Financial Time Machine List

in Age of Retirement, Financial Dreams

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)

Hour Glass

Time Waits For No One

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).

Thinking that you have plenty of time to recover lost moneys is a decreasing return equation. I should get that put on a T-Shirt or something, I might recuperate some funds with that.

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)?

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{ 10 comments }

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Sustainable PF January 13, 2011, 3:17 PM

    @BCM – my degree got me my first job too. In a call centre bugging people at dinner. My college diploma on the other hand, got me my career making 4x as much as the call centre gig. Skills baby, skills.

    Reply
    • bigcajunman January 13, 2011, 4:59 PM

      Very true as well, having a Sumerian Philosophy Major may not get you the job you want.

      Reply
  • Echo January 12, 2011, 9:42 PM

    Can’t we all just agree to boycott the Blu-Ray and 3D technology? I mean, I don’t actually need to see people in my living room when I’m watching TV!

    Speaking of 3D, why can’t they make the TV screen out of the material they use for the glasses? Hello?

    Reply
    • bigcajunman January 13, 2011, 7:02 AM

      Don’t be too curmudgeonly (sp?) you’ll sound like a ranting old guy (like me).

      Reply
  • Susan January 12, 2011, 7:18 PM

    I never should have let my husband manage my LIRA from my pension plan funds when I left my job at U of T. Nortel anyone?
    Also my time spent at western. I went to become a speech pathologist and quit in 2nd year. Later I became an accountant. And I would not have spent as much on our wedding because most of the guests we don’t even see anymore.

    Reply
    • bigcajunman January 12, 2011, 8:12 PM

      Yikes! That is another regret I have heard from other folks (wedding that is), as for the Nortel thing, well you are in company with a lot of folks there (I lost a fair amount too). We learn from our mistakes, I guess, but why must they leave such financial scars?

      Reply
  • Echo January 12, 2011, 9:35 AM

    I had a wicked CD and VHS movie collection. What a waste of money!

    Reply
    • bigcajunman January 12, 2011, 9:46 AM

      I still have the VHS movies, and we still watch them too! As for CD’s , yes they are pretty much finished.

      Reply
  • Sustainable PF January 12, 2011, 8:16 AM

    It wouldn’t be 30 years in my case, but 15-20 …
    – Cassettes and CDs … whoops. Hundreds of those and they were dang pricey at the time (compared to today).
    – agreed on spending on friends
    – fast food. this did nothing for me aside provide on the spot satisfaction. As I entered my 20s I found my metabolism dropping and my waistline increasing
    – spending money at bars / night clubs. I’d have to drink far too much to dance, I never spoke to women – why was I there paying cover @ the door and paying 4x as much for a beer than it cost to drink it at home?
    – The one i’m not totally sure about: University. My BA didn’t get me a good job – the 3 yrs in college, after works a few years post-degree, got me a job. Skills. Now, the BA likely helped me get the job (I learned, uh, how to write?) and added to my credentials for entry level work – but no one cares about the BA 13 years later

    Reply
    • bigcajunman January 12, 2011, 8:18 AM

      True, but my degree from 25 years ago has nothing to do with my current job, however, it got me my first job, and that is important.

      Reply

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