I would have celebrated my 17th wedding anniversary this past weekend. And I think I’ve finally gotten far enough away from it and healed enough and moved on to look back with a more honest and open assessment.
I’ve always said I lived my life with no regrets. I would take whatever came and accept it – good or bad. I’d say I learned from it and accept it as part of life. But no regrets.
But the reality is…I do have regrets. With some time to look back, and the guts to do so more honestly then I ever have…I do have regrets. And quite a few, and more than that. I am realizing that I have not always learned from them…
Big Financial Mistakes
I thought I would share some of them that have had some major financial affects on me…and maybe if someone else stumbles upon this blog, they won’t repeat them.
- Do not finance someone else’s car, even if they are your spouse. And especially when your marriage is rocky or abusive like mine was. Believe me, you can buy someone’s love or your own safety by putting their car in your name. You will just be left holding the bag when you finally get the guts to leave.
- Hire an attorney for any divorce. No matter how amicable or broke you may be or seem. Just do it. Hire an expert and lay everything out. Don’t be a smarty pants like I was and assume you can do it yourself for a measly $75. I mean, you can, and you will get divorced. But again, you will be screwed financially!
- Spoil your kids with love and your time and a combination of the two. They do not need stuff. They won’t remember stuff. And it won’t make them love you more. Or less if they don’t have the stuff. In fact, it will probably teach them to value things differently.
- Buy a car that works for you, whatever you needs may be. Newer if you are scared of cars breaking down. Older if you know how to maintain it yourself. Big enough for your family. But whatever you buy, stick to it. Pay it off, maintain it and just stick to it. So much better than the route I have taken in second guessing myself, getting out of the auto mess with my ex husband (see #1) and more. (Oh, and definitely keep full coverage insurance just in case you have a wreck that totals your car.)
- Take care of yourself. Not just your health, but definitely that too. But give yourself a break, learn to forgive yourself for your screw ups. Give yourself grace. Learn to rest and not run yourself ragged. (You definitely make worse decisions when you are stressed and tired.) Make sure to give yourself some “treat” money, even in the tightest times. I’m not saying go crazy, but even $5 for an ice cream or a pack of gum.
In conclusion, I think this is the first year since my marriage ended 13ish years ago that I have really looked back. Allowed regret to wash over me. Really took some responsibility for my bad, really terrible decisions. And I’m still in the middle of it, the angst and awakening. I can’t go backwards, I can’t fix my royal screw ups.
But I am now in the place where I can own them. Rather, I will own them. And face tomorrow and each day a little strong, a little wiser. Hopefully others can learn from my mistakes. I am not going to wallow in the shame they cause me, but I am going to do better.