27 Things I Wish I Would Have Done Differently About Money


You guys, to celebrate my birthday I launched something so very close to my heart! An online workbook/ebook all about how to use your money for good. Which is literally what I called it: Money For Good. It’s how to finally figure out your spending & budgeting for good in order to start using your money for good! Go download it now and start making changes in your financial journey!

NOW, the post:

This post is going live on my birthday! October 21st, 1991 is the day I came into this world which makes me officially 27 today. In order to celebrate I decided to do a post about the 27 things I wish I would of done differently with my money in the last 27 years.

You may be thinking? You? I thought you had money figured out? You mean to tell me you have 27 mistakes that you think you made with money. And yes. I do. Because I’m human and still learning. Plus retrospect is just something you can never achieve before it’s happened.

You may also be thinking, I wasn’t thinking that previous statement at all. I would assume you’ve made a lot of mistakes with money and that’s why you are passionate about helping others avoid some. And yes, you’re right, I did make a lot of mistakes.

Now before anyone starts thinking, man I just wish she would get on with it. Here we go…

1. I wish I would of tried to make money sooner.

This might sound silly to have as number one but I hear all these stories of kids or teenagers starting businesses and growing their income when they were younger and I wish I had been one of those kids. I got a job at 16 but it was a minimum wage job and nothing more than that.

2. I wish I had saved more money as a kid living at home.

Oh man, if any of you out there right now are still living at home with little to no bills. STOP SPENDING MONEY. Seriously. Save it all. When I think about the thousands of dollars I could of saved when I was living at home I cringe. I was a good saver for my age but I could of been so much better.

3. I wish I wouldn’t of spent so much of it on fast food.

Okay, so I don’t eat fast food that often. But I’ll be honest, whenever I see fast food on our bank statements I’m like, ugh, why did we choose to do that. It’s so not worth the $3 or $4. Unless of course it’s the hot fudge sundae from McDonald’s in which case I’ll take one now. Thanks! ;)

4. I wish I wouldn’t of bought that iPhone 6s recently.

I mean we all have those bad luck purchases right? This one is just more recent for me. I finally broke down and spent some of my secret stash of “my money” (Read: money that was given to me for random reasons over the last few years, yes years, because that is how long I keep money for before I spend it.) on a newer phone and a few months later it crapped out on me for no reason. Just bad luck. I couldn’t really have done anything to prevent it or know it was going to happen but this is a wish list, so I just wish that I could of somehow known and not bought it.

5. I wish I would of spent money on a missions trip when I was younger.

I’ve never gone but wanted to. I feel like it would of been easier to spend the money (and time) when I was younger and had less responsibilities. Now we are putting most of our money towards saving for a house and it’s harder to leave for long periods at a time, but we will one day!

6. I wish I would of taken a few more vacations.

We just got back from the first vacation since our honeymoon, which was 5 years ago. We do a lot of saving with our money which I love, but I think we could of afforded to spend a little and gone on a few more vacations over the last few years. And before I was married I definitely could have gone on more.

7. I wish I would of started investing sooner.

We have a meeting scheduled this week to meet with a financial advisor and start investing but Greg and I both wish we had started this sooner. Your money can’t grow if it’s not in the right account. We’ve been missing out on money by waiting!

8. I wish I would of spent more on my wedding photographer.

The photos were the most expensive thing we bought for our wedding already and she gave us a great deal but I wish I would of shopped around and not just made the choice based on price. I still love our wedding photos, I just wish I had looked more before deciding to make sure it was exactly what I wanted.

9. I wish I would of spent money on going to more amusement parks.

Silly enough and I never thought I would like amusement parks as much as I do now, when I went to one for the first time. But on our honeymoon we went and it was the best day of the whole trip. So yeah, we probably should go to those more.

10. I wish I wouldn’t of bought that $6 coffee.

I’m not immune to succumbing to peer pressure or just feeling like I should get something just because I’m at a place. There has been more than one time in my life that I’ve bought that expensive drink because I felt like I should and then promptly regretted it. No shame to others, just not my game.

11. I wish I would of spoken up when I was overcharged for items.

Similar to my last item, I wish I would be more confident sometimes and speak up or out if something regarding my purchase isn’t right. I don’t think I’m the only one who struggles with this but I’m trying to be better about it.

