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    Post Your Financial Fails

    We've got a great, very active thread for posting your wins. But let's be honest, sometimes we just need to complain a bit & find some commiseration when we make money mistakes, or just run into some unexpected financial pain. Hopefully, you can kick yourself a bit, laugh about the silly error of your ways, maybe get a bit of advice, and learn to do better next time. Pick yourself up, dust off, then onward and upward!

    So let's talk about our daily financial "fails" that we run into in life.
    "Praestantia per minutus" ... "Acta non verba"

    #2
    Kicking it off.... for those of you who have spent time around the military, you're probably familiar with the stereotype of the servicemember going off on deployment, then everything just seems to start breaking around the house. Well, that's my family's story right now.

    I deployed in April, and within weeks, my car (which my wife had been using as the primary car due to better gas mileage) was running on fumes 50 minutes away from home in Boise, but wouldn't accept more than a single gulp of fuel at a time. She limps it around to 3 different shops, then finally ends up having to leave it at one of them that thinks they can help. Just a little mom & pop shop. She bums a ride back home from a friend, and luckily has her own car to fall back on. But wait! She hadn't driven it in a good month or so, and the battery died! Gratefully, a quick jump later from another friend & she was on the road again.

    Back to mom & pop, they're silent -- apparently their little shop is quite popular, and he's backed up. 10 days later, they finally call DW to say that a pressure relief valve is jammed shut. Okay, no problem, quick fix, right? Nah, bro.... they need to remove the gas tank completely in order to replace the little sucker. it's another 10 days later, and DW is up in Boise again checking on the car. They're still not finished with it (waiting on parts), but gave her the estimated cost of the work... a sweet $1,000! Gratefully we have plenty of cash set aside for random expenses that come up... but ouch! That's a hefty bite! The only consolation is that this is the first major work I've had to do on any of our cars in the last ~10 years, so at least we're not getting eaten alive by car repairs. The car is still relatively new (2017 w/ ~60k miles, worth ~$13k-$14k), so doing the repair is a no-brainer. It just stings a little...
    Last edited by kork13; 06-05-2021, 12:52 PM.
    "Praestantia per minutus" ... "Acta non verba"

    Comment


      #3
      I guess this counts as a fail. I listed something on Facebook Marketplace today. I got 3 replies within 10 minutes and have now gotten 8 responses. Why is that a fail? It tells me I set the price too low if that many people are jumping on it that quickly. I had done a quick search on Amazon and Ebay to get an idea what the item goes for new. I guess they hold their value a lot better than I thought and I could have gotten more. Oh well. The first guy should be here shortly. If he falls through, I've got 7 other interested buyers.
      Steve

      * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
      * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
      * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
        I guess this counts as a fail. I listed something on Facebook Marketplace today. I got 3 replies within 10 minutes and have now gotten 8 responses. Why is that a fail? It tells me I set the price too low if that many people are jumping on it that quickly. I had done a quick search on Amazon and Ebay to get an idea what the item goes for new. I guess they hold their value a lot better than I thought and I could have gotten more. Oh well. The first guy should be here shortly. If he falls through, I've got 7 other interested buyers.
        Although at least a couple of the people offered me less than I asked, so maybe it wasn't a fail after all.
        Steve

        * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
        * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
        * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

        Comment


          #5
          I sold some stock in late March 2020. Wanted to be a Good Investor, and wait it out, but at some point you've got to say, "I think the ship is actually sinking; time to bail out." Of course, that was when the market turned around; didn't jump back in until October. I'm still down from BOY 2020.

          Comment


            #6
            I lost about $100K in a car lot venture. Lost another $20K or so in an internet business venture that failed. Lost probably $30K in a day trading "program". I lost all $35K of my wife's teacher retirement on a bad investment. I leased a Range Rover Sport for 39 months @ $1100 a month, and had zero to show for it after $42K or more in payments. I lost 40 percent of my 401K of $430,000 when I withdrew it early and paid taxes and penalties.

            I would guess I've lost $500K or more with all of the combined, plus a few more bone head investments.

            Comment


              #7
              1) Jumped ship (investments) at the bottom of the 2007/2008 housing bubble crash in terms of stock prices. Didn't reinvest until the top of the rebound maybe 2012, losing tens of thousands. 2) hot rodding $20,000. 3) other bad investments $5000 or $10,000 a pop (ie, Washington Mutual ticker symbol WAMU, Wachovia, etc).

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by TexasHusker View Post
                I leased a Range Rover Sport for 39 months @ $1100 a month, and had zero to show for it after $42K or more in payments.
                Was that an investment, or an expense?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Did I ever mention the timeshare we bought for $4k in 2003? Then paid another $1K to get rid of? Plus all the annual fees for like 10 years and never used it once? Well that one bites. That was a fun memory and definitely one of our imperfect moments.

