that her dog had been hit by a vehicle a month ago. She is 20, has never worked, has no driver license, lost her social security card, etc. Dog was dead less than eight hours after i made the payment. She has not contacted me since. Her father has proven so toxic and hateful since that I have blocked him from texting and have plans to never speak to him again. No respect, no gratitude.

Ahh family... Ain't they just the best?

At this point it seems like everyone's family is at least a little messy. Certainly no Norman Rockwell paintings of our family.

Yes I knew better--this is taking up so much more bandwidth than $2500 deserves. I have tried to reframe it but the betrayal is just so heavy and thick. I don't respond well to betrayal haha
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Dave1442397 on July 14, 2020, 01:59:46 PM
Loaning my niece $2500 for the vet when she called me crying and begging that her dog had been hit by a vehicle a month ago. She is 20, has never worked, has no driver license, lost her social security card, etc. Dog was dead less than eight hours after i made the payment. She has not contacted me since. Her father has proven so toxic and hateful since that I have blocked him from texting and have plans to never speak to him again. No respect, no gratitude.

Ahh family... Ain't they just the best?

At this point it seems like everyone's family is at least a little messy. Certainly no Norman Rockwell paintings of our family.

Yes I knew better--this is taking up so much more bandwidth than $2500 deserves. I have tried to reframe it but the betrayal is just so heavy and thick. I don't respond well to betrayal haha

If you amortize $2500 over the rest of your life, it's probably a cheap price to pay. You know you'll never lose another penny to them, even if they had the gall to ask for more.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Monerexia on July 14, 2020, 08:01:25 PM
Loaning my niece $2500 for the vet when she called me crying and begging that her dog had been hit by a vehicle a month ago. She is 20, has never worked, has no driver license, lost her social security card, etc. Dog was dead less than eight hours after i made the payment. She has not contacted me since. Her father has proven so toxic and hateful since that I have blocked him from texting and have plans to never speak to him again. No respect, no gratitude.

Ahh family... Ain't they just the best?

At this point it seems like everyone's family is at least a little messy. Certainly no Norman Rockwell paintings of our family.

Yes I knew better--this is taking up so much more bandwidth than $2500 deserves. I have tried to reframe it but the betrayal is just so heavy and thick. I don't respond well to betrayal haha

If you amortize $2500 over the rest of your life, it's probably a cheap price to pay. You know you'll never lose another penny to them, even if they had the gall to ask for more.

Yes i go back and forth. The price of freedom $2500 or--small claims, get the judgment on both mother and daughter based on text message promise to pay and hire collection agency or make it a hobby to ping once/month and garnish haha.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: mountain mustache on July 14, 2020, 08:34:46 PM
listening to orthopedic surgeons who basically guaranteed me that my injuries would be better if I let them fix them surgically. Two surgeries and 25k later, I am in more pain and poorer than before the surgeries. I have learned so much through the process that I wouldn't trade, but seriously...I could have a downpayment for a house at this point with that money, and less pain!
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: bloodaxe on July 15, 2020, 07:42:11 AM
listening to orthopedic surgeons who basically guaranteed me that my injuries would be better if I let them fix them surgically. Two surgeries and 25k later, I am in more pain and poorer than before the surgeries. I have learned so much through the process that I wouldn't trade, but seriously...I could have a downpayment for a house at this point with that money, and less pain!

Have you considered speaking to a malpractice attorney?
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: mountain mustache on July 15, 2020, 09:06:19 AM
listening to orthopedic surgeons who basically guaranteed me that my injuries would be better if I let them fix them surgically. Two surgeries and 25k later, I am in more pain and poorer than before the surgeries. I have learned so much through the process that I wouldn't trade, but seriously...I could have a downpayment for a house at this point with that money, and less pain!

Have you considered speaking to a malpractice attorney?

