I was going to write a blog about regrets
I was going to write a blog about regrets, in part because everyone has them, and I assume everyone hates them. But I started seeking a little deeper as to why I wanted to write about regrets and what kept coming up was helping the younger version of myself in light of some exciting stuff happening in my life right now.
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So, God wiling, this upcoming Friday I will be closing on the purchase of my first house. My wife is excited, our friends are excited, even my little one gets excited when we step into the house. Yes we've visited the house more than once already to take measurements and really just pump ourselves up. As big as the excitement, as someone that cannot help but think all the time, I thought to myself that if I would have been wiser about my time, finances and my credit history, I could have bought a house as I got married nearly five years ago.
So this thought is what sent me down a regret trip, and I really want to be able to point out a couple of things I would have done different from the first check I got when I was 16.
DO IT OVER
I started working when I was still in High School. What my background doesn't matter because I've met both poor and wealthy parents that spoil their children to perdition, as I've also met poor and wealthy parents teach their children the value of work. My dad's a preacher so he would always remind me of a verse that says (I'm paraphrasing), "he who doesn't work shouldn't eat." So if I wanted anything extra that was over my parent's budget, I had to work for it. So I kicked the school meals out the window and started buying my lunches at school.
So one thing I'm not doing here is claiming I got some magical blueprint that will bring you instant success. What I am doing is sharing my experiences and what I've learned from them, so that you can take that info and then make a decision as to how and if you're going to apply any of this to your life. That being said, I'm not against buying better food, specially considering the types of food schools offer. But here was my mistake. Although I consider myself a weird kid in high school, I was still a popular weird kid. So spotting my buddies a meal here and there was something I took as an investment to my popularity. Did it make me popular? I don't know if the free meals really bought me any popularity, but I'll tell you what, I have no close ties to any of those "friends" who I spotted meals for, and thinking back I cannot remember any positive impact in my life from those relationships. So we're the hundreds of dollars worth it? I don't think so. Not to say, from some of the stuff I've read on successful networking, the sentiment of sharing bread with others was right, however at 16 there was no deliberate purpose behind me spotting meals to friends other than wanting to be the cool guy who spots meals. So if you want to buy someone a meal, make sure you're wanting to offer more than just some food or a drink. A meeting can return tenfold if you offer value to the person you are spotting a meal to, as it's just a law of the universe to give back when you have been given.
Girls. I spent hundreds of dollars on girls who wouldn't give me their time of day. If you are seeking to make an impression, I've learned that sometimes the simplest of gifts make the sought after impression. Remember girls for the most part are sentimental and guys aren't, and so what a guy thinks a girl will like, specially at 16 is probably incorrect. The ladies like gifts that are personal, meaning that they want you to hand write, hand decorate, they want to know that you had some involvement in the process of the gift. That shows them the time you invested, the thought you put into your gift, they could care less for the gift itself. My recommendation would be, that if you catch a special lady that is impressed with these simple gifts, then you shower her with roses and diamonds because then you know she's worth it and was never after the roses and diamonds in the first place. (I don't literally mean diamonds, but the nicer gifts that require a little more money to buy).
Going out. So for about seven years, from the time I began working to the time I knew I was going to get married and began saving, I must have spent thousands of dollars on going out. I'm NOT saying you should be locked up in your room, putting every dollar you make under your mattress, but have limits. Be thoughtful and more purposeful about the things you do. What I mean by that is, really think about the purpose of what you are about to do. Remember when you waste time, you're basically killing yourself. When you spend money, you're becoming more poor. The sooner you begin to look at time and money as really valuable resources, you can then learn how you can best invest your time and money. I can't promise you will become rich, but it will avoid headaches and it will put you way ahead of the crowd, specially the younger crowd.
What if you could pay for your own college? Although if you are into reading this type of stuff, you should be smart enough to have an organization pay for your college (scholarships). What if you could pay for your own car? Lets say you have some parents that want to gift you a car because you have been a good kidwhat if you can pay the difference for a cool upgrade? Go from a Toyota to a Lexus? These are just some possibilities. I would probably still argue that the car isn't a good investment. What I would do is work on my credit and buy a house as soon as possible. The sooner you can make a purchase that can potentially make you money instead of drain away your money (investment rather than a liability), then you are way ahead the crowd. How would you like to have a rental property at the age of 20, 22? I think it's totally possible if you become more wise about your decisions on what you do with your time and money. That property can potentially pay for that Lexus. Another observation, just FYI, people who have one rental property that's doing well will generally acquire more quickly.
I probably made about $128,000 between the age of 16-22. Let's say I would have saved at least half of that. That could have gotten me easily in to 3 houses in Texas where I live now. Again, I'm just hoping that someone can learn from my mistakes. So if you are 16, I would suggest you really thinking out what I'm telling you here. If you are still single with no kids, I would suggest that you can probably start being smarter about the way your investing your time and money now while it's still easier to do so. And if you already have started a family, pass this on to your little brother, your little cousin or someone that can really learn to do better than us.
Were you smarter than I with your time and money? What did you achieve? Share with us.
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Posted in Real Estate Post Date 12/31/2015