I am an enabler…there. I said it. I left home with nothing more than a job and 1000 dollars. I got an apartment by myself and I thought the world was my oyster. I had a great job, I was going to school so I could eventually earn more and I was happy.
As anyone knows, an apartment needs furniture. I had no credit so I heard that renting to own furniture was a good way to earn credit.
I had just been PRE-APPROVED with a credit card at my bank and a pretty healthy balance limit. I began to spend money like crazy. I bought all the things I never had.
I even put my high school age brother on my phone plan. BIG MISTAKE!!!! He used the minutes up and quickly, the bill escalated into the thousands in a month. I was not made aware of this until the third month into the phone plan.
SECOND MISTAKE: DO NOT IGNORE MONTHLY BILL STATEMENTS. I could have dropped the second line and saved myself $1100. So I trusted my mom to take care of the bill. You know, talk to the customer service people since my brother exceeded the minutes.
THIRD MISTAKE: DO NOT TRUST ANYONE TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR BILL DISCREPENCIES EXCEPT YOU. And definitely follow up on the bill. 5 years later, I am getting a bill for that cell phone overage amount and completely shocked that it has taken this long to reach my notice.
BIGGEST PERSONAL FINANCIAL MISTAKE EVER: REACHING THE MAX BALANCE ON A CREDIT CARD IN A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME AND NOT BEING ABLE TO PAY IT OFF QUICKLY WITHOUT INCURRING INTEREST CHARGES.
SECOND BIGGEST MISTAKE: TELLING FAMILY MEMBERS OF SURPLUS INCOME. SOB STORIES AND GIFTS, BIRTHDAY MONEY AND LOAN(NEVER REPAID)HANDOUTS have financially screwed me in the long run. I have no savings and now that times are hard, I am left with a possible bankruptcy.
If I could go back, I would have just used cash or debit for everything. I would have placed my extra money in an account that I couldnt touch or easily access. I would have lived below my means and learned to live with what’s functional and not what’s fancier.
Hope that this helps someone.