I'm not sure this would warrant that. Surgeons will almost always recommend surgery because that is what they do...they informed me of the risks, although they did not inform me that I could end up worse than before, because really....they had no way of knowing! I really don't think it's their fault, my surgeries were done very well. My body just did not react to them in the way that was predicted. I don't know, I take a lot of personal responsibility for making the choice, I was never forced into it. I just thought it was the answer, and surgeons were willing to say that it *probably* would be as well.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on July 15, 2020, 12:07:32 PM
listening to orthopedic surgeons who basically guaranteed me that my injuries would be better if I let them fix them surgically. Two surgeries and 25k later, I am in more pain and poorer than before the surgeries. I have learned so much through the process that I wouldn't trade, but seriously...I could have a downpayment for a house at this point with that money, and less pain!

Have you considered speaking to a malpractice attorney?

I'm not sure this would warrant that. Surgeons will almost always recommend surgery because that is what they do...they informed me of the risks, although they did not inform me that I could end up worse than before, because really....they had no way of knowing! I really don't think it's their fault, my surgeries were done very well. My body just did not react to them in the way that was predicted. I don't know, I take a lot of personal responsibility for making the choice, I was never forced into it. I just thought it was the answer, and surgeons were willing to say that it *probably* would be as well.

When all you have is a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail. The same, evidently, applies to scalpels.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Just Joe on July 16, 2020, 08:30:16 AM
Loaning my niece $2500 for the vet when she called me crying and begging that her dog had been hit by a vehicle a month ago. She is 20, has never worked, has no driver license, lost her social security card, etc. Dog was dead less than eight hours after i made the payment. She has not contacted me since. Her father has proven so toxic and hateful since that I have blocked him from texting and have plans to never speak to him again. No respect, no gratitude.

Ahh family... Ain't they just the best?

At this point it seems like everyone's family is at least a little messy. Certainly no Norman Rockwell paintings of our family.

Yes I knew better--this is taking up so much more bandwidth than $2500 deserves. I have tried to reframe it but the betrayal is just so heavy and thick. I don't respond well to betrayal haha

If you respond well to betrayal then you'd make a good character in a novel! Best to edge difficult, ungrateful people out of your life. Perhaps relegate them to the periphery when you feel your most generous. Who has the energy to put up with difficult people on a regular basis?
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Monerexia on July 16, 2020, 12:58:54 PM
Loaning my niece $2500 for the vet when she called me crying and begging that her dog had been hit by a vehicle a month ago. She is 20, has never worked, has no driver license, lost her social security card, etc. Dog was dead less than eight hours after i made the payment. She has not contacted me since. Her father has proven so toxic and hateful since that I have blocked him from texting and have plans to never speak to him again. No respect, no gratitude.

Ahh family... Ain't they just the best?

At this point it seems like everyone's family is at least a little messy. Certainly no Norman Rockwell paintings of our family.

Yes I knew better--this is taking up so much more bandwidth than $2500 deserves. I have tried to reframe it but the betrayal is just so heavy and thick. I don't respond well to betrayal haha

If you respond well to betrayal then you'd make a good character in a novel! Best to edge difficult, ungrateful people out of your life. Perhaps relegate them to the periphery when you feel your most generous. Who has the energy to put up with difficult people on a regular basis?

Yes and I'm kind of trapped between them and my sister, who is a chronic "helper" despite all the abuse. For decades I have watched her race around town and fly to other states taking care of the deficit economic units who have become a such a burden on others. She has an "unconditional love" for family and they just flog and use her--my view is yes, they are family, but they can only get so much mileage out of 20-40 year old karma--I am done with them--as soon as get the emotional mess out of my system that is...
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on July 16, 2020, 01:26:49 PM
Loaning my niece $2500 for the vet when she called me crying and begging that her dog had been hit by a vehicle a month ago. She is 20, has never worked, has no driver license, lost her social security card, etc. Dog was dead less than eight hours after i made the payment. She has not contacted me since. Her father has proven so toxic and hateful since that I have blocked him from texting and have plans to never speak to him again. No respect, no gratitude.

Ahh family... Ain't they just the best?

At this point it seems like everyone's family is at least a little messy. Certainly no Norman Rockwell paintings of our family.

