college party

I previously wrote about my best financial moves in college. Now it’s time for me to kick myself in the butt and take a look at some of my worst financial movies in college. Yes people that write about personal finance do mess up—OFTEN actually. Anyone in the personal finance media that denies making mistakes is not even worth following because they’re lying to you. We’re all human and we all certainly make mistakes.

Let’s have some fun and take a look at my worst financial moves in college:

Entertainment.

What can I say? What’s the point of life if you can’t spend time with your friends? I’ve learned over the years how I can have fun with little money spent. It took me way too long to get to this stage. When I first started college it was a completely new experience for me: being downtown, meeting new people, going to new places, and feeling independent. Spending money just felt so natural. I didn’t know any better.

I’ve spent more money in the last few years on entertainment than I care to admit. I will confess that I don’t regret it at all. However, I shared absolutely priceless financial advice on a social life with my little brother when he went away for college last (why did I have to be the oldest?). If I could do it all over again, I would love to have learned more about socializing on a tight budget. Fortunately, every college student that reads my articles can see where I went wrong and hopefully not make the same mistakes.

Rapid investments.

We’ve all heard, and possibly subscribed to the theory that you work hard for your money at first, and then your money will work hard for you after. I took this a bit too seriously. I jumped into investments long before I should’ve. From purchasing “hot stocks” to spending countless hours on changing small interest rate increases.

I purchased stocks on simply the opinion of others. I didn’t bother researching the company, looking into the management, or even glancing over a recent financial report. My investing decisions were based on opinion. I simply couldn’t let my money just sit inside my savings account. I had to find the next best interest rate or the next hot stock.

Fast forward a few years. These days I focus on earning more and trying to optimize my current spending. I don’t even flinch when I hear about a small rate increase here and there. It’s simply not a wise use of my time.

Working out.

Not sure if this is a bad financial move or not for everyone, but it was for me. The essence and core principles of working out are positive. It simply can easily become an expensive hobby. Once I got serious about working out, I got myself a GNC Gold Card and enjoyed my “discounts.” Unfortunately, 90% of the protein shakes and supplements that I purchased were completely useless. The sad reality is that I didn’t listen when others tried to warn me of this. Why do teenagers have to be so stubborn?

Working too much.

The last five years just flew by. I’ve spent the last few months reconnecting with old friends that I haven’t heard from in years. Sure, I’m proud of my savings and minor accomplishments along the way. I just sometimes feel that I missed out by not having the right balance of work and play. My personal philosophy on personal finance is that you must find the perfect balance that is right for YOU. I’m slowly working on finding that balance.

I shared my worst financial decisions in college with you guys, now it’s your turn. Don’t be shy.

Author: MD

Image source: Brosner