Monday, July 5, 2010

If I Could Do It Over


I realized the other day that we've been debt-free for almost 2 years now. A year ago, we paid cash for our first vehicle. It got me thinking about the dumb financial decisions Kyle and I made early on in our marriage. I started thinking about what I would do differently if I could rewind and start over, financially wiser. I realized I'd have to go all the way back to high school.

I would not have gotten student loans in order to get a college degree. I would have worked to pay for classes in photography and sign language. I wouldn't have bothered with a degree at all. I would have printed a business card and become a photographer and then registered as an interpreter for the deaf. Both jobs make good money, but both can be done as little or as much as wanted.
Then when Kyle and I got engaged, I would have insisted on a wedding ring from James Avery, not some fancy shmancy jewelry store. Spending hundreds, not thousands would have been my goal.

Then, looking forward to our first house, we would not have gotten a mortgage based on two incomes. Not wise. Ever heard the term "house poor"? Well we were. Our second home was smaller than our first. We wised up.

Our children are so blessed. They'll already know this stuff!

7 comments:

heartchild said...

I am right there with you! We are working our way to becoming debt free and I can't wait. Oh, to go back and do things differently when we were both working. But we have learned and are teaching our kids things we never knew when we were there age. I pray it sticks.

L Harris said...

Great advice. We are very close to being debt free but are not able to work our debt snowball at this time. DH's work is sporadic at best. We have one student loan (mine, that I wish I'd never gotten), a vehicle payment ($300 or so left) and the mortgage.

lambechops said...

We have learned a lot of financial lessons too and I hope we are able to teach our children not to follow in our mistakes. Love the new look by the way!

Stacy said...

Oh, to go back and do it over again! I agree with you, I would have to go back so far! For me, it started with college. I would have gone to a community college if I wanted a degree, or like you, I would have pursued other interests that would have made excellent side jobs. I would have never signed up for that first credit card just to get a free t-shirt. So many other choices after those, but I'll save those for a post of my own. I am SO thankful that we went through all that before Emily so that we can raise our children to make better financial decisions, or at least have all the information so they would understand the consequences of their choices. Our kids will not get their homeschool high school diploma until they have completed Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University! :)

Julia said...

I can totally relate. Our mortgage is based on two incomes. Now, with the housing slump plus my high ration to loan value, I may never get to stay home.
I have other debt and student loans as well. One thing I would have done differently would be to NOT spend a year at a private high cost college. I don't really see my degree as a waste b/c I gained a lot of confidence (which I didn't have) from my experiences of getting in front of people talking and earning good grades. I have a lot of knowledge that I didn't have previously. But... I would like to make it work now somehow to where I can pay my mtg working from home so I can stay home.

Ginger said...

And you feel it was the degree itself that gave you confidence, knowledge, and experience? I think the classes would have done the same, degree or not. ;)

Molly Green said...

Great post! Congrats on being debt free and your helpful advice is right on!