Saw a funny message yesterday that brought back some memories ;)
And similar to Brandon, I too had a few #shouldhavelistenedtodad moments in the pre-J. Money days. Which I’ll happily share here to remind everyone that I suck with money too at times!
No one is immune!!
Flop #1: not listening to my dad about 401(k)s — Yearrrsss ago during one of my very own first “real” jobs (ticket agent for Contintenal Airlines), he advised me over and over again to contribute to my 401(k) at least up to the amount they were matching (3% I believe), and over and over again I told him “I will Dad!! Stop pestering me!” Only to then never actually do it, even though I thought I had.
One day I just told him I did it to finally get him off my back – fully intending to do so the very next day – however that next day I completely forgot while my brain subconsciously believed I had indeed checked it off the list. It wasn’t until a year later when I was looking for the balance to boast to my dad how much of an adult I was when I couldn’t find it anywhere on the pay stub. I strolled into the HR department asking where the mistake was, where they very kindly informed me that it was ME, haha…
My dad wasn’t very entertained by that ;) Although from that point forward I never missed a retirement contribution since! And in fact it was my 401(k) which actually gave me my A-HA moment years later when there actually WAS a balance to be staring back at, lol..
Flub #2: Not listening to my parents about moving to Virginia Beach without much money. One day after college I got it stuck in my head that I just HAD TO move to the beach and get an apartment with my friend – even though I had no sources of income whatsoever. The plan was to move down there with the whopping $800 I had amassed from generous graduation gifts, and then quickly land a gig and live happily ever after by the sun-soaked sand.
My parents warned me that it really wasn’t the best plan considering rent and food alone would eat up a bulk of the money within the first two weeks (no mind the fact that it takes WEEKS to even get paid from new jobs, and that’s if you started them right away which almost never happens!), but bless their hearts they let me go off and learn some real life lessons on my own…
And true to their premonition, I was moved back in with them 3 weeks later with $15 to my name after not being able to scrounge up enough to pay the next month’s rent, haha…Which I still feel bad about to this day – not for myself, but for the poor landlord that had to put up with me!! What a jackal I was!!
But the lessons didn’t sink in quite yet…
Flub #3: Not listening to my parents about moving to New York City without much money! While I did last much longer this time around (almost two full years!!), I pretty much upped the ante on myself and tried to see if I could “make it” in the most expensive city in the world, because obviously I was a master at this ;)
And while to my credit I DID have an actual job this time around and somewhat of a decent plan on where I was going to live (friends’ couches – d’uh), in the end I too failed on this mission, though I’d never take it back in a million years… Sure I ran out of all $$$$ and was probably the unhealthiest I had ever been up to that point (NYC partying gets to you! Haha…), but WOW did I feel alive… And learned a $hit ton about myself in the process. Some things good, while others not so much that needed changing.
I eventually crawled right back to mom and dad when I realized it was unsustainable (and ran out of friends’ places to crash at – hah!), but not once did they ever utter a single “I told you so”, which looking back makes me realize just how fortunate we are to have people who care about us in our lives. Not only who will take us back every time we fail, but who will also take the time to *advise us* even when we’re too dense to listen! ;) I don’t think I fully appreciated this one bit growing up, but I sure as hell see it now. And only hope I can do the same for my kids too as they grow up (but Lord do I hope it takes much less than 30 years for them to catch on! Haha…)
At any rate, I’ll stop the tales of yore there, but just know that we ALL mess up at times, and most especially yours truly despite being a personal finance blogger.
(See a most recent resume of fails here)
I don’t know if we’ll ever stop learning lessons, but at least it gives us something to talk about, haha… And would love to hear some of your flubs over the years too if you’re so willing ;)
What are things you #shouldhavelistenedtodad on??
Financial or otherwise?