I was thinking today of posting all the idiotic ways I’ve spent money during my time on earth. Obviously we’ve all spent money on dumb things, but sometimes, oftentimes, certain ones stick out in ones memory. I’m not going to remember all the items of clothing I never wore, or the dinners that I spent money on that sucked. I remember big events that taught me lessons in finance and how to spend my money.
Of course, the day I think of this blog post I end up adding another one to my list. Karma? Bad luck? Or just sheer idiocy? You tell me.
1. Lesson: kids are quick.
$180 spent calling a locksmith when our kid locked us out of the house. This was my dumb moment for the night. I purposely left the door slightly ajar but not open to make sure the cat didn’t run outside, and thought about unlocking the door but figured I didn’t need to. Of course, once on the ground, the first thing our son did was to pull the door shut, locking us in the garage with no keys. Luckily my husband had his phone; unluckily it cost $180 to rectify a bad situation.
2. Lesson: be wary of whom you lend money to.
$500 was lent to a coworker when she was about to be evicted from her house. My coworker and I each lent her money – me $500, and him $1000. We thought we were being so smart drafting letters of good faith, having everyone sign them, and having them witnessed. Her friends, our mutual friends, vouched for her, and she cried tears in my office as she explained that she, her girlfriend, and her girlfriend’s daughter were going to be on the streets. Once with the money, we rarely saw her again. I think I may have recouped maybe $150 of what she owed me. I doubt my friend got back much more than that.
3. Lesson: love is blind
I bought an airplane ticket for my boyfriend to visit me. I was 18. The relationship didn’t last. Duh.
4. Lesson: don’t assume you can trust your coworkers
$250 in cash went missing from my check holder when I was a waitress. I had never had a problem before with people stealing, and during the shift I worked everyone trusted everyone else. None of us worried about leaving our money around, and in fact we would entrust each other to hold it for us if needed. One day I worked a different shift – in the AM with people I knew but not as well. I went to smoke a cigarette, and came back to a completely empty check holder. The receipts were found in the trash, nobody could say who it was, and there were only a few suspects. Regardless, when you’re a waitress, it’s your job to ensure the money gets to the restaurant, and you are liable regardless of the circumstance. I went home $250 poorer.
5. Lesson: be smart about investments
$1000 – spent on Pandora stock when it came out. Enough said.
There are many, many more instances where I’ve learned a money lesson the hard way, but those are a few that really stick out. Now, I’m off to lick my wounds at the $180 we spent on the quickness of our kid…