Money management should be easy, right? You earn money. Then you use it to pay bills and taxes, donate some if you can and save some. I have paid out more than I earned in the past. Then I had to pay my debts. I have been stingy occasionally and been sorry later. My biggest regret about money, however, is regarding savings.
When I was 30 years old, I started saving money. Finally, I had a well-paying job with pay that would grow with time and seniority. I purchased my home and moved in. The next logical step was to save money. So I did. In one year I put away $5,000. My goal was to build another $5,000 and start investing. I was pleased with my progress.
Unfortunately, life stepped in. A family member became disabled and needed financial assistance. I could not seem to curb my spending, and my checking account ran dry. My credit card bills rose. Then I withdrew from my savings, bit by bit.
I carry no regret to any necessities that I bought my family. They could not pay their rent, so I paid it. Their lights got turned off, so I paid the bill to turn them back on.
However, as I look back, I realize that I did not research enough about balancing my budget before spending my savings account. I used the money to buy fast food just for convenience. I would go to the store for food when my cupboards were not empty, because I wanted something special. I bought convenience items to save time, not considering that I was wasting money. My $5,000 was gone very quickly. It took a lot longer to save than to spend. It has been very hard to replace.
That was just over 10 years ago. If I had kept the savings in tact and restarted my savings after the emergency, I might well have doubled that $5000 by now. I should have given up the name brand paper towels and used more dish rags. I should have taken the time to clip coupons and planned my expenses. When the crises was over, I should have been quicker to restart the savings process.
When I am a senior, I will still regret that $5,000. My credit card debt will be paid back. I will be as wise in my charity as possible. But I shall always mourn my savings account.