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Old 02-09-2010, 03:11 PM   #41
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I've been pretty fortunate. I played around rather foolishly with stocks in the dot-com era, but I didn't actually have much money. I came into some money after the crash (a 2001 IPO that put me over the $1MM mark), but I had already been 'scared straight', so to speak.

So while not every decision I've made has been the wisest, I can't look back at major wastes of money that would have made a noticeable difference in the outcome.
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Old 02-09-2010, 03:12 PM   #42
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Although if I had to list something it would be the purchase of an 86 Ford Tempo back in 1990. The constant repairs that car needed basically ruined me financially at the time (it didn't take much then, I was 22).
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Old 02-10-2010, 12:37 AM   #43
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cars: i spent a few hundred thousand drag racing & driving hot rods. should have saved the cash!
our house: got jealous of one of my employees who bought a very nice home for 1.2m when i make 3 times his salary, so i bought a fixer upper for 990k & dumped nearly 300k into remodeling it. should have just stayed in our other house & saved the cash!
motorcycles: my weakness is antique harley davidsons & have owned over 50 of them. made money on many of them, lost some on others. still have 9 in my possession. should have saved the cash!
rental houses: figured everyone else was buying rentals. i make great money, so why shouldn't i buy some as well. bought at the top of the market. only down about 12-15% but the return on equity sucks. should have saved the cash!
tools: i buy snap-on tools as if i printed money. i use them almost every day in my hobby shop, not my job. my tool collection is getting close to 200k if not over. ok, on this one i am glad i spent the money. i only buy quality tools & machinery, nearly everything is american made, much i buy used to save costs. i will die with my tool collection & my 1938 harley still in my possession.
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Old 02-10-2010, 02:58 PM   #44
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The really big waste was buying a vacation condo in 2004. We did get use out of it a few weeks a year, but it would have been far, far cheaper to just stay in a hotel or rent a place. Of course, we had this wild idea that it would actually increase in value (which it did, by about 50% in late 2006 before the market collapsed).
Boy, can I relate to that! We did the same thing - in 2004 - watched it go up (while we enjoyed it - but not as much as we thought that we would) and now have watched it crash. We think it's worth what we paid for it back then - but we don't really want test the market. Maybe in 10 years.....
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Old 02-10-2010, 06:03 PM   #45
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Financial mistakes are a category all their own, and I have definitely made some, but to me they are a cost of doing business.

Purchase or spending mistakes for me are usually smaller, but clear. If I added up every stupid purchase that I made (where I didn't get value added greater than the price) it probably does not amount to more than $20,000.

I would like to have that back, but it really doesn't matter. Get the big things right and the small things take care of themselves.

By far the biggest hit I have taken is the divorce, but there is really no way around that once it gets to "Your money or your life". You cry, you become better acquainted with Mr.Vodka, and you pay.

Ha
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Old 02-10-2010, 06:30 PM   #46
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My daughter was diagnosed as a Type 1 diabetic at a young age. I didn't handle it very well. She adjusted quickly - but I felt so bad her. I pretty much bought her a beanie baby for every blood test and/or doctor visit she every had - for about 5 years. Trust me - that's a lot of beanie babies. One would have thought I was trying to fill Noah's Ark.

And because I didn't want my son to feel left out, he got baseball cards.

They now sit next to each other in plastic crates in our cellar. Here's hoping I have grandchildren some day.


Then there was the ever popular "weight machine" that was replaced by the ever popular "treadmill" that I "would use more" a few years later. Always seems like a good idea until they get in your house and then you are really expected to use them......
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Old 02-10-2010, 07:23 PM   #47
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My daughter was diagnosed as a Type 1 diabetic at a young age. I didn't handle it very well. She adjusted quickly - but I felt so bad her. I pretty much bought her a beanie baby for every blood test and/or doctor visit she every had - for about 5 years. Trust me - that's a lot of beanie babies. One would have thought I was trying to fill Noah's Ark.

And because I didn't want my son to feel left out, he got baseball cards.

They now sit next to each other in plastic crates in our cellar. Here's hoping I have grandchildren some day.


