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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: resy on October 15, 2014, 09:45:47 AM

Title: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: resy on October 15, 2014, 09:45:47 AM
Financial or otherwise. I'll go first:

-would have saved 2/3 of my income when I was a single mom by living with roomates, etc. I realize now how possible this was and how much I wasted.

-enjoyed my child's stages more. I was always too stressed about things that seemed important at the time...mommy and me playgroups, more days at the park, etc. I would do a lot more of them. Time really is the most valuable commodity.
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: frugalnacho on October 15, 2014, 09:53:11 AM
I would have saved a shit ton more money.  I could be pretty damn close to FIRE if I had known it was a realistic goal from the time I was 18.
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: Angie55 on October 15, 2014, 09:59:09 AM
I would have kept my 100k+ job straight out of college and saved like mad. Could have FIRE'd so early! Along with that I would have taken the transfer  that they offered in the first 6 months to explore a new city and save crazy amounts of expat $. Ah, I would never do that now though! Love my work life balance and Colorado too much. Long term it is definitely worth the 50% cut in pay. If I had known I could be FI in 5-7 years at the time that's a different story.
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: 2Birds1Stone on October 15, 2014, 10:05:02 AM
I would have picked a completely different college major/ career path.
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: Basenji on October 15, 2014, 10:05:45 AM
I'm 45. I wish I had
--saved a LOT more money on easy things like food, eating out, clothes, NOT DIYing more (because I assumed I couldn't). Small changes a decade ago would have added up to me not working today...
--maintained my body better: exercised consistently, lost weight 10 years ago (it's harder the older you get)
--kept in touch better with friends who live far away
--called my dad more, been a better daughter (I miss him a lot and cringe how I was kind of a jerk sometimes).
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: begood on October 15, 2014, 10:26:55 AM
I'd have bought smaller houses.
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: Zikoris on October 15, 2014, 10:59:31 AM
Skip post-secondary entirely, get some office skills, and start doing what I'm doing now and saving most of my money.

Also do an African camping safari solo - my boyfriend hates roughing it generally, so this one will be a hard sell compared to our usual luxurious trips.
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: bogart on October 15, 2014, 11:07:12 AM
Debatable whether this really counts as it started more than a decade ago, but I was still enduring it a decade ago:  spent a lot more money, a lot sooner, on infertility treatments.  A dumb thing to delay on (even if we didn't have the money at the time) and something where spending (even by borrowing to do so) might well have saved us not only considerable emotional distress, but also money, in the long run.
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: Better Change on October 15, 2014, 11:16:20 AM
I would skip the chemistry PhD and get a BS in engineering.  I'd immediately have 5 years of my life back and earn roughly the same salary by now.
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: MgoSam on October 15, 2014, 11:22:06 AM
I would like to say that I would have been a better student, but one thing that I could have easily done is go to an in-state public school rather than an out of state one, or if I wanted to get away, Minnesota has reciprocity with Wisconsin so I could have gone to UW-Madison for half the price of my college education.
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: dude on October 15, 2014, 11:29:29 AM
I'd have gotten out of NYC earlier than I did, thus amping up my savings earlier.
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: mm1970 on October 15, 2014, 11:32:30 AM
I'm 44.  I'm not sure that I would have changed much.  So many questions...
Maybe I would have not purchased my house.  It is still worth less than I paid for it. But we are going on hindsight being 20/20.  I like my house and the location, but had I waited until 2010 or 2011 to buy it, I could have gotten it for $250k less.
Then again, maybe it wouldn't be the same house (but could have been either of the houses next door).

Of course, I wouldn't have the friends I have from the hood, and the school, so there is that.

I spent way too much money eating out in my early 20's to early 30's, but that's more than a decade ago.  I corrected that in 2001.
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: DollarBill on October 15, 2014, 11:42:41 AM
I would have held onto my stock in Amazon (Sold @ $70 a share). I used the money to help pay off the mortgage. Oh well. 
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: JGB on October 15, 2014, 11:47:19 AM
A few people said they'd have bought a smaller/cheaper house. In most cases, that's totally something you can still do! Sell and move to a house that is more fitting. You can do it!

