I will be turning the ripe old age of 34 this year and that has given me a few years to reflect on spending I did in my twenties before I met my wife. While there were a few winners, there were a lot of big losers that leave me wondering what was I thinking? So in order to not let history repeat itself, I thought it was good to write down what I can remember.
- 5 dozen Crispy Cream Doughnuts. I will say this very early in my twenties and somehow it seemed like a good idea. Local cheer leading team was selling them at Sam’s club and they caught me as I was walking out. I did get 5 for the price of two as it was the end of the day but still not a good use of my money then.
- Trek Road bike. While most would say this was not a bad purchase, I bought it for $1500, rode it for a few months and hated the thing. Then sold it for $800 in mint condition. Had to have it but sure don’t remember why.
- Bought a Snow Board. I went snowboarding once, shredded crazy snow like a boss on a rental and decided I must invest in my own. It was an investment for sure as the next couple years I just about killed my self attempting to snow board. One day I came to the realization that I bought a nice board. Bought lift tickets every time, Gas, hotel and all so that I could fit in. Gave my trashed board away as it had suffered some beatings with me tumbling end over end down the mountain and swore off that racket for good. If I want to play in the snow with the kids, we will buy a pool floaty on discount and walk up the hill to slide down.
- Bought a truck to go snowboarding. At the time I was driving a 1998 Ford Contour hunk of junk and was planning a move to Texas. My plan was to move to the new better paying job and save for a few months, then when the time was right I would find a low mileage used pickup truck that I could upgrade to after I sold the beater car. This all sounded like a great idea right???? I had a snowboarding trip planned with a buddy a few weeks before my Texas move and woke up one Saturday morning thinking about my new truck I would have one day. I thought It sure would not hurt to drive by the dealer and just see what’s out there as those things “change” extremely quickly. If I was going to be prudent with my truck purchase in the next couple months, I better start planning now and know what it is going to cost……. I pulled in the first used dealer I saw. Test drove a Dually????? And told the salesmen I would think about it while I was at work. During the next few hours of work I got to thinking about my snowboarding trip the next day and how could a “self-respecting future Texan” go snowboarding in a Ford contour? You are going snowboarding, key word snow and you expect to get there in a front wheel drive car??? You my son need 4 wheel drive and a good one at that. I got off work at 5 and drove straight back to the “stealer”(dealer) and saw the truck for me. High mileage 2001 GMC Sierra Z71. Drove it around the block and bought the thing. Did not even look under the hood as I had no time with the dealer closing at 6 pm. The next day was great, we drove the 2 hour drive to the ski resort and did not see a patch of snow anywhere. I attempted to snow board even though I was horrible at it but that did not matter because I had my nice truck in the parking lot. At the end of the day all sore and broken we started the drive home. Descending down the mountain from the ski resort we noticed a bad shimmy when you applied the brakes. Not just the “My Little Pony” shimmy with a cute flower on our backside. We are talking white knuckled shimmy here. We made it back to town and I was going straight to the dealer to return this hunk of junk. Monday morning came and I was loaded for bear. As I started to lay into the salesmen he asked how snowboarding was and I told him it was great and thanks for asking…(So nice of him) and then he asked to see the mileage of the truck. I drove over the mileage limit the state set for automotive returns by about 20 miles. That and my old car was already sold…. Things ended working out ok minus the 15% interest rate on the truck.
- Bought a house to live in for 6 months. This story is not that far off from the truck one but I will proceed. I graduated college in May of 2006 and moved out of the house I was renting a room in from my buddy. I stayed with my cousin through the summer so I could take my time finding a cheap little apartment. I had started working full time with my college job and made decent money for a kid out of college. over the fourth of July that year as I was visiting my parents, my dad mentioned that thinking of buying a home in the next few years was a good idea and I should start saving for a down payment. I knew he was really onto something here so first thing Monday when I got back home I called my realtor/sister in-law and told her I wanted to look at houses. We went out Tuesday and looked at a few. Thursday I made an offer and Friday we were in contract. We closed three weeks later as I had the most helpful loan shark. Zero down and the closing costs where wrapped up in the loan. How convenient was that???? Lived in it from august till January when I took a job in Texas. It sat empty on the market for almost a year after that as 2007 was a great time to sell a house right?????. When it did finally sale, I paid the realtors, payed off the carpet and paint I put on the credit card and bought myself a large Oreo cookie blizzard from Dairy Queen 🙂
- Bought 80’s movies for 5 dollars at Walmart almost once a week for several years. While I do have some great classics like Big Trouble in Little China, most of them are still in plastic wrap in the garage as I write this.
I wish i could say this is all my spending indiscretions in my twenties but sadly it is not. I could continue for a long time on this. I am sure in our 40s we will look back at our 30s and make the same judgments as to our priorities. I hope they will be far fewer since we are debt free now and have learned a lot of lessons. The nice thing about growing up and growing old is that you can see ahead a bit farther now and you already know where that pot hole is in the road. Change lanes and cruise right around it….