Do you ever remember playing a game as a kid and someone messed up? The way the kids in my neighborhood played was that if someone didn't quite understand the rules of the game, you were able to get a "do-over".

It was simple back then. If you didn't quite understand the rules of the game, you simply got a "do-over" and everything was good. No harm, no foul. Screwing up back then didn't mean getting stuck with a car you couldn't afford or mean you bought too much house for your income. As a kid, you could simply start the game over again.

Image Courtesy: John Morga

You aren't a kid anymore!! As an adult, it's not so easy to just start the game over again. Sure, some people choose to file the big "B" and start over again but not everyone chooses that route. For some of us, those bad decisions will stick with us and haunt us for a long time.

Although it's not easy, you can give yourself financial "do-over". If you find it hard to make ends meet, look for ways to cut your spending or find ways to increase your income. If you have a mountain of debt over your head, reallocate your extra income towards paying it down as soon as possible. If your credit score is low, work on making it better by paying your bills on time and keeping your credit usage below 30% of your credit limit.

There's a few financial mistakes I've made in the past that I wish I could "do-over". I wish I didn't buy new cars every 2 years, increasing my negative equity time. I wish I didn't take out the maximum amount of financial aid I was given each year; or at least I wish I had saved some of it. I wish I didn't have a huge weakness when it comes to electronic gadgets. That one is still getting me in trouble to this day. Did I tell you I bought a MacBook Pro a few weeks ago?

What financial nightmares do you wish you could do over??


  1. Danielle // March 1, 2010 at 10:26 AM  

    Putting $50,000 down on a house in Las Vegas during the top of the bubble when my first marriage was on the rocks. When the marriage ended, I couldn't sell the house and took a huge loss and had to borrow $45,000 from my grandfather to avoid a short sale. That was the beginning of the end. Otherwise, I'd just have student loans now.

  2. Ted Paulson // March 1, 2010 at 3:24 PM  

    I hate thinking how I am literally 5 years behind where I should be financially because of a serious of small mistakes and misjudgments. Craziness! I had to literally mourn the loss of 5 years of financial loss.

  3. Money Honey SF // March 1, 2010 at 6:35 PM  

    I know what you mean SGM.

    We simply can't turn back the time to redo or rewrite our mistakes. Especially huge impacted ones with money.

    The biggest financial mistake is probably related to my car. I simply took out all of my 401K money with my first job to pay off my car. I believe it was around $19K all at one. But little did I know that I will be taxed almost 40% for this mistake.

    So basically $9000 or so went to uncle Sam. Big big mistake and i still regret it up to this day.

    You must have nice fancy cars to be exchange it every 2 years. :)

  4. Austin // March 1, 2010 at 11:54 PM  

    I actually just wrote about this in my post here:

    In a nutshell: didn't educate myself enough when I started investing, invested too little, wasted time and the chance to make tons off the financial collapse.

    It's better I learned this now than in 45 years, right?

    Austin @ Foreigner's Finances