That said, my do-over is house-related as well. My wife and I moved to the east coast for high-paying government jobs that were tied to our scholarships for grad school. Once we were out there, we bought a fairly pricey house big enough to raise the family we didn't yet have. Six months later, we had a talk about life goals because we were both miserable with the quality of life offered by the east coast in comparison to the lives we had in the midwest. Turns out, we both thought we were sucking it up and fighting through it so that the other could live the life they wanted.

If I could have a do-over, it would be to have learned how important communication is much sooner. And then, as a result, to have not bought the house, which we ultimately sold at a 100k loss. Our time there would have been better, and we'd be richer by 100k + earnings/interest on 100k from 2008 'til now would have made. That might be enough that we'd both be FIREd now, instead of just her.
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: welliamwallace on October 15, 2014, 11:52:52 AM
Bought more bitcoins in 2010.

But no for real: This is the 4th year working out of school, and only the first one I'm contributing to an IRA. WTF past self? also the first year I'm maxing out my 401k. I could have easily done it earlier.
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: retired? on October 15, 2014, 11:54:40 AM
Not have moved around so much.  While doing fine financially, in retrospect, had I kept first job after grad school I would probably be as well off or better.  Look harder to change situation within a company rather than leave it.

Something to be said for living in the same area for a long while and if good opportunities, to be at the same firm for a while.
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: AccidentalMiser on October 15, 2014, 12:07:28 PM
I wouldn't have bought a house in 2011.  We made some assumptions regarding the RE market and careers that have not come to pass.  It wasn't a "mistake" but I sure wish we had made more conservative assumptions.

Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: Beric01 on October 15, 2014, 12:29:33 PM
I would have negotiated salary before accepting my current job offer. I had other job offers so I had plenty of leverage, but I wimped out. :(
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: VirginiaBob on October 15, 2014, 12:50:11 PM
I would have sold that pizza for 10,000 bitcoin.  Why oh why was I so stubborn!  In reality though, I'm not sure if I would change anything since it might butterfly effect what I have now.
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: MillenialMustache on October 15, 2014, 12:50:33 PM
-Spent more time with my siblings before they moved away from home. Trying to rectify that and see them more now.

-Bought a house closer to my parents. We are 45 min away now and we may move closer someday, but not right now.

-Had more people at my wedding and held it somewhere inexpensive like a park so I could invite as many people as I wanted.

-Not have driven to work the day I got into an accident (we usually carpool). I would still have my Matrix with 162,000 miles and wouldn't have had to buy another car (setting back my FIRE). I also wouldn't be hurt from it.

There are probably other things, but that is what comes to mind now.
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: GardenFun on October 15, 2014, 02:00:25 PM
- First, put the extra money we used to pay off the house early toward maxing our 401k's and IRA's.
- Second, bring down our standard of living to pay off the house early. 

MMM thinking would have turned an "either/or" mindset into "buckle down and do both".
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: justplucky on October 15, 2014, 02:16:55 PM
I'm turning 32 in a couple of weeks here. If we go back further I would've delayed college until I had more life experience, and therefore better perspective about what to study and what extracurriculars to do (internships!).

If I'm limited to ten years:

- I'd try to get an internship (even if unpaid) earlier than I did. I only started earning decent money after an internship in my late twenties led to my current job.
- I would've fought to break the eating out habit sooner.
- I would've started saving at least $100 a month in an IRA.
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: jka468 on October 15, 2014, 02:29:02 PM
I would have gone to the same university and majored in the same subject (engineering), but I would have done ROTC (no student loans). After graduation I would have joined the Navy or Marines for my 4yr stint and saved a ton of what I earned during that time and finally, as I would have gotten out about 6 months ago I would have gone to B-school or Med school essentially for free using the GI BIll.