Yes I knew better--this is taking up so much more bandwidth than $2500 deserves. I have tried to reframe it but the betrayal is just so heavy and thick. I don't respond well to betrayal haha

If you respond well to betrayal then you'd make a good character in a novel! Best to edge difficult, ungrateful people out of your life. Perhaps relegate them to the periphery when you feel your most generous. Who has the energy to put up with difficult people on a regular basis?

Yes and I'm kind of trapped between them and my sister, who is a chronic "helper" despite all the abuse. For decades I have watched her race around town and fly to other states taking care of the deficit economic units who have become a such a burden on others. She has an "unconditional love" for family and they just flog and use her--my view is yes, they are family, but they can only get so much mileage out of 20-40 year old karma--I am done with them--as soon as get the emotional mess out of my system that is...

In my twenties I was just such a helper. I got it out of my system in my 30s when my dear friend and guitar teacher informed me that I was perpetuating the problem. I gradually came to understand that if I kept wiping butt, people would continue to treat me like toilet paper. The way to not be treated like toilet paper was to dial way down on the butt-wiping.

Unconditional love is really only appropriate for tiny babies. As children grow, we develop expectations of them proportionate to their development level. When someone consistently treats us poorly, it only stings because our expectations are being violated. Sometimes it's because the expectations themselves are unreasonable. Most of the time the other person is completely aware of what's needed or wanted from them, but doesn't want to do it. In your family's case I think it's the latter.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Monerexia on July 16, 2020, 03:51:19 PM
Loaning my niece $2500 for the vet when she called me crying and begging that her dog had been hit by a vehicle a month ago. She is 20, has never worked, has no driver license, lost her social security card, etc. Dog was dead less than eight hours after i made the payment. She has not contacted me since. Her father has proven so toxic and hateful since that I have blocked him from texting and have plans to never speak to him again. No respect, no gratitude.

Ahh family... Ain't they just the best?

At this point it seems like everyone's family is at least a little messy. Certainly no Norman Rockwell paintings of our family.

Yes I knew better--this is taking up so much more bandwidth than $2500 deserves. I have tried to reframe it but the betrayal is just so heavy and thick. I don't respond well to betrayal haha

If you respond well to betrayal then you'd make a good character in a novel! Best to edge difficult, ungrateful people out of your life. Perhaps relegate them to the periphery when you feel your most generous. Who has the energy to put up with difficult people on a regular basis?

Yes and I'm kind of trapped between them and my sister, who is a chronic "helper" despite all the abuse. For decades I have watched her race around town and fly to other states taking care of the deficit economic units who have become a such a burden on others. She has an "unconditional love" for family and they just flog and use her--my view is yes, they are family, but they can only get so much mileage out of 20-40 year old karma--I am done with them--as soon as get the emotional mess out of my system that is...

In my twenties I was just such a helper. I got it out of my system in my 30s when my dear friend and guitar teacher informed me that I was perpetuating the problem. I gradually came to understand that if I kept wiping butt, people would continue to treat me like toilet paper. The way to not be treated like toilet paper was to dial way down on the butt-wiping.

Unconditional love is really only appropriate for tiny babies. As children grow, we develop expectations of them proportionate to their development level. When someone consistently treats us poorly, it only stings because our expectations are being violated. Sometimes it's because the expectations themselves are unreasonable. Most of the time the other person is completely aware of what's needed or wanted from them, but doesn't want to do it. In your family's case I think it's the latter.

Yes for sure. I mean resistant to paying $50/month, which is $1.67/day, .84 cents/day for each of them--willing to burn down all the good will in a relationship and betray your family for .84 cents/day? I mean who even are these people, right?
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on July 16, 2020, 04:16:13 PM
Loaning my niece $2500 for the vet when she called me crying and begging that her dog had been hit by a vehicle a month ago. She is 20, has never worked, has no driver license, lost her social security card, etc. Dog was dead less than eight hours after i made the payment. She has not contacted me since. Her father has proven so toxic and hateful since that I have blocked him from texting and have plans to never speak to him again. No respect, no gratitude.

Ahh family... Ain't they just the best?

At this point it seems like everyone's family is at least a little messy. Certainly no Norman Rockwell paintings of our family.