Then there was the ever popular "weight machine" that was replaced by the ever popular "treadmill" that I "would use more" a few years later. Always seems like a good idea until they get in your house and then you are really expected to use them......
"Weight machine" like this $500 piece of metal that I bought on impulse at a mall kiosk, that sat in my family room for a year, idle, until being sent to the Salvation Army?
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Old 02-10-2010, 09:25 PM   #48
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"Weight machine" like this $500 piece of metal that I bought on impulse at a mall kiosk, that sat in my family room for a year, idle, until being sent to the Salvation Army?

I've found that weight machines work really well for hanging clothes to dry when the dryer isn't functioning properly
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Old 02-10-2010, 09:27 PM   #49
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As you reflect back in time what have been your areas of waste or inappropriate use of your money/funds both pre FI and during FI using the retrospectoscope ?

Purchased a Garmin NAV system too much for what we needed a waste of money. A video camera probably one level above what we needed a waste of money. Those are the ones I recognize...woeeees me for the ones I dont..

Best purchase was an expensive treadmill (1500 to me is expensive). Never got such use out of a piece of exercise equipment. It was one of those purchases I thought might be a waste. But turned out to be one of the best purchases in my life. Lots of weight loss and lower bp later!
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Old 02-10-2010, 09:28 PM   #50
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I've found that weight machines work really well for hanging clothes to dry when the dryer isn't functioning properly
Yep , best $1,000 sweater dryer I could buy !
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Old 02-10-2010, 11:55 PM   #51
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Havent done anything extra-stupid recently. Back in the day I made some mistakes that I am embarrassed about now.....

I got suckerred into trying to sell the Prepaid Legal scam to friends and contacts. Had to own the monthly service too. Finally cut my losses after about a year and zero sales.

"loaned" money to a (probable) crackhead

bought a bunch of Mercedes Benz decals and glued them onto my Tempo. Those decals are surprisingly expensive! They would always get stolen too, and I would pay up to replace them.

put an expensive sound system into said Tempo.

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Old 02-11-2010, 05:32 AM   #52
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I've found that weight machines work really well for hanging clothes to dry when the dryer isn't functioning properly
And I thought I was the only one who did this! There is a sweater on my ab roller right now.
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Old 02-11-2010, 06:46 AM   #53
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Rainbow vacuum cleaner, way overpriced at the time (early 1990s I think). But that baby is still running in spite of some intense motor bearing noises when it is first started up. It settles down in 30 seconds or so and runs fine.
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Old 02-11-2010, 09:20 AM   #54
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I should have sent my "Health Rider" machine to Khan--then she would not miss not having a dryer
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Old 02-11-2010, 09:23 AM   #55
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And I thought I was the only one who did this! There is a sweater on my ab roller right now.

I use to have one of those Universal workout machines. It worked great double duty for hanging large items (bedsheets, blankets, etc.) when my dryer wasn't feeling well.
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Old 02-11-2010, 11:10 AM   #56
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cars: ...
Yeah. That. I am one who loves to drive a new vehicle, and I've had a LOT of them. My friends used to joke that instead of getting the annual license renewal, I'd just buy a new car. UGH. When I think of all the money wasted...

But hey. I enjoyed it (and could afford it) at the time.
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Old 02-11-2010, 01:50 PM   #57
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I'd have to say our house. We love it, but it eats up a ton of our income. Now its 8 years old and needs paint and the front porch is beginning to look ragged. Sometimes I wonder what it would have been like to just stay in our old home. $800 a month payment, which seemed like fortune back then, three bedrooms, two car garage. Sure the neighborhood was marginal and we were running out of room, but buying the new house just allowed us to buy stuff we didn't need to fill it up. I don't exactly regret it, but in the long term it was probably a mistake. Luckily we built prior to the boom and we aren't upside down. Only problem is that we live in the sticks and nobody will refinance us because they can't get any comps to let them know what its worth. We will have trouble selling too because we live out in the middle of nowhere.
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Old 02-11-2010, 09:11 PM   #58
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There are too many things to recount here. Post-retirement, I would say clothes have been the worst investment, especially now that all I really need are sandals and shorts.
Are you saying that you do not wear any clothing other than shorts?
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Old 02-12-2010, 09:25 AM   #59
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Are you saying that you do not wear any clothing other than shorts?

The t-shirts and golf shirts are plentiful enough to tide me over.

But the sweaters, jackets and slacks are going begging and taking closet space.
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Old 02-12-2010, 10:20 AM   #60
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Are you saying that you do not wear any clothing other than shorts?
Well, in winter we usually add a t-shirt...
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