By the age of 30 I'd be graduating with no debt and money in the bank. The path I'm on now isn't bad at all considering my undergrad degree pays, but if I knew about this path at the time I would have done it without a second thought.
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: thedayisbrave on October 15, 2014, 02:29:15 PM
I'm 24, and haven't done too much I've regretted yet, but I do sometimes wish I'd majored in a more useful degree.  I have my BA in Spanish and Sociology (double major).  At the moment, I did it because both were subjects that I enjoyed, but I didn't really have a plan... but who does at age 18? Anyway, fast forward 6 years I now work in various aspects of business (both real estate & finance) and though I went back and got my Master's in a business based program, I still feel like I could have gotten a BA in Business Administration and have been done with it.  But I loved my time in Master's program last year (studied for a half year in the south of France) so I don't regret that either.  Oh well... live and learn. 
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: Shipwreckgirl on October 15, 2014, 02:33:46 PM
I wish I would've moved to Paris when I was 25.  The things that were holding me here don't even exist anymore.  I also wish I would've started putting money into my IRA about 15 years ago.  Working on that one.  One more wish - I wish I would not have spent so much time and energy being sad over relationships that didn't work out.  I wasted SO much time and many tears...
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: Jersey on October 15, 2014, 02:34:44 PM
Ten years puts me into the planning to go to college stages of high school. I would have busted my butt in AP classes. I would have not worried so much about sports. I would probably still have gone to the same in state college, but having a huge leg up on credits I would have done the Civil Engineering/MBA 5 year program and finished in 4. I would have taken my early year classes just as serious as I did later on. I would have participated in a few more extra curricular activities on a more regular basis. Then, when full time work rolled around I would start saving aggressively. Avoided purchasing the new cars and stayed at the apartment that was a mile away from the office.

No matter what, it was all a learning experience and no matter how much I would have liked to follow that path, I can only move forward.
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: NoraLenderbee on October 15, 2014, 02:48:46 PM
I'm 51, so I could go back a lot further, but here's what I would have done differently in the last 10 years:

Do buy a house--but not *that* house. If we had raised our budget somewhat (still within what we could afford) and looked longer, we could have had an equally good house in a much more pleasant neighborhood.

In the house theme, do buy new windows, but not from *that* shop.
Do not hire the lowest-bidder for the electrical work (!!!). That was an expensive lesson! But at least we know now.

Stop slaving away at work hoping that finally, finally they will understand what you do and value your work correctly. They will just suck you dry and toss you out. Instead, take your experience and brains to a competitor and build your own team.

Get back on the bike sooner.

Buy lots more stock in the fall of 2008. :) I bought a little, but I didn't have the stomach for more.

Don't take that job in the city an hour away, no matter how good it sounds. Better to freelance for a while longer, even though the uncertainty is really hard to live with. OTOH, it did provide a few new asshole-boss stories for my collection.

Ask for more money when you get the new job. Even if they said no, it wouldn't have hurt to ask.
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: Jack on October 15, 2014, 02:58:18 PM
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: GetItRight on October 15, 2014, 03:00:14 PM
Plenty of things I could nitpick about to save money or make life better or easier but I'll take the bad with the good on those as it probably made me who I am... But if I could change one thing it would be not to go to college, it ruined me financially and I didn't gain anything from it.
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: resy on October 15, 2014, 04:58:29 PM
Wow, interesting to see how often college comes up on the list. Im 28 and barely starting out in the college path...def made me feel a little better about the wait. HOUSES! gawd yes, I agree. Actually, my only motivation to own one is for my kid (backyard and veggie garden). Other than that I dont even picture myself staying put much once he's out on his own (still a while left for that)
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: Thegoblinchief on October 15, 2014, 05:09:58 PM
Get married at 21 and have kids right away. I'd still do that.