Yes I knew better--this is taking up so much more bandwidth than $2500 deserves. I have tried to reframe it but the betrayal is just so heavy and thick. I don't respond well to betrayal haha

If you respond well to betrayal then you'd make a good character in a novel! Best to edge difficult, ungrateful people out of your life. Perhaps relegate them to the periphery when you feel your most generous. Who has the energy to put up with difficult people on a regular basis?

Yes and I'm kind of trapped between them and my sister, who is a chronic "helper" despite all the abuse. For decades I have watched her race around town and fly to other states taking care of the deficit economic units who have become a such a burden on others. She has an "unconditional love" for family and they just flog and use her--my view is yes, they are family, but they can only get so much mileage out of 20-40 year old karma--I am done with them--as soon as get the emotional mess out of my system that is...

In my twenties I was just such a helper. I got it out of my system in my 30s when my dear friend and guitar teacher informed me that I was perpetuating the problem. I gradually came to understand that if I kept wiping butt, people would continue to treat me like toilet paper. The way to not be treated like toilet paper was to dial way down on the butt-wiping.

Unconditional love is really only appropriate for tiny babies. As children grow, we develop expectations of them proportionate to their development level. When someone consistently treats us poorly, it only stings because our expectations are being violated. Sometimes it's because the expectations themselves are unreasonable. Most of the time the other person is completely aware of what's needed or wanted from them, but doesn't want to do it. In your family's case I think it's the latter.

Yes for sure. I mean resistant to paying $50/month, which is $1.67/day, .84 cents/day for each of them--willing to burn down all the good will in a relationship and betray your family for .84 cents/day? I mean who even are these people, right?

It's more than I'm willing to spend on vices and that goes for most of us on this board. Yet to them it might seem like such a trivial amount that you could easily be bullied into overlooking it and continuing to interact with them. The dividing line for me these days is whether the same behavior would be tolerable from a stranger.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: moof on July 21, 2020, 09:38:13 PM
Loaning my niece $2500 for the vet when she called me crying and begging that her dog had been hit by a vehicle a month ago. She is 20, has never worked, has no driver license, lost her social security card, etc. Dog was dead less than eight hours after i made the payment. She has not contacted me since. Her father has proven so toxic and hateful since that I have blocked him from texting and have plans to never speak to him again. No respect, no gratitude.
I learned pretty early on to never loan money to family.  Give it or donít, never loan it.  Most loans turn into gifts with nothing but baggage and pain given in return.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: Monerexia on July 21, 2020, 09:54:16 PM
Loaning my niece $2500 for the vet when she called me crying and begging that her dog had been hit by a vehicle a month ago. She is 20, has never worked, has no driver license, lost her social security card, etc. Dog was dead less than eight hours after i made the payment. She has not contacted me since. Her father has proven so toxic and hateful since that I have blocked him from texting and have plans to never speak to him again. No respect, no gratitude.
I learned pretty early on to never loan money to family.  Give it or donít, never loan it.  Most loans turn into gifts with nothing but baggage and pain given in return.

Ha yep that might be the perfect way to put it. The pressure to do it was intense, but I will definitely know better next time--it was completely unfair to her, my niece is in no position to pay back $2500, she doesn't even know what $2500 means--even I get overwhelmed with tasks at work and catch myself avoiding and delaying--I can't even imagine what it would be for her staring this down--I'm expecting the ghost and avoidance treatment.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: anni on July 23, 2020, 01:45:51 PM
I've got the kind of dumb mistake OP was after - a few years back, I bought the wrong plane ticket. I, huddled over a laptop in a foreign country planning a meticulous itinerary to get home, didn't realize the date selected had changed while I was shopping around Google Flights for tickets.

I bought a flight from Spain to the Netherlands that was departing a week after I would be back in the US. Luckily it only cost me about 80 euros to fix, but that was painful enough at the time that years later I still remember the amount... 🤦‍♀️ On this same trip I'd gotten my flight from the US to Sweden for less than $300 with WOW Air, rest in peace.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: dignam on August 11, 2020, 08:33:48 AM
One day I was getting to work, and my boss pulled up to ask me a question.  I had a system, where I'd turn off the car with my right hand, click the seatbelt, open the door with my left hand and lock it with my left hand.  Get out, close the car.

