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3 Things I Would (Or Wouldn’t) Do Differently

by Derek Sisterhen on September 13, 2011

We don’t typically like to air out our dirty laundry for everyone to see. I have much respect for Ryan Brewer and his willingness to share some of the missteps from his past and how he’s embraced the lessons they taught him. Not to worry, Ryan, if stupid was illegal, I’d be right there in jail with you! ~D.S.

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When you’ve screwed up with money as much as I have there are probably quite a few things that you’d say you would do differently. As for me…

1. I wouldn’t change all the different times I borrowed money.

True, that sounds like the complete opposite of what most people would say. Think of it as a great lesson on what to never do again. Borrowing money and getting my financial butt handed to me taught me a very valuable lesson that will stick with me the rest of my life. I’m so glad I made the mistakes because it made me what I am today.

2. I would’ve learned to do a better budget earlier.

In the early days, “budget” was a swear word in our house. Even if we did a budget, it was really hard for us to stick with it. I regret not learning how to properly do a budget and be able to stay on it each month. I can only imagine the thousands of dollars we wasted by not following a budget earlier on.

3. I wouldn’t have ignored by credit card bills for so long.

Sure, credit card companies are annoying and can get under your skin, but ignoring them is not something that I should’ve done. When you have a choice between eating and paying a credit card then obviously you would eat. For myself, I could’ve done both, but chose not to pay the cards and it really backfired. I wish I would’ve paid more attention and kept up with my credit cards, it would of saved me a lot of money in the long run.

Even though some of my financial past is marked with mistakes I wish I hadn’t made, I wouldn’t change any of them. What I learned in the process was just too valuable. Don’t waste your time regretting what you have done; focus instead on the path ahead.

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Ryan Brewer is the author of If Stupid Was Illegal We’d Be In Jail. And runs ifstupidwasillegal.com. Ryan is a blogger who loves to share is story with anyone. Ryan also is a stay at home dad. In his spare time he likes to ride his bicycle with no hands. Ryan can be reached at @ltj2009 or ifstupidwasillegal.com.

  • http://findingforwardmotion.com Tony Elam

    Ryan this a great post!  Simply because you shared your own struggles.  It’s good for people who are currently struggling with money to hear that they aren’t that unique when it comes to money problems.  Don’t just ignore the situation and do something with it.  I say as well as you have here, that I feel fortunate to have failed so much so early.  It forced me to go the right direction, or stay where I was.

  • http://pastdueradio.com/ Derek Sisterhen

    Great thoughts, Tony!  I wonder sometimes if the money spent in interest on credit cards, car loans, and other forms of debt isn’t the equivalent of student loans from the lessons we learn in the process.

    It’s like we got a Master’s degree at the University of Hard Knocks!

  • http://pastdueradio.com/ Derek Sisterhen

    Thanks for sharing so openly about your bumps and bruises along the way.  I remember financing the brand new car that I had to have (it made me “look like a professional”), then realizing after a year of making payments that I made a huge mistake.  I wouldn’t change it, though.  That lesson has stuck with me and I’ve been to apply it to more than one situation since.

    Good stuff!

  • http://twitter.com/JWFinCoaching Jonathan White

    I appreciate your honesty Ryan. We all have done dumb things with money but you have actually learned from your mistakes and have turned them into your message. I love it! We all make bad financial decisions in our life,  but the ones who recover from them are those who do not dwell on their past but analyze how they got there and figure out how to do things differently next time so they don’t end up back there.

    Thanks for the post and looking forward to checking out your book!

  • Mike Young

    Great job, Ryan.  I love your straightforward way of saying things and you complete honesty.  It’s a breath of fresh air! 

  • Ryan Brewer

    Thanks Jonathan I really appreciate it. Some people are just too afraid or embarrassed to admit that they made mistakes. I am not ashamed of anything that I have done. Although it was stupid :)

  • Ryan Brewer

    Thank you Tony. I told my wife they other day that I am glad we messed up really bad with our money earlier in life. You never know, if we made all these mistakes when we were older, it could of had a lot more 0’s on the end.

  • Ryan Brewer

    Thanks so much Mike. I am not about complicating things. Simple works way better for me

  • http://pastdueradio.com/ Derek Sisterhen

    I agree, Mike; honesty is a breath of fresh air.  Sometimes I find the best advice I’ve received comes from the “what not to do” experiences of someone else.

    I think it’s a sign of true wisdom: Learning from the mistakes of others before you commit them yourself.  Thanks for the comment!

  • http://pastdueradio.com/ Derek Sisterhen

    I agree, Mike; honesty is a breath of fresh air.  Sometimes I find the best advice I’ve received comes from the “what not to do” experiences of someone else.

    I think it’s a sign of true wisdom: Learning from the mistakes of others before you commit them yourself.  Thanks for the comment!

  • http://www.songsandsayings.com/2011/10/05/never-look-back/ Never look back |

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