1. Finish my undergrad in 2.5 years instead of 3. Skip grad school and work my current job weekends only, being a SAHD during the week right from the start.

2. My wife could've gotten her grad and other certs paid by her employer, and gotten the pay raises much sooner without us trying to pay for my grad.

3. Save for a traditional 20% down payment. That would've put us in a house right after the bubble burst.

4. Live our current frugal life from the start. We wasted an unbelievable amount of money as young, stressed parents.

The last time I did back of the napkin math on this scenario, we could have had 3 kids and still be FIRE or awfully close right now at 30. We're currently saving about 75% post tax and we aren't making a TON more money than we started with.
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: jday on October 15, 2014, 05:25:14 PM
I would never buy that house with that person with nothing down in 2005! lol. even if the market wouldn't have collapsed it was an awful decision that took money away from some of my early investing years. Without capital, investing in real estate is a bad idea. My current plan is to buy cheap houses with cash to rent out, or at least put 20 or 30% down on a house I can live in while I fix it up.

My undergrad is in political science and I went to a tech school to get a second bachelors in IT. Somehow the admissions adviser convinced me that an MBA was a smarter move. While I did want to get my MBA eventually I would have preferred to spend that time getting "hard skills" in computer science then "soft skills" in an MBA program. With IT skills Im sure I could have had an employer pay for my MBA or maybe decide I dont want it after all.

Besides buying a house for the wrong reasons, and choosing my degree for the wrong reasons, I think overall I wouldn't redo anything else.
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: resy on October 15, 2014, 06:50:42 PM
Get married at 21 and have kids right away. I'd still do that.

1. Finish my undergrad in 2.5 years instead of 3. Skip grad school and work my current job weekends only, being a SAHD during the week right from the start.

2. My wife could've gotten her grad and other certs paid by her employer, and gotten the pay raises much sooner without us trying to pay for my grad.

3. Save for a traditional 20% down payment. That would've put us in a house right after the bubble burst.

4. Live our current frugal life from the start. We wasted an unbelievable amount of money as young, stressed parents.

The last time I did back of the napkin math on this scenario, we could have had 3 kids and still be FIRE or awfully close right now at 30. We're currently saving about 75% post tax and we aren't making a TON more money than we started with.
Incredibly, my back of the napkin math puts me at a 170k lost in the last decade to....absolutely nothing, AS A SINGLE PARENT. My business and energy was full swing then and at this point I need to move on into something else. Shame the mistakes of my youth lol money I could have invested otherwise went to pay for 2 bedroom/2bath fancy apartments for a sigle mom and little kid, (lots) of eating out, fancy clothes.
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: tofuchampion on October 15, 2014, 07:05:22 PM
1.  Not get married.  This would have prevented a LOT of financial headache, both in the marriage as well as from the divorce. 

2.  Start living frugally.  10 years ago I was an active duty Marine with very few expenses.  I could have saved SO much...

3.  Take college classes while active duty, instead of waiting till I got out.  Either way, choose a practical major.
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: rocklebock on October 15, 2014, 08:00:14 PM
I wouldn't have bought a condo with my ex in 2006 with 5% down.
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: MilStachian on October 15, 2014, 08:03:48 PM
Started reading MMM earlier.
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: mozar on October 15, 2014, 09:05:57 PM
I've made some dumb choices in the past decade, like not participating in my first real job's 401k (would have a few thousand extra), but have held on surprising well, and been able to correct the really bad mistakes from earlier.