                  Leasing DH's current car? I let him do it because he wasn't sure if he was going to keep it. We still have it and bought it. I'm on the fence with that because i'm not sure it was a mistake. A lot depends on if my DH can still drive in a couple years then we'll know if it was a success or mistake. Buying a minivan years to late. I wish we had bitten the bullet and bought it in 2010 used but I wasn't sold on used cars yet. I bought instead a new 2010 Outback. We should have bought a used Sienna Minivan and then an outback a few years later. That was a for sure mistake. But DH claims it was the cost. That we couldn't afford it since we got a good deal on the outback and it was a base model below $20k and we couldn't have bought a loaded, leather sienna like we have, so technically he might have been right if we had stuck to the $20k budget.

                  Having car loans. DH had a loan on Focus 2000-2003 0%. We had a loan 2010-2015 Outback 0.9%, Sonata 2012-2015 1.9%, Legacy Lease 2016-2019 0.9%, Sienna 2017-2020 2.9%. So many years of car loans we should have just paid off.

                  Bailing last year in my DK1 and DK2 529. I moved from VOO to TIPS in April then back again in August. I got panicked. I kept them invested Coverdell and Taxable and bought more stock in Taxable. But I guess my nerves got the best of me and I decided the smallest account I would move to something safer. Now since they are 11 and 8, I wonder if I should move them to something more conservative? As it stands they are 100% in VOO and QQQ.

                  Not tracking my spending form 2017-2021. Probably spent way to much. I have a rough idea of what we spent on stuff and it's not pretty. So overspending and not having a real budget. I think we lived more 60-10-10-10-10% so we weren't out of line, but it would have been better to have saved more probably.

                  Currently - refinancing my house from 2.875% fixed 30 year mortgage to 7/1 arm at 2%. It'll save me like $700/month. I know rates will be higher in 7 years, but I want the savings now. This might not actually be as much as mistake as I thought however. Certain things are shaking out that lead me to think we will not stay in our place long enough for the 7 years.

                  Let me sleep on it and I will write more.
                  LivingAlmostLarge Blog

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Nutria View Post

                    Was that an investment, or an expense?
                    it was dumb.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      LAL's post reminded me of one. Auto insurance. We were paying a lot for many years and I just never bothered to shop around. When I did I was shocked by how much we saved. I don't remember the exact amount (I'm sure I posted about it at the time) but it was at least a couple hundred per month. I was embarrassed to realize we had been so grossly overpaying.
                      Steve

                      * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                      * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                      * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
                        LAL's post reminded me of one. Auto insurance. We were paying a lot for many years and I just never bothered to shop around. When I did I was shocked by how much we saved. I don't remember the exact amount (I'm sure I posted about it at the time) but it was at least a couple hundred per month. I was embarrassed to realize we had been so grossly overpaying.
                        Ugh... It's silly, but I've been avoiding this as well. We've got all of our insurance with USAA (2x cars, primary & rental homes, and life), which does fine, but it's definitely more expensive than other options. I know we're overpaying at least somewhat, but when I checked at 1-2 other companies, our current insurance was "only" ~10-15% (~$150-$200/yr) higher, and inertia (plus the stress of getting ready to deploy) won out, with me not pulling the trigger. Between having ALL of our insurance there and wanting a clean break, plus the hassle of shopping it all with each company individually, and unable to find a good broker to do the shopping around for us... blah.... I hate trying to deal with it all.
                        "Praestantia per minutus" ... "Acta non verba"

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by kork13 View Post
                          when I checked at 1-2 other companies, our current insurance was "only" ~10-15% (~$150-$200/yr) higher, and inertia (plus the stress of getting ready to deploy) won out, with me not pulling the trigger.
                          This means that you're paying about $16/month for convenience (which is an order of magnitude less that Steve's over-payment). Unless your finances are really tight, that extra $16 might be a reasonable expense,

                          Comment


                            #14
                            As with many on this board, we've had more wins than losses. Nevertheless, tried some market timing in my 401k in the 90s. Was convinced the market was at a peak, so I moved most of my money to a "cash" alternative within the 401k. Eventually reinvested several months later with the market about 1000 points higher.

                            Insurance for sure - as others have noted - when we finally shopped around a couple years ago, we saved close to $700/year for our bundle.

                            ​​Going back in time, we also purchased and financed several new cars. I loathe car payments, and so the last three have been "new to us" cars (roughly 2 year old models) that we paid for in cash.

                            Perhaps the biggest was that we allowed money to be a stressor in our relationship for the first decade of our marriage. This has since been corrected, and we're well aligned, but it certainly was a fail in multiple ways.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Few years back I lost all my investment on Seadrill (SDRL) when they went bankrupt.
                              I think I was out around 5K on that one.

                              Brian

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