He interrupted me in the middle of this.

I got out of the car and locked it, but left the car running.
My husband had literally just taken off on an airplane with the spare key.

Boss called AAA.  Boy they broke in pretty quickly.

Did that on a cold night. Left the engine running while I purchased carry out food. Came out, realized my stupid mistake. Fortunately it was an older car and very easy to break into without breaking anything. Did a repeat performance on a weekend sightseeing tour. Easier to give a passenger a spare key for the day. My excuse is that I was very sleep deprived during that period (military).

We don't have enough time for all the stupid stuff I've done over the years. ;) Mostly minor but sometimes I had to repeat a mistake before getting wiser.

Iíve gotten pretty good at breaking into the vehicles Iíve owned, I can lock the keys in my car and be in within 10 seconds, if Iím outside my house and need to open the car for something but donít have the keys I always break in rather than walk back in the house to get them, itís faster, lol
Not me, but someone I'm married to who will remain nameless ;-) once managed to lock the keys in the car three times in the space of an hour and a half.  Needed the assistance of our AAA equivalent on all three occasions.  The guy who helped told her that he'd never seen anything like it in over 40 years on the job!  I don't think I've ever seen my wife as embarrassed as she was that day.

Yep, thatís kind of how it started for me too.  I locked my keys in once, had the tow truck driver open it (saw how fucking easy he made it look), and vowed never to have to call them again, and the next time I locked them in I went inside a random business office nearby and asked if I could borrow a metal ruler, they said sure and two minutes later got the locks open.  With a bit of practice it takes only seconds.

Makes one wonder why even lock the car.   I started leaving it unlocked and it doesnít bother me
1) unless you want a stained car seat and $0.38 in change ...  Not much of value inside.
2) hopefully if some thief does decide to have a look theyíll note the unlocked door versus smashing the window
3) $5000 car often parked next to $30,000+ cars... donít have to be the fastest runner to not get eaten by the bear and all

That's kind of how I see it.  I don't keep anything of value in my car, and it's only worth about $6k.  Only gets locked if I leave my backpack or something in it.

Funny story, while living in an apartment with my friend, he left his car unlocked one night.  There was a rash of car break ins that week, and he came out one morning to find all his spare change gone...but the thieves left him some assorted candy in the cup holders lol.  How thoughtful!

Same apartment: I came out one morning to a pile of puke next to my driver's side door THAT I STEPPED IN WHILE WEARING FLIP FLOPS, and an empty beer bottle in my back seat.  Last time I left the top down (Jeep Wrangler).  Granted it was in a locked garage...
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: I'm a red panda on August 11, 2020, 11:57:48 AM
I didn't proof the return address card on my wedding RSVPS, someone else in my family did. They were missing a number, so the address was wrong. We hand wrote them on 200 invites rather than reorder.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: ExitViaTheCashRamp on August 12, 2020, 05:36:53 AM
Before kids, quite a lot of our house went unused. So during the winter, I thought we could save money by only heating the kitchen & computer room (which is next to the kitchen and has no door). Occasional trips to the toilet were chilly but this would save money and given the poor insulation of our Victorian home -- will mean a lot less greenhouse gas used to heat it. The bed was heated by a electric blanket.

 So my big idea was to turn off the hot water entirely (i.e. no central heating), turn the oven on and open it's door. This worked well, both the kitchen and computer room was nice and warm in January. For about a week... then the oven died. Who knew it was not designed to run for 16 hours a day, every day ?
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: TheFrenchCat on August 12, 2020, 07:04:29 AM
Before kids, quite a lot of our house went unused. So during the winter, I thought we could save money by only heating the kitchen & computer room (which is next to the kitchen and has no door). Occasional trips to the toilet were chilly but this would save money and given the poor insulation of our Victorian home -- will mean a lot less greenhouse gas used to heat it. The bed was heated by a electric blanket.

