Have you ever experienced making mistakes regarding your money? If you think you do, then you’re not alone. Me too!
At first, it was okay to make mistakes… However, making more mistakes over and over again. Then that is not really okay. That’s stupidity!
In my 37 years of existence, I’ve learned my lessons regarding finances just about a year ago when I decided that I’ve had enough of this and I need to do something about it.
Where I grew up, we never learn about finances because no one talks about it.
That’s one of the biggest thing that we lack in this world – “financial literacy!”
The problem that I see where I grew up is that, our parents don’t teach us how to handle money.
There’s nothing wrong with getting support financially. What is wrong is that, we tend to get support always. We never wanted to suffer and figure how to solve problems on our own.
We became too dependent to others expecting that someone will always come to our rescue when we’re in trouble.
This is very sad…
There’s no one to blame but ME!
Owning my own mistakes is hard because of my ego.
At first, I was in denial. I can do this and I will be fine.
I found myself swimming in debt and I need to do something about it.
It took me years to be in debt and it took me years to finally decide that this has to stop.
It felt so stupid!
I asked myself, what in the world had I been thinking all this time?
But it wasn’t late to start…
THESE ARE THE FOUR MONEY MISTAKES I HAVE MADE:
NOT SAVING FOR THE RAINY DAYS.
Making money has never been an issue for me because I am hard working. Whenever I see an opportunity to earn some I never let it pass.
The issue with me is that I love to spend money too.
I may make good amount but I tend to spend it all sometimes in one blow.
I became to reliant and comfortable with my job and forgot about the possibility of losing my job.
However, when my employer had her baby my working hours has been cut off.
I started to worry about my finances for the first time. How am I going to support my family back home and take care of my bills at the same time.
I realized that having a job isn’t enough. Saving plays a great role in everyone’s life because it can shelter you when the rain starts to pour.
KEEPING UP WITH THE JONES.
One of the worst thing that I have believed in my life is that your physical appearance define you. Your clothes, shoes, purses and etc defines who you are.
I was very stupid to cling on this belief for a long time.
Because of this thought, I always wanted to have to get the latest clothing trend in my favorite store. Or the latest phone etc etc.
There’s a peculiar feeling deep inside of me when I do this. Yet, it’s temporary! But the damage it brought to me financially stayed longer than the feeling of excitement.
I realized that I do look good in those clothes but deep inside I am broke. I got nothing but clothes and my bank is empty and living paycheck to paycheck .
FINANCING A CAR TWICE.
Yes, you read that right!
When my first car started to have issues, I decided to look for a newer and better car. At first, it was good. bi-weekly payments seem to fit in my budget.
After a year the car is too small for a family of four and I wanted a bigger one. Therefore, I went back to the dealership for an upgrade. I decided to get a 2015 Nissan Rogue in exchange to the Nissan Juke.
What I didn’t know is that I inherited a negative equity of $6000 from the first car that I have financed. I didn’t know because I didn’t ask.
” I am one of the stupidest person here on earth.”
Because I walked in the dealership and just told them this is what I want and here’s what I can afford. I didn’t ask them about what’s going to happen if I trade the car I have now to this car? I didn’t ask about anything about the numbers because this is what I want.
In the end, I ended up with $46,291.00 amount of debt.
INVESTING WITHOUT THINKING.
Another money mistake I have done is purchasing a condo unit in Manila. When my friend presented it to me, it was really convincing to invest.
It was always my dream to own a property that I can mine and see the fruits of my hard labor in Canada. Something that I can make money with when I retire from work.
There’s nothing wrong with investing. However, investing while in debt isn’t a good idea. Why? Because the return of investment in a condo takes time and the interest rate of my debt keeps on accruing if I don’t pay it off sooner.
Luckily, I have a friend who took over the condo and continue on paying it until we can sell it. I have put in more or less than $8000 in a year. I could’ve used that amount to pay some of my car loan debt and lowered the balance.
LESSONS I HAVE LEARNED FROM MY MISTAKES
Making all these mistakes in the past, I finally decided that it’s time to grow up and act as an adult. I can’t go on and make the same mistakes again because I wanted to move forward and start doing the right thing.
Working from home in the future is what I always wanted. For the past 10 years of working outside home and not being able to do much for my family especially my girls, I wanted to do more for them.
I started to save an emergency fund that I can use in times of emergency so that I won’t be using my credit cards again.
I embraced the joy of missing out because keeping up with the Joneses will keep me broke. Being able to find joy in everything that you have teaches me to be more content and live a simple life.
The car loan debt is 65% paid and I am aiming to pay it off at the end of 2020. I have learned that financing a new car is a real waste of money because it depreciates so quick. There’s a lot of reliable out there that won’t cost too much money.
Investing is one thing that you have to learn carefully. This is not something that you need to do just because you think you can afford the monthly payment. Make sure that you totally understand what you’re getting yourself in to.
I am happy about these mistakes that I have made in my life because I was able to grow and learn how be manage my finances better through my life’s experiences. These experience became my teacher and it taught me to become more aware and intentional where my money is going. It also made me realize about what I really wanted to do in life and why I wanted to do it.
With constant learning through reading books, blogs and listening to podcast I am in better place with my finances 10 years ago. Although I am not where I really wanted to be but I am getting there slowly and surely.