After watching yet another Sci-Fi movie about Time Travel I started to wonder what would happen if I could go back in time in my life whether I would change anything?
I think any answer to this question is purely speculative since I will never get access to such a device, so let’s just play along for now, and say yes there are things in my life I would go back and tell my younger self to review some decisions.
Given I have made some horrendously bad decisions in my personal life (until I met my wife of course), let’s leave this interesting exercise solely in the Personal Finance spectrum, just to make this less of a Jungian exploit (and this post doesn’t turn into a novella)
You Don’t Need That Many LPs!
Yes in University, I spent a lot of the money that I had built up as a “nest egg” from age 12-19 on Vinyl LPs. Why did I do this, mostly because I could. I do love music, and some of those albums I still treasure, but holy crap dude, that was a lot of money spent in a short time on something you don’t use any more!
To quote the Men in Black, “…This is gonna replace CD’s soon; guess I’ll have to buy the White Album again ….“, you know how many different formats I have Exile on Main Street ? I can’t find my 8-track version though.
Discretionary spending can be destructive.
Money Doesn’t Buy Friends
Yup, I spent a lot of money on girlfriends and alleged friends, thinking that is what you do, and in hindsight, given how pissed off I felt about those friends when they turned out as “fair weather friends” and the girlfriends dumped me, that money was truly wasted. I view that money lost as mostly a learning experience, but at the end of it, the price was more likely more than my tuition for University.
Everybody is your best buddy, when you have some cash (yes, that is an incredibly cynical statement, but unfortunately a true cynical statement).
Your Finances are not an Experiment
Thinking that you can experiment with financial ideas is stupid. I put money in some very odd investments and savings vehicles without fully understanding what the ideas entailed. I should have done more investigation first and then gone in with my eyes open.
Money lost, is money lost, there is no infinite money reserve, and I should have been much cheaper in my younger days (in this area). As you get older the cost of your mistakes are cheaper, but only because the money you spent has a shorter time to grow.
If I blew $1000 when I was 25 it would be worth about it could be worth about $16,000 or more by the time I am 65, however if I blow $1000 when I am 45, it would only be worth $4000 when I am 65, so make your financial mistakes later in life (yes, I am being facetious).
What’s With the Hair?
OK, I’ll indulge myself that as well, having looked back at pictures of me at a younger age my other comment might be, “Get a normal haircut, ya freak!”.
If you could go back 30 years, what would you advise yourself (financially)?