More than ten years ago I didn't know/understand that I could go to my fancy college for free if I got better grades, because I came from a low income family. That cost me 100k in unnecessary tuition. I also would have straight up gotten my Mrs. degree in college. I went to a great school, i could've easily found a spouse, but my family encouraged me to "find myself" or some shit. Now single and watching my eggs dry up.
Lot's of stuff I wish I could've done differently but I didn't know any better. So I can't regret what I didn't know about. But I enjoy reading other peoples regrets.
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: Spartana on October 15, 2014, 09:12:52 PM
My last 10 years were pretty great so wouldn't change anything. But I guess I would say that I should have stayed in the Coast Guard longer as that was a job I really really loved.
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: retired? on October 15, 2014, 10:40:20 PM
I'm 24, and haven't done too much I've regretted yet, but I do sometimes wish I'd majored in a more useful degree.  I have my BA in Spanish and Sociology (double major).  At the moment, I did it because both were subjects that I enjoyed, but I didn't really have a plan... but who does at age 18? Anyway, fast forward 6 years I now work in various aspects of business (both real estate & finance) and though I went back and got my Master's in a business based program, I still feel like I could have gotten a BA in Business Administration and have been done with it.  But I loved my time in Master's program last year (studied for a half year in the south of France) so I don't regret that either.  Oh well... live and learn.

Keep livin' andl learnin'.  Wow.  Yah.  Who does at 18?  Geez.  Many people do, and if not at 18 then by 20 or 21.  Yah, live and learn.  Sounds like you  had good backing.  Good for you if so, but being that indecisive, while that comes with being young, usually has consequences. 

You "haven't done too much you've regretted", but perhaps " you haven't done as much as you've preferred.".   Very different statements.
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: Dicey on October 15, 2014, 11:34:21 PM
I am so happy with my life right now that I wouldn't change a single thing. I wouldn't be in this happy place if not for every single lesson and experience along the way.
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: EvenKeeled on October 16, 2014, 12:01:55 AM
I'm 55 and might be able to FIRE in about five years. Why don't people teach young folks about this stuff when they are just starting out?

I live in an expensive area because I like the area, but feel like a dope for never having been able to afford a house. So I'm still renting after all these years.

I never focused much on making a lot of money 'cause I was in the one profession that was my dream (architecture) and what else would I ever do?

I've always been naturally frugal, except when I spent a lot of money on some things (therapy, business coaching neither helped that much).

So, now I've found this site and forum and I'm working on things. And the future looks pretty bright...though I won't be retiring early by MMM standards!
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: NoraLenderbee on October 16, 2014, 11:46:27 AM
I am so happy with my life right now that I wouldn't change a single thing. I wouldn't be in this happy place if not for every single lesson and experience along the way.

Nice. :)
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: A&R on October 16, 2014, 11:52:32 AM
I'm 45. I wish I had
--saved a LOT more money on easy things like food, eating out, clothes, NOT DIYing more (because I assumed I couldn't). Small changes a decade ago would have added up to me not working today...
--maintained my body better: exercised consistently, lost weight 10 years ago (it's harder the older you get)
--kept in touch better with friends who live far away
--called my dad more, been a better daughter (I miss him a lot and cringe how I was kind of a jerk sometimes).

Wow, very interesting. These are all things that I tell myself I need to work on (except replace "dad" with "mom" in the last point). I just turned 31, and I don't feel old, but I feel grown-up, if that makes sense. I feel like I should have all my shit together at this point, but I so do not. I guess the only time we have is right now. Reflecting on the past decade is helpful only in the sense that it motivates us to be different right now so that the next decades can be different ... better!
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: forummm on October 16, 2014, 01:21:22 PM
Not started a bad relationship. Would have been good for the wallet, sanity, and meeting other people. But that course of events did lead me to where I am now, so hard to know which alternative is better at this point.