 So my big idea was to turn off the hot water entirely (i.e. no central heating), turn the oven on and open it's door. This worked well, both the kitchen and computer room was nice and warm in January. For about a week... then the oven died. Who knew it was not designed to run for 16 hours a day, every day ?
I'd say you got lucky.  I'm surprised your pipes didn't freeze.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: stoaX on August 12, 2020, 02:13:44 PM
I have made 2 or 3 moves involving the buying and selling of houses that were truly unnecessary.  I'm sure the realtor commissions and other moving and closing costs for those 3 moves total to over $100k.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: ChpBstrd on September 01, 2020, 09:29:58 PM
1) Buying and eventually selling a house i didn't like, twice. Doing this always costs $20k each time.

2) I once lost a few thousand dollars buying put options on Netflix around 2011 or 2012. My rationale was that their content sucked (it did at the time) and the networks, HBO, etc. who were withholding content from Netflix would surely launch streaming services within a couple of months. Instead, years went by with no significant competition and Netflix invested in creating some of the best content anywhere. I went short the best performing FANG stock of the last 20 years. :)

3) I also bought puts on gold (GLD) in about 2011 or 2012. My reasoning was that the price was rising even as there was no inflation in sight. It was an expensive lesson on why gold has nothing, zero, zilch to do with inflation.

4) Investing too conservatively all my life, and letting the doom-news dictate my macro view. Even when I was several years from any possible retirement, I kept large amounts of cash and bonds and various small speculations, but was afraid to go all in on the S&P or Nasdaq as a young person should. I'd be a millionaire now had I only been willing to take the chance on a fraction of the money I must take the chance on now. I need to find a way to chill and "let it ride".

5) Generally taking the easy and low risk path through life, avoiding hard work or the possibility of anything going wrong, etc. Sticking with jobs that were going nowhere instead of looking for / seizing riskier opportunities. Trying to find work I wanted to do, which paid poorly, instead of work that could have retired me in 10 years. Now I wish I had put the pedal to the metal and taken some chances. I know several people who stepped out of their comfort zone and suddenly started making six figures in their 30's, but that seemed too hard for me. Well, guess what, working another 20 years is hard too.

-----

Yet overall I've made mostly good decisions where it counts. I never started smoking, never got a DUI or even a serious wreck, never tried several addictive substances that were offered to me at various points, never got in trouble with the law, backed down from a couple of fistfights, never made payments on a car in my whole life, managed to avoid divorce so far, avoided losing money on several cons, and took good care of my teeth. It's impossible to play a perfect game, so maybe I'm lucky most of my dumbest moves have been financial - I'm a good saver so I recover well from these goofs.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: talltexan on September 03, 2020, 09:26:37 AM
1) Buying and eventually selling a house i didn't like, twice. Doing this always costs $20k each time.

2) I once lost a few thousand dollars buying put options on Netflix around 2011 or 2012. My rationale was that their content sucked (it did at the time) and the networks, HBO, etc. who were withholding content from Netflix would surely launch streaming services within a couple of months. Instead, years went by with no significant competition and Netflix invested in creating some of the best content anywhere. I went short the best performing FANG stock of the last 20 years. :)

3) I also bought puts on gold (GLD) in about 2011 or 2012. My reasoning was that the price was rising even as there was no inflation in sight. It was an expensive lesson on why gold has nothing, zero, zilch to do with inflation.

4) Investing too conservatively all my life, and letting the doom-news dictate my macro view. Even when I was several years from any possible retirement, I kept large amounts of cash and bonds and various small speculations, but was afraid to go all in on the S&P or Nasdaq as a young person should. I'd be a millionaire now had I only been willing to take the chance on a fraction of the money I must take the chance on now. I need to find a way to chill and "let it ride".

5) Generally taking the easy and low risk path through life, avoiding hard work or the possibility of anything going wrong, etc. Sticking with jobs that were going nowhere instead of looking for / seizing riskier opportunities. Trying to find work I wanted to do, which paid poorly, instead of work that could have retired me in 10 years. Now I wish I had put the pedal to the metal and taken some chances. I know several people who stepped out of their comfort zone and suddenly started making six figures in their 30's, but that seemed too hard for me. Well, guess what, working another 20 years is hard too.

