My Past Money Mistakes and My Future Hopes
- Written by Rachel van Geenhoven
- Category: Articles
Hi, I'm Rachel. I spent a lot of my youth struggling to survive, and making a lot of bad choices along the way. Even to this day I'm not personally in a stable place, though I enjoy general day to day stability thanks to my marriage.
The biggest mistake I've ever made, and made over and over, is to react to financial worries by doing one terrible thing: Nothing.
In this blog, I'll speak to my past mistakes, my future hopes, and the choices I'm making now to bridge the gap.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of people out there looking to separate you from your money. I've found myself at the mercy of many, but no one has been more effective at this than one single offender—myself.
The Biggest Mistake I've Ever Made
The biggest mistake I've ever made, and made over and over, is to react to financial worries by doing one terrible thing:
I don't have the money to make my credit card payment, so what do I do? Nothing.
I'm overdrawn my account and my grant check hasn't come through yet. Solution? Freeze.
My registration on my car is expired and it's parked on the street. I clearly need to deal with this soon but I'm not quite sure what to do, so I do...nada.
That last one in particular really hurt. Really, really hurt. I didn't want the car anymore, and I assumed that if the city took it away it would sort of just...disappear. They'd auction it off and presumably recoup their cost of towing it, and everything would be square.
Depending on where you live, the city can tow and impound your car, charging daily holding rates approaching the cost of a hotel stay.
Between what the city charged me and the towing company charged me, I ended up paying $3000, which I couldn't just refuse to pay without getting a huge dent on my credit and getting pursued by collectors.
You've got to stay on top of your finances.
If you don't know what to do, don't stick your head in the sand. Even ostriches don't actually do that, because if they did, they would get just as destroyed by predators as I got destroyed by fees that were, unfortunately, already laid out and clear—if I had done my research.
Can you do better than I've done when financial problems happen? Yes. When you're struggling, talk to your creditors! Find a person or institution you can trust to help you look at your options. Don't make assumptions about what will happen if you ignore problems—do your research.
Most people have money problems in life at some point. Don't just worry. Get busy. We have resources here to help you.