This morning I was in the shower thinking about money. Taking in thoughts of making 6 figures and coming to the realization that if I was to net 250K a year that would be more than enough to do absolutely anything that I want to do in the world.
For some reason this thought lead me to thinking about 2006-2008. At this time, I had my very first salary job. I was making the kind of guaranteed money that I was finally comfortable with and still in my early to mid 20’s. It was that feeling that lead me into what I would realize is my first major financial mistake. Possibly the biggest one ever.
I was looking at my check and how it was breaking down and seen how much I had left over AFTER paying bills and thought, Now I can afford a new car! Keep in mind, I had a car. A Jeep Cherokee. A jeep that I got for free for graduating college. Sure it was getting old, but it was still in great enough condition to get at least 5 more years out of it, if not more. I was so in love with the idea of getting a Chevy Impala as soon as I could, that I didn’t even think about what else I could use that extra few hundred dollars a month for.
Looking back, if nothing else, I should have just simply saved the money. I now sit here 11 years later wishing I could save over $300 a paycheck and not feel the effects of it. I didn’t know much about investing, but I was also trying to invest in myself through my music. Bottom line, I dropped the ball. Life and my bank account would have been a lot different had I just thought about how to keep the money vs what I should be able to afford with the money.
To sum the story up for now, I wouldn’t recover from that decision until June of 2019. Yes! A 2007 decision to buy a car instead of saving the money used for the car took me about 11 years to rectify. Lot of time and money gone, never to return. It took that long and by Spring of 2010, I didn’t have either of the vehicles mentioned in this story. That’s why I equate this to possibly being my biggest financial mistake ever!
There’s a valuable lesson to learn in all this. I think the top lesson for me is this; Don’t think about what the money can do today. Think about what you will need it to do tomorrow.
It’s one reason why now, even if it’s only $5 I’ll save it and I finally have a savings account for the first time in probably 10 years. It’s also a reminder of why I will lease the majority of my cars moving forward.
Second lesson learned. Money is a tool. You can’t fix anything in your life with broken tools or no tools. Right now, I got a toolbox with a hammer in it. That hammer wont fix everything. So I better make plans to purchase a wrench and a screwdriver.