And of course I would have mined insane amounts of Bitcoin, and sold at the peak, and sold short Citigroup at its peak and bought insane amounts of options on stocks like Ford at their bottom, etc.
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: BlueHouse on October 16, 2014, 02:56:15 PM
1.  I would have asked for and accepted advice from more people.  I wanted to learn and do everything myself without really putting in enough effort to always make great choices.  There are many resources out in the world that I didn't know existed, but I could have known had I asked for help/advice from others. This goes all the way back to high school guidance counselors. 
2.  I would have considered much more carefully going into the military after college, or even going full-ROTC.  I think that would have been a lifestyle that I would have enjoyed and would have taught me some skills that would be very useful.
3.  I would have stopped worrying so much what others thought of me and lived my own life. 
4.  I would have considered thoughtfully what I wanted out of life so that I could create a plan to get there.  Instead, I just woke up, got dressed, went to work, came home, wash, rinse, repeat.   
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: mm1970 on October 16, 2014, 03:15:57 PM
A few people said they'd have bought a smaller/cheaper house. In most cases, that's totally something you can still do! Sell and move to a house that is more fitting. You can do it!

That said, my do-over is house-related as well. My wife and I moved to the east coast for high-paying government jobs that were tied to our scholarships for grad school. Once we were out there, we bought a fairly pricey house big enough to raise the family we didn't yet have. Six months later, we had a talk about life goals because we were both miserable with the quality of life offered by the east coast in comparison to the lives we had in the midwest. Turns out, we both thought we were sucking it up and fighting through it so that the other could live the life they wanted.

If I could have a do-over, it would be to have learned how important communication is much sooner. And then, as a result, to have not bought the house, which we ultimately sold at a 100k loss. Our time there would have been better, and we'd be richer by 100k + earnings/interest on 100k from 2008 'til now would have made. That might be enough that we'd both be FIREd now, instead of just her.
I said "cheaper" meaning I would have timed it better.
I wouldn't go "smaller", it's 2BR, 1BA, 1100sf with no garage.  Can't really find a smaller single family house here.
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: Melody on October 16, 2014, 05:07:52 PM
Bought the investment property with my ex boyfriend (still good friend) when I was an apprentice. I had the deposit but fear held me back because my income was so low. We would have cleared $150k each by now. Also made an effort to pay at least some of my university fees upfront. But generally I am happy. I am only 25, in a great job, no debt, have travelled the world and just completed my post grad qualification!
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: WGH on October 17, 2014, 12:51:42 PM
I won't even mention all the missed stock buying opportunities.....

Most things have turned out all right, bought a house right at the bottom with a rate of 3.25% and soon thereafter the builder increased prices on all models. Also bought it via FHA  few months before the changed the PMI rules.

Have two good jobs and work 60+ hours a week with a terrible commute but the benefits and 401k match actually make it worth it. We waited to have kids and managed to time it in our early 30s when we had some financial cushion and still somewhat young. Wife is a SAHM and despite some not so mustachian habits and with the help of a tremendous 401k employer match everything is working out as planned.

As for regrets I failed two classes as a freshman in college just because I was too stupid to drop them. That sunk my GPA like a rock and killed any opportunity for med school or a good law school. So I ended up in accounting/finance instead. If I could go back I would drop out of high school at 16 and do a GED. Then two years of community college in psychology and make damn sure I aced every class. Then transfer to a public college to finish and study like a lunatic for the MCATS or LSAT making sure that I didn't take out a single loan. I took AP classes in high school but honestly it was a waste of time those extra two years in college would have been better served.
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: Prepube on October 17, 2014, 05:08:32 PM
1980-1990 In my twenties.  I never saved a dime.  I'd definitely do that differently, but it was a good decade once I finished school.  Had no job, but accumulated lots of debt while finishing my doctorate.
1990-2000 I didn't start investing until the mid to late 90's.  Had I done so, I would not be reading about early retirement, I'd be doing it. 
2000-2010 I tend to hold stocks and managed funds too long.  If I could re-do it, I would have just put it all into index funds and REITs.
2010-2015 Although I've reached all the financial goals and now I'm just waiting for the timing to be right for selling my business, if I could have a do-over I would have sold earlier and enjoyed myself more the last five years.  I wish I had played more and worked less. 
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: Prepube on October 17, 2014, 05:12:02 PM
Oh.  And I would have bought Apple.  A lot of it. In 1982 when it was under 2.00. 
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: iris lily on October 17, 2014, 06:57:51 PM
We lived through the real estate run-up of 1995 - 2000 watching many houses in our neighborhood of Victorians be flipped for a nice profit. Our neighborhood was in the top 5% of 'nabes in my city that appreciated most in that whole real estate rage. DH has all of the skills to do a flip, he does this stuff for a living. We had enough money to do a flip.

