Personal Finance

What Is The One Thing you would have done differently with your finances?

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  • Aug 25th, 2017 3:57 pm
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[OP]
Newbie
Aug 9, 2017
6 posts
4 upvotes

What Is The One Thing you would have done differently with your finances?

If you can go back 10 years what is the one thing you would have done differently with your personal finances?

I would have invested earlier. I only started 2 years ago and I am in my mid thirties.
68 replies
Sr. Member
User avatar
Mar 31, 2009
965 posts
373 upvotes
I should have left the big banks sooner. I closed my BMO account when they no longer would waive bank fees for me. But I should have left them years before that and I would have made more interest. Not really a big deal because in reality the interest isn't huge anyway, but in hindsight, it's just one of those no-brainers that I should have just done. I had my investments with BMO as well, and I could have avoided a bunch of buy/sell fees for years had I left them sooner. Again, we're not talking a ton of money, but it was a no brainer that would have put extra cash back into my wallet instead of the banks.

More material, but less of a no brainer, I should have stopped trying to 'beat the market' way sooner as well. I had some big years both up and down, and even if I did 'beat the market' overall, it wasn't worth the time investment in my case. I'm sure it is for some people, but for me I don't think it was. Due to the fact that I didn't beat the market enough, and I value my time pretty highly. If I had to compare market returns to my returns, and factor in the hours spent researching stocks and stuff, my 'hourly rate' was way too low for many years. I would have been better off working a second job and going couch-potato'ish investing way sooner, if I really wanted the extra cash.
Deal Fanatic
Dec 11, 2008
7141 posts
429 upvotes
Honestly, not too much. Maybe when I started out investing I should have been smarter, could have made a bit more money.

Other than that, nothing really.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
15192 posts
4259 upvotes
Ottawa
Should have bought more RE, instead of focusing on paying the mortgage off as quickly as we did.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jun 8, 2008
3570 posts
1012 upvotes
Toronto
Stretched ourselves a little more on our house purchase. We played it safe, bought what we could afford and while I don't regret that choice, I realize we could have gone a tiny bit more out of our very safe comfort zone and bought elsewhere. 15 years later, and that mortgage would have been paid off as well by now. That said, playing it safe and keeping things super affordable allowed us the funds to travel a lot so hey, that's not a bad trade off either :P
Deal Addict
Jul 11, 2008
4032 posts
1298 upvotes
buy cryptos earlier and never listen to 99% of people on RFD and reddit.
Deal Addict
Jul 18, 2016
1702 posts
617 upvotes
I wish I had avoided student loans like the plague. I will make certain my children never need to use them. At 5 and 3, they already have 1.5 years of university paid for.
Sr. Member
Jul 28, 2012
832 posts
241 upvotes
Montreal
I would have participated in an employee stock ownership plan. (I used to work for a Big 5 bank.)
Deal Addict
Jun 17, 2013
3808 posts
728 upvotes
Halifax
I wish I cared about finances like I do now, when I was younger. When I was young and dumb I blew my paycheques, saved nothing, I saw no point. It wasn't until I realized how much interest and money I was losing out on. Imagine having $300 extra in dividends a month....that is a lot of extra cash, just by saving now, it pays off later. I was able to adjust my living and still live comfortably, but now money is not something I worry about. Previously, if my car broke, I would be running around wondering how I am going to pay for it. Now that I plan ahead, when a $700 repair bill comes up I have no worries about how I will pay for it.

Anyways, I just wish I cared more when I was younger. I don't want to say I wish I learned more because really we use money at very early ages. People try to teach you concepts, but it isn't until you start caring yourself does it all sink in. People go on until they are 50+ sometimes without truly caring...by then it is pretty late in the game.
Sr. Member
Jan 16, 2016
644 posts
268 upvotes
Hamilton, ON
bewiseman wrote:
Aug 11th, 2017 9:03 am
I wish I had avoided student loans like the plague. I will make certain my children never need to use them. At 5 and 3, they already have 1.5 years of university paid for.
There's nothing wrong with interest-free (while in school) student loans. My child takes the loan even though he doesn't need it, invests it, and at worst will give it back in a lump sum payment come graduation. At best he does that AND earns enough through investments to buy a new car as a graduation present.
Member
Oct 22, 2015
495 posts
117 upvotes
Hamilton, ON
Don't listen to analysts that "predict" the ups and downs of markets
Deal Addict
Jul 18, 2016
1702 posts
617 upvotes
Altera wrote:
Aug 11th, 2017 9:54 am
There's nothing wrong with interest-free (while in school) student loans. My child takes the loan even though he doesn't need it, invests it, and at worst will give it back in a lump sum payment come graduation. At best he does that AND earns enough through investments to buy a new car as a graduation present.
Yes, if you can pull that off, its great. Most aren't so fortunate.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 17, 2008
1772 posts
535 upvotes
Winnipeg
mathiewannabe wrote:
Aug 11th, 2017 9:00 am
...... and never listen to 99% of people on RFD.......
Excellent advice. :) lol
*Do you like someone's idea, post, or response? Why not consider giving them "thanks" and clicking the thumbs up to give them the credit they deserve.*
Jr. Member
Aug 20, 2015
193 posts
70 upvotes
Toronto
I would not have financed a new car right out of school. I would've just taken public transit for another year and used the money that I would've saved from the car purchase to buy a used car outright.
Newbie
Jun 14, 2016
46 posts
5 upvotes
Calgary
I'm with you OP, I wish I knew to start investing earlier. Still not that late for me, but all those years of lost gains!

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