-----

Yet overall I've made mostly good decisions where it counts. I never started smoking, never got a DUI or even a serious wreck, never tried several addictive substances that were offered to me at various points, never got in trouble with the law, backed down from a couple of fistfights, never made payments on a car in my whole life, managed to avoid divorce so far, avoided losing money on several cons, and took good care of my teeth. It's impossible to play a perfect game, so maybe I'm lucky most of my dumbest moves have been financial - I'm a good saver so I recover well from these goofs.

@ChpBstrd , based on #'s 2-4, how would you recommend a younger mustachian handle his/her investments today?
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: ChpBstrd on September 04, 2020, 01:34:07 PM
1) Buying and eventually selling a house i didn't like, twice. Doing this always costs $20k each time.

2) I once lost a few thousand dollars buying put options on Netflix around 2011 or 2012. My rationale was that their content sucked (it did at the time) and the networks, HBO, etc. who were withholding content from Netflix would surely launch streaming services within a couple of months. Instead, years went by with no significant competition and Netflix invested in creating some of the best content anywhere. I went short the best performing FANG stock of the last 20 years. :)

3) I also bought puts on gold (GLD) in about 2011 or 2012. My reasoning was that the price was rising even as there was no inflation in sight. It was an expensive lesson on why gold has nothing, zero, zilch to do with inflation.

4) Investing too conservatively all my life, and letting the doom-news dictate my macro view. Even when I was several years from any possible retirement, I kept large amounts of cash and bonds and various small speculations, but was afraid to go all in on the S&P or Nasdaq as a young person should. I'd be a millionaire now had I only been willing to take the chance on a fraction of the money I must take the chance on now. I need to find a way to chill and "let it ride".

5) Generally taking the easy and low risk path through life, avoiding hard work or the possibility of anything going wrong, etc. Sticking with jobs that were going nowhere instead of looking for / seizing riskier opportunities. Trying to find work I wanted to do, which paid poorly, instead of work that could have retired me in 10 years. Now I wish I had put the pedal to the metal and taken some chances. I know several people who stepped out of their comfort zone and suddenly started making six figures in their 30's, but that seemed too hard for me. Well, guess what, working another 20 years is hard too.

-----

Yet overall I've made mostly good decisions where it counts. I never started smoking, never got a DUI or even a serious wreck, never tried several addictive substances that were offered to me at various points, never got in trouble with the law, backed down from a couple of fistfights, never made payments on a car in my whole life, managed to avoid divorce so far, avoided losing money on several cons, and took good care of my teeth. It's impossible to play a perfect game, so maybe I'm lucky most of my dumbest moves have been financial - I'm a good saver so I recover well from these goofs.

@ChpBstrd , based on #'s 2-4, how would you recommend a younger mustachian handle his/her investments today?

The operator is the least reliable part of any investment plan - even if that plan is to buy and hold.

First, recognize the role that alternating anxiety and self-confidence can have on investment decision-making. As you receive various media/social media messages, you will alternate between these dangerous emotions.

Second, do not think of investment money in terms of the number of months/years labor required to produce it. I "lost" over $20k on paper yesterday, but if I thought of that as "6 more months until retirement" I might panic sell. Hell, in March I "lost" 3 years of hard work within a matter of weeks, but we see how that turned out.

Third, never-never-never read Seeking Alpha or get your investing ideas from people anywhere else on the internet. Either buy the indexes or buy the makers of products you or your employer are enthusiastic about.
Title: Re: What's your dumbest mistake?
Post by: talltexan on September 12, 2020, 07:45:37 AM
Thank you!

For trading individual stocks, I have a theory that we tend to "notice" stocks when there's news about them, and that hype means they're probably already over-valued. (this supports your "seeking alpha" advice).

I've been looking for other patterns that can get me examining a stock when it's unprompted by these things, for example all of the single letter stocks, or trading on my kids' initials.

I suppose I'd be richer if my daughter were named "Amazon".