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Best Financial Decisions… I’ve Ever Made

In the last two posts I wrote about how financial decisions often involve more than just money. This post is all about those financial decisions I’ve made that were almost entirely about money.

  • Attending a State College
    • I majored in English. I had no reason for majoring in that subject except that it was the one subject in school throughout which I truly excelled. My teacher’s accolades spurred me to pursue literature in college. My mom and dad paid my tuition, a blessing unlike any other a parent can bestow upon their child. Had I attended a more expensive school I would have undoubtedly needed to take out student loans, which I would probably still be paying.
  • Interning
    • In college while many of my friends worked in coffee houses, bagel shops, and restaurants for money, I started interning. Internships are in ingenious idea, and I tell every college student I know to sign up for one. Not only does it provide valuable working experience, but money, and college credit as well. By the time I graduated from college I had interned at four different jobs and received a total of nine credits. Not only that, but my resume was filled to the brim with interesting work: everything from a museum tour guide to a senator’s aide. Most of my friends didn’t know what to write in their resumes, waiter just didn’t seem to fill any of the requirements for a software developer.
  • Living in a Group House After College
    • If there is one time in your life when you can live with a bunch of messy, sloppy, deranged people, it is right after you graduate from college. I shared a room with a friend of mine 3 out of my 4 years in college, so when I graduated I was just happy to have my own room, sharing a house didn’t seem like such a big deal. I lived in a sun porch in the back of a group house for only $310 a month. Of course, I had to live with four other roommates who were loud and messy, but utilities split five ways meant I paid next to nothing. And saving money on rent helped me purchase and pay off my car.
  • Buying and Paying Off My Car (A Honda Civic)
    • I bought a 2000 Honda Civic after researching the maintenance and resale values of various cars. In retrospect I would have been better off buying a slightly used car, but at the time I didn’t know better, and bought new. I took out a 3 year loan but was able to pay off the car in a little over a year and a half. Buying a cheap but reliable car allowed me to buy my first home.
  • Buying My House
    • I went from living in a group house with 5 other people to buying a house with my boyfriend. With a good credit history and no car payments my boyfriend and I were able to purchase the house he grew up in. We purchased the house in 2001, just before the housing market skyrocketed, and our house which we bought for $260,000 is probably now worth $450,000 to $500,000.
  • Getting Married
    • Not too many years after buying the house my boyfriend became my husband. Money seems as good a reason as any other to marry and my husband sure does make good money for a living. (Just kidding honey… you know I love you).

One Frugal Girl

Tuesday 12th of December 2006

Dimes -- I too met my husband in college.

California Money Musings -- I think living in a group house was the factor that motivated me to save money. My living arrangments were cheap but certainly not ideal. I think a little struggle and strife can be the key to financial restrain. The more I strive for change in my life, in this case my housing situation, the more I'm determined to save.

Anonymous

Monday 11th of December 2006

In my case, getting married was a terrible financial decision, as my husband began to see me as his sugar mama.

Signed,Soon-to-be-divorced

California Money Musings

Sunday 10th of December 2006

That's amazing you were able to buy a house and pay off your car payments in a year!

You're really disciplined. What motivated you to do all of that? I interned all through college also and it was a really valuable experience. I gained more skills and experience in my field when I started job hunting.

Dimes

Sunday 10th of December 2006

The only reason my attending a private university paid off is in that I met my spouse there, and if I'd gone anywhere else I wouldn't have met him. The loan debt is definitely daunting but I'm taking care of it. Not accumulating a bunch of junk is also a great decision we've made so far.