12. I wish I would of given more of my money away when times were tight.

I think it is easy for us to look at what little we have when we are struggling and think we can’t help anyone else. But I believe that the tighter we hold our own money the more our fist is closed to receiving any blessings ourselves. I wish I would of learned that lesson sooner and loosened my grip and offered help more when I could of. (Psst. Read the last part of this post for more information about that!)

13. I wish I would of tracked my spending earlier in life.

I’d kill (figure of speech of course) to be able to go back and see what I purchased those first few years of paychecks. I just can’t fathom where all that money could of gone. Am I the only one that thinks this way?!

14. I wish I would of created a budget earlier in life.

Speaking of wishing I could see what I spent, I wish I had created a spending plan earlier in life. I remember before I moved out I created a budget, but I didn’t use it the way I use my budget now. I wish it would of actually been something I used on a regular basis and not just a starting point.

15. I wish I would of started my $25 a month budget earlier in life.

Is it weird that I love my $25 a month budgets? I’m so passionate about spending less and still enjoying life that I literally wish I had started this budget earlier in life!

16. I wish I had started building credit earlier.

I mean we have credit now which is great, but we could of had credit 5 years ago when we first applied for a home loan if I had started earlier.

17. I wish I wouldn’t of bought those $30 boots.

They were tan and had floral on the inside. I thought they were really cute and I thought I would wear them all the time and yet they sat on the shelf for a solid 7 years. 7 years guys. But every time I went to get rid of them their $30 price tag mocked me.

18. I wish I would of donated my money to things that mattered to me.

I’m passionate about a lot of things now. I wish I would of known about some of these things when it was just my money and time and I could of given more of it away.

19. I wish I would of made the loan for my braces in my name.

When I was a senior in high school I got braces. Why the last year of high school? Because that’s when I had a job and could pay for them myself. (We didn’t have any insurance and my parents couldn’t afford to buy them.) I had to make payments on them (my one and only debt I’ve ever had in my life) but I didn’t have any credit so I put it in my mom’s name in order to get the payments lowered. But I ended up paying extra every month which ended up being the same amount I would of paid if it had all been just in my name. Plus, then I would of had credit years later when applying for a house. Retrospect guys, retrospect.

20. I wish I had saved more money before I got married.

Greg, thankfully, is a great saver. But again, when you are single things are different. I just wish I could of come into marriage with a, technically speaking, butt ton of money saved.

21. I wish I would of started investing for retirement.

So many people told me to do this early on and I didn’t. I’m not really worried about retirement because Greg and I are such good savers and we can live off very little. But we will still start saving for this asap.

22. I wish I would of understood money more.

I think I understood more about money at an early age than other people my age did. But still I wish I had really dove in and learned more before going out into the “real world”. High school and even college do not prepare you for money in the real world. I wish I had learned more before going out there.

23. I wish I would of talked to more people about money.

I obviously talk a lot about it now because I have a website all about it. (Obsessed much Lydia?) But I don’t know, I feel like I could of offered more advice to people that could have actually helped but instead I kept it to myself for fear of people being offended or me looking like a know it all. But now I look back and think that people might of genuinely not known and could have used some advice or help.

24. I wish I would of not let people make me feel guilty about how I spend or don’t spend my money.

Whether it is peer pressure or just nosy questions there were many times where people from everywhere in my life would question how I’m spending my money or not spending my money and try and make me feel bad, or wrong, or guilty about it. I wish I would of been more confident in my decisions and let their comments roll off my back.

25. I wish I would of let people bless me.

This one is still hard to this day. I love blessing other people but the idea of accepting an offering from someone is very hard for me. Which is dumb and selfish in another way because why is it okay for me to do something nice for someone but not for someone to do something nice for me? I wish I would of just accepted those things with a grateful heart, instead of insisting they didn’t need to do it, to the point where I make it awkward for them!

26. I wish I would of learned more about the next steps to take about money.

In every stage of life there are next steps and I just feel like no one really walks others through them. You have to figure it out on your own along with some random phone calls home to mom.

27. I wish I would of spent more where it mattered and saved more when it didn’t.

Some of these items in this list contradict themselves I know. And some are random or really specific. But what it comes down to for me and money is this point right here. Spend where it matters, and save where it doesn’t. That’s what I wish I would of done more of in the last 27 years and what I hope to do more of in the next 27. But after age 54 who knows?! ;)

Now go take part in my birthday celebration and make changes to your money journey before your next birthday! Go download: Money For Good and finally figure out your spending & budgeting for good in order to start using your money for good!