Author Topic: REGRETS  (Read 5674 times)

Ty Webb

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REGRETS
« on: November 14, 2012, 06:57:01 PM »
Hi All,
Does anyone else have regrets about their old free-spending ways? I'm in my mid-thirties and have been working on my 'stache for 3 years or so now. It's going great, savings are really building. My problem is, I did very well from an earnings perspective when I was in my twenties, making over a million dollars but I don't really have anything to show for it.  Just living in a big city, meals, drinks, clothes, trips, toys, etc. My industry has changed, big earnings don't come as easily now, and I had a chance at a very lucrative partnership that I passed on.  If I had only saved money and not sold the now very expensive real estate that I had bought.   I can't seem to shake the thought that if "I knew then what I know now" I'd already be retired! How do I bury these feelings of regret and move on?

EJ

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Re: REGRETS
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2012, 07:25:04 PM »
Ty - welcome to the forums. 

You need to move forward and learn from the past (forgive yourself but don't forget).  People that have earned a high wage in the past have a great propensity toward getting back to those high earnings - be fortunate for what you have, work toward building your stash and go out and win every day.

I've often been bewildered by my early years stupidity as well.  Something I found that has helped me is a small amount of meditation each day - sounds and feels strange at first but it is incredible the power of living in the present moment...pm me if you want some specific reading sources.

Khao

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Re: REGRETS
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2012, 07:37:58 PM »
I consider myself extremely lucky for multiple reasons :
- I'm young and have a lot of working years in front of me (I'm only 22)
- I'm a software developer so I know my salary will always be great
- I didn't mess up too badly (pure luck I guess because I still had no idea how to manage money)

My only big regret : Exactly one year ago, I got a lease on a new Toyota Matrix. A couple months later, I maxed out my credit card with a (relatively low) limit of 5k, then I panicked and told myself I needed to fix this. Took me nearly a whole year but last month I finally brought my credit card to 0! Found out about mustachianism only recently so I'm still working on fixing all the other bad things (like getting rid of the car) and I really wish I had bought an old beat-up car for 2-3k instead. I wouldn't have gotten into that maxed out credit card fiasco I had and I would have had a pretty good start of a stash right now.

kudy

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Re: REGRETS
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2012, 09:19:26 PM »
All the mistakes that you made were great learning experiences - that's what I always try and remind myself - I wouldn't be as wise as I am today if I was doing what I do now since birth.  Also, don't forget to remember the good times (assuming there were some) mixed in with all the wasteful spending.

Adventine

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Re: REGRETS
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2012, 09:33:24 PM »
Hi All,
Does anyone else have regrets about their old free-spending ways? I'm in my mid-thirties and have been working on my 'stache for 3 years or so now. It's going great, savings are really building. My problem is, I did very well from an earnings perspective when I was in my twenties, making over a million dollars but I don't really have anything to show for it.  Just living in a big city, meals, drinks, clothes, trips, toys, etc. My industry has changed, big earnings don't come as easily now, and I had a chance at a very lucrative partnership that I passed on.  If I had only saved money and not sold the now very expensive real estate that I had bought.   I can't seem to shake the thought that if "I knew then what I know now" I'd already be retired! How do I bury these feelings of regret and move on?


Hey, you eventually wised up. :) I'm sure now that you've found enlightenment, that you can find at least a couple of older people in your life who are still shackled to their consumerist lifestyles.  Relative to them, you're doing pretty great.

Nords

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Re: REGRETS
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2012, 09:46:08 PM »
I can't seem to shake the thought that if "I knew then what I know now" I'd already be retired! How do I bury these feelings of regret and move on?
That's your brain trying to make sure you get lasting value from the tuition you've paid to the School of Experience.

I think the thoughts & feelings will fade over time as you replace the old memories with new successes.  The key is that you changed your habits while you still had the ability to earn more and invest.  Imagine if you'd kept your old habits until you were 65 years old...

nofool

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Re: REGRETS
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2012, 10:40:57 AM »
Agreed with everybody else here.

Look, there will always be things you could have done better. It's a blessing to be at your current age and look back at your younger self and think, "Man, I was such an idiot!" It shows you just how far you've come. That's something to be thankful for!

"What if's" will haunt you to the day you die, if you let them. Don't. Just look toward the future instead. :)

AJ

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Re: REGRETS
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2012, 02:50:49 PM »
I definitely regret some of the financial mistakes of my past, and I know what you mean about dwelling on them. But, I think the further down the road to financial freedom you get, the less it bothers you what could have been. And once you DO retire, its not like you will think to yourself "Man, if only I hadn't bought all those lattes not only would I be retired now, but I would have been retired a year ago!" (or, whatever). Point is, memories and regrets do fade as you build the life you want for yourself.

