The following is a blog swap post from LaTisha at Young Adult Finances, where she writes about investing, trading and money management. Check out the post I wrote: Do-Over! D0-Over! Can I ask for that? over at her site today!
Regrets. That is really what this question is about. What do I regret that I wish I could change? And if I made that change, how would my life be different? For this week’s blog swap we all have a central topic and for this week it was ‘if you could have one financial do-over, what would it be and why?’
Do You Have Regrets?
I keep thinking, what would I change? I’m sure I would have much more to say on this topic a few months back, so let’s go back to ‘February‘ LaTisha. At the time, I didn’t have a job and the bills were piling up. I had made some bad decisions with credit and I started to regret ever hearing the words ‘buy now, pay later’. I was a recent graduate with a 3.5 GPA in a very lucrative industry, the finance industry, but I had yet to be hired away. I was down and frustrated. I regretted going to college in the first place and taking out student loans to finance my education. “What was the point of a degree if no one wants to pay me for it!” I thought. “Why didn’t my parents pay for me to go to a more prestigious school?” I griped. “Why did the economy have to tank right when I graduated?” I whined.
Then I started to think back to all of the decisions I made. What was the one main decision I made that had led me here? I realized that it was not one but several. When I graduated high school, I went straight to college and completed a Spanish degree with honors and scholarships. I chose Spanish because I enjoy the language. For some reason, it never occurred to me that I should choose a degree based on my desired career path. I should have begun working full time right away but I didn’t. I decided to go back to school taking out student loans, because this time I didn’t have a scholarship; and complete a finance degree. If I could have one financial do-over, I would have researched degrees and followed a degree into a career path.
What I Should Have Done
I should have known that I wanted to make lots of money in my career. That would have led me immediately to engineering, finance or accounting. I finally decided to go back to school after I found myself working in the retail industry. I worked on getting a masters of accountancy, but after one class, I knew this was not the path for me. Even though I wanted to make a lot of money, I didn’t want to torture myself along the way. I say that finance found me. I took the introductory class as a prerequisite in the accounting masters program and I loved it! How could I have missed this before? I decided to do college the right way this time. I would get involved, get internships and graduate with a job lined up so I could make it to my goal of becoming a CEO.
But the problem was, once I graduated in 2010, the economy was depressed and jobs were scarce. Employers were still in the process of firing, not hiring. From May until I secured a position the following April, I worked. Part-time, full time, half time. I baby-sat, I passed out flyers, I delivered sandwiches. I went from discouraged to encouraged month after month. In March, I applied for a position with a firm, like I had been doing for the past 11 months. Sending out resume after resume, working my contacts and coming up empty. But this time was different. I received a call and secured a full-time salaried position in a great company!
It Was All Worth It
It was all worth it. I had my financial do-over! I went back to school, got a better degree and all the pieces fell into place. So what I want to say in all of this is, it’s not too late for a financial do-over! It may take some time, and things can get bumpy along the way, but don’t be afraid to hit reset.