I OFTEN BLOG about mistakes I’ve made. Why change now? Looking back over my 76 years and the many poor money decisions I’ve made, it’s a wonder I’m in better financial shape than the Social Security trust fund—and yet I am.
Here are 10 of my more memorable decisions:
1. In 1961, when I started working at age 18, I got hooked on the stock market. With little money and earning a bit more than minimum wage, I focused on penny stocks, hoping for that big killing. I’m still hoping.
2. College was never mentioned in my family. Around 1964 and still an office clerk, I realized I was going nowhere without a degree, so I enrolled in night courses. Before earning credits, I was required to take two years of courses I hadn’t had in high school. After one semester, I quit. I enrolled again in 1969, after a stint in the army. It took me nine years at night, while my wife and I raised four children—with her doing most of the work. Not the best way to get an important piece of paper. College was paid for by the Department of Veterans Affairs, employer benefits and me.
3. My wife and I married 10 months after our first date, much to the consternation of my parents. During eight of those months, I was away in the army. The following year—with me still in the army—was one of significant financial stress. I was based in Alabama and my wife was on her own in New Jersey. I was trying to send home a little money each month, which meant I barely had enough to telephone my new wife every few days.
4. We became pregnant a month after I got out of the army. My wife stopped working and didn’t return to part-time work until our youngest child was in high school. That meant even more financial stress.
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Source: Despite Myself – HumbleDollar