Yeah, I shouldn't have taken out $43k in student loans for a degree I didn't even want or need. And, while I was still paying them off, I really felt those pangs of "what if". But now that they are all paid in full (and have been for a couple of years) I don't even think about it any more. I shouldn't have bought my first house at near the peak of the market. But now that we are in a different house, and the old one is a cash-flow-positive rental, I don't think about it. That doesn't mean they weren't mistakes, and it doesn't mean I didn't learn from them, but the mistakes no longer cause me mental stress or lost sleep.

ruthiegirl

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Re: REGRETS
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2012, 05:04:50 PM »
Yep, and in Mustachaian lingo, you punch yourself in the face and move on.  It sucks, but it's done.   What changes from this point on is up to you. 

And welcome!  I am newby too and believe me, I deserve several good face punches.  Aw well, onward and upward. 

happy

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Re: REGRETS
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2012, 06:55:30 PM »
The thing about  life is, unless you are perfect you will make mistakes. I'm just about to deliver the oh so clique'd line about we all make mistakes, the thing is to learn from them.
Sit your self down and say: did I make mistakes in the past: YES. Do I know how to avoid this from now on: YES.  Give yourself a green light and :).  Then get on with it and try not to make the same mistake again. Hold your self to your new frugality just to prove you learnt the lesson.

The "I wasted so much in the past, regret regret etc"  is one step away from "I've blown it now, no use trying anymore". IMO. Don't go there.

John Spartan

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Re: REGRETS
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2012, 07:06:17 PM »
I think it's important to note that it's in the past.  No amount of worrying or stressing or anything else can change that now.  Mistake or not it happened.  What you CAN control is how you react and deal with it going forward.  If you let it to continue to effect you, then its effect will be much greater on you.  I realize this is easier said than done, but like others have said here....make the most of it as a learning opportunity.  You can't change it now, so learn from it.

rjack

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Re: REGRETS
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2012, 07:05:17 AM »
Substitute "I have learned valuable lessons" for "I have regrets" and you will be on the right track.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2012, 07:10:13 AM by rjack »

JanMN

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Re: REGRETS
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2012, 08:05:26 AM »
Oh my god, everyone has regrets - it's called normal :-)  I basically saved no money in my 20s and started in my 30s, so I've had to work like heck to catch up...but I try to think of all the cool things I did in my 20s, which I couldn't pay for... so get (trick) your perspective to look on the bright side and try to let the other just be. 

One Day At A Time

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Re: REGRETS
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2012, 11:35:02 AM »
Oh heavens I have so many financial ones as well! I worked at investment banks for 8 years and spent most of my bonuses. I have never been a great saver (working on that) and when I was laid off spent my unemployment versus saving it. I'm a SAHM now with my kiddo and I think about how much closer my husband would be to retirement IF we had invested rather than spending my bonuses or if we had learned to live on one salary years (decades) ago.

When I started working there was no internet (gasp) so finding MMM would have been difficult in that light but I DO wish I had been raised with a solid financial foundation (there was none) or found frugality about 20 years ago.

Of course the thing that keeps me from flagellating myself too much, is that I can pass this knowledge to my son and he will NOT make the mistakes his parents (mostly mom) did. Or if he does, it won't be because I didn't teach him differently.

Forcus

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Re: REGRETS
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2012, 06:30:39 PM »
Absolutely! I have estimated that I have spent about 130k on my car habit the last 15 years without much to show for it. I had a bad habit of buying a car for cheap, pumping a bunch of money in it, getting bored, and selling it.... for cheap. Great deals for the buyers though! I've been reading this blog for about 6 months and wish I had discovered something like it 10 years ago when I started making real money. I could probably be retired by now. But, live and learn. I plan on teaching my kids what my parents and schools did not.

mm1970

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Re: REGRETS
« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2012, 09:42:40 PM »
Sure.  I work in a place where a lot of people buy lunch out.  Every day.  And I lecture the young ones especially that it's a waste of money.  Several of them have started to bring lunch, a few of them go in spurts.

But what I tell them, when they ask is this - I didn't learn to cook until I was 32.  When I was 34 and we bought the house, I was packing up the garage and found a credit card statement from when I was in my 20's and living in DC.

OMG.  $1200 a month.  Nearly all of it eating out (probably 1/3 beer.)  And that was normal (and it was back in the 90's).  When I think of how much money I'd have if I'd saved an extra $1000 a month for 3-4 years... 

One of my coworkers just rented a studio without a real kitchen.  He says he doesn't cook much anyway, and the $300 a month savings will more than make up for increased eating out.  I don't think he's really done that math.