What is your Biggest Money Regret?

January 10, 2012

This article is from Ashley over at Money Talks. Her passion in life is to help you get control of your money. If you like this article you should stop by her site. Or better yet, subscribe to her feed or newsletter.

I used to think that I didn’t have any regrets when it came to money. I’ve always been fairly frugal and a saver at heart. Sure, there are things I would do differently if I had a do over but nothing I would really call a “regret”.

And then our hot tub broke. (I’ve been told to call it a “spa”. I guess “hot tub” sounds hill-billyish but I refuse. It’s a tub and it’s filled with hot water. A hot tub.)

We’ve had the hot tub for about 5 years. We bought it new from a local company that had been in business for 20 years. After we had it for about 2 months we called them out to do some warranty work. Something needed to be changed, I can’t remember. They were easy to work with and came right out. But I couldn’t find the key to open the panel so fixer guy could get inside the hot tub. He said he would come back next week and just to call and make another appointment. We were going on vacation so I waited til we got back. About 3 weeks after the first appointment I called to reschedule.

They were out of business!

Grr… but we got the hot tub fixed for free, it wasn’t the “proper” fix but it worked. We used it regularly for 5 years. Until about a month ago. Now it won’t turn on. Not at all. The water is getting moldier by the second. I’m not willing to put another dollar into it so we are just going to drain it and try to get rid of it as soon and as cheaply as possible.

I wish we had never bought it. Granted we did get 5 years of use out of it, but it wasn’t worth it. With buying the tub itself, delivery, and getting an electrician out to hook it up it cost us about $6,500. UG I don’t even want to write that! Too much money. I don’t know what I was thinking. We couldn’t afford to max out our IRAs but we could afford a $6,500 hot tub. Gawd! So for 5 years of use it ended up costing $108 per month. If we used it once a week on average it cost $25 a soak. Plus extra electricity and chemicals. In my defense I did plan on having it a lot longer than 5 years.

Ugg… stupid hot tub.

Once I opened my mind to money regrets I realized I had others too. The pool table at a whopping $4,000. Used it quite a bit for about a year. Barely touched it in the past 6 years. I’m hoping once the kids get old enough to play we will start using it again. I could see them having friends over and playing. Maybe?

And of course, don’t forget the elliptical machine for $800. Please, someone explain to me why I didn’t buy this used. I do go through spurts where I use it for a while and then quit. But those spurts get shorter and further between as time goes on. I bought it so that I could work out while my son was taking naps, but now he is in school so there is no need. I’d rather walk around the block.

Well that’s $11,000 I’ll never get back! I could have bought a decent used car with that!! What’s your biggest money regret?

You Might Also Like

  • 101 Centavos January 10, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Funny you should say that about your pool table. I was a friend’s house a couple weeks ago, and we spent a fine evening playing nine-ball. He’s had the pool table for five or six years. When I commented on how often he plays, he said this was probably the first time in a year that he’d even looked at it. I didn’t ask how much he’d paid for it.

    • YFS January 13, 2012 at 5:31 am

      This is the reason why I have yet to get a pool table. I would not use it at all except when I have parties over. I have a party 2x a year and just can’t justify the expense of buying one. Even though I want one really bad in my man cave

  • Andrea @SoOverDebt January 10, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    I have so many regrets, I’m not sure this comment box is long enough to hold them all! Mostly, I regret all the money I spent on clothes when I was in college and grad school. I was very concerned about looking professional when I did my internships, but looking back, I had no idea what to wear and just threw a bunch of money down the drain on guesses. I would have been much better off buying basic wardrobe staples instead of trying to look like I had more money than I did.

  • Suzanne Cramer January 10, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    I agree with Andrea, I have so many regrets I couldn’t list them all! My biggest regrets come from car trade / purchases. Every 2 years or so when I was in my 20’s i decided I “Had to Have” a new car not brand new but new to me…this led to negative equity upon negative equity being pile onto my payments..I hate to admit this but I am STILL carrying some of this negative equity…dumb cars!

    • YFS January 13, 2012 at 5:32 am

      I also was caught in the new car.. get tired.. sell it for less value .. buy another car game. I did this for about 3 cars before I noticed the error in my ways. I wasted so much money doing that 🙁

  • John @ Married With Debt January 10, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    Great post Ashley. Our vehicle purchases are probably my biggest regret. Where did that $45,000 go?

  • Michelle @ Making Sense of Cents January 11, 2012 at 3:18 am

    I would say buying a car new instead of used was my regret!

  • Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter January 11, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    I don’t think we have anything big like this that we regret but there is a fair share of the little stuff that really has been necessary or gotten used that much. I have been making an effort to get much better at resisting buying these kinds of items.

  • Andrea January 12, 2012 at 3:29 am

    Ummm buying a house when I couldn’t afford to, probably the biggest one so far… then again i ended up blogging because of it so I haven’t figured out yet how big of a mistake it really was!

  • Shaun @ Money Cactus January 12, 2012 at 10:33 am

    I don’t have anything big like this, mostly just little things, but they all add up.

  • Aaron Hung January 12, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    I think we all have our mistakes, it’s how we learn from it that’s important and also learn from others to avoid it 😀

  • Jeffrey January 12, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    Whoa! Those are some surprising ones, Ashley!

    Mine is definitely my new car purchase at age 18. I financed an $11,000 Hyundai after I decided I no longer wanted to deal with used cars. I was still in high school yet had to make $200 monthly payments plus insurance! What a pain! It was a great car, but just a silly mistake that I made.

  • Newlyweds on a Budget January 12, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    Don’t get too down on yourself! We all make mistakes so it’s just best to learn and move on. I bought a way over priced car. but i paid it off now and it felt so good!

  • SB (One Cent At A Time) January 13, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    My biggest would be a bad decision to invest in a sinking stock. I lost a lot of money. The good thing is I no longer invest in non dividend paying stocks.

  • Financial Samurai January 14, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    I have so many!

    1) Buying one stock and being too proud to sell at a loss.
    2) Buying a property for 15% off, when I could have got it for 35% off if I waited a couple more years.
    3) Not starting my sites 7 years earlier when I wanted to!

    Good thing is that there’s no time like the present. Mistakes are what makes things fun!

    Best, Sam