Yet--we did not buy any of them.

And I have only one regret, that we didn't buy one house half a block away from where we live. It is a modest house with a huge yard. We could have rented that house out and farmed the yard.

Instead, we ended up buying several little junky houses in order to get more land. We really just want the land, not the houses. They are not habitable. I know this sounds crazy, but we were just kinda into collecting tiny houses that had nice size lots there for a while. Now we need to sell one of them and I'll be sad when it's gone.

But back to the thing I regret: the one we did not buy was habitable and would have appreciated nicely, and I would have been able to have a nice  lily garden within a short walk and have tenants that were decent.
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: MoneyCat on October 17, 2014, 07:07:21 PM
I would have taken charge of my financial situation a lot sooner if I could redo the last decade.  I was a mess ten years ago -- shitty credit, no savings, no investments, low-paying job, girlfriend stealing my money.  I can't even believe I'm the same person.  Maybe I'm not.
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: Pooperman on October 17, 2014, 07:59:58 PM
Read MMM before graduating. Gone to a school where I had 3/4 scholarship instead of one where I had none (not that I paid anything either way). Taken alternative avenues to find employment instead of letting pride get in my way for a year.

Really though, I'd change nothing. Without these events, I would have nothing to make me realize how stupid I was then and how even now I've got improvement to do history is 20/20, which is very hard to do in the present especially for yourself.
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: Credaholic on October 17, 2014, 09:46:38 PM
Maxed out retirement accounts, just put this on auto and never miss the money going into savings. Even without compounding, we'd be sitting on at least half a mil!

This is slightly more than a decade ago, but I would have majored in engineering/computer science/math from the get go. My first degree is in English. WTF. I ended up getting a BS in Computer Science 7 years later, but at that point we were starting a family and I wanted to be home, so I still haven't fully pursued this career path and don't know how easy it will be to get into by the time my kids are both in school.

Wouldn't change the timing of the kids or my marriage though! Not too early and not too late, just right. The one thing I wonder if I'll regret 10 or more years from now is our decision to stop at 2 kids. It's the only thing that seems sane right now (hello, sleep deprivation! and providing well for who we've already got) but my grandmother is in my ear to have 4 children, that a large family is all that matters once you reach her age. I have the niggling suspicion in the back of my head everytime I think of Dr. Snip that she might be right...
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: sol on October 17, 2014, 10:21:43 PM
I should have told that redhead to take a long walk off a short pier. 

Don't get involved with crazy people, mustachians.  One wrong decision can have a lifetime of negative repercussions, and it's never the decisions you think are important that can end up really screwing you over.
Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: pachnik on October 18, 2014, 07:28:35 AM
If I could have a do-over for the last decade of my life, I would find this website on the first day of it.  Sure, I never took on consumer debt but i didn't save very much either.  I would have saved more and maybe be semi-retired now.   

Title: Re: what would you take a do-over on from the past decade of your life? why?
Post by: Credaholic on October 18, 2014, 08:36:53 AM
If I could have a do-over for the last decade of my life, I would find this website on the first day of it.  Sure, I never took on consumer debt but i didn't save very much either.  I would have saved more and maybe be semi-retired now.

I DID find this website right as it was started, and I was even the first "case study" he ever featured. I still didn't go all the way Mustachian back then (it took 3 more years before we set DH's 401K to max out, and I only just realized my options for my own 401K!) but we did increase our savings rate exponentially as a result, and the changes I made then are directly responsible for where we are at this very moment.