Friday Five: My worst financial decisions

Y’know, I may not ever have gotten myself into proper debt, but I have made some less than choices moneywise. For example…

Furniture hire

My plan was to move into the student apartments once I got to uni. But in that interim year, I needed a bed. And hiring one seemed the easiest move at the time – it would get delivered, and I wouldn’t need to worry about getting rid of it at the end.

That overdraft

For about six months back in 07, I had a bunch of different accounts at various banks (when they throw themselves at you during O-week, it’s rude to say no, right? Student accounts FTW!). And for awhile, T used one of these because it was free and handy. Only this was right back when he was truly awful with money, and he ran up the (thankfully interest-free, although National Bank kept trying to charge, and I had to keep calling them to sort it out. Also, their internet banking was shitola. Avoid) overdraft on it.

Not getting contents insurance earlier

This, along with Kiwisaver, was one of those things I kept putting off because things were tight – I was studying full-time, T got laid off, things were not great on the financial front. Then we got burgled. Yep.

Contents insurance is cheap, and protects renters in case you accidentally burn down the house or something. Do it. (We also got robbed a handful more times after that, so a good investment all round.)

Being the head tenant

All the headache, all the responsibility. The only good thing was rounding up everyone else’s share of the bills so I could pay a little less, which I considered my cut for all the rest of the crap I dealt with. Nightmare flatmate from that house still owes me nearly $1k.

And … I’m out, actually. I can’t come up with a fifth. Maybe choosing a higher-paying industry? Nah. I’m not a proponent of starving for passion’s sake but neither do I believe in staying in a lucrative job that makes you miserable. What I do challenges, excites and interests me and pays decently enough. And that does me just fine right now. Yes, I’ve chosen a fairly flat industry with low starting salaries and a similarly modest long-term pay trajectory. No doubt I could find enjoyment and meaning elsewhere and make more money, but I know that would not make me happier.

Got any financial regrets to share?

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