Money Mistake | One of My Poor Life Choices

Financial DebtIf we had to we could probably count 99 problems. Here’s one of mine…When I was 22 years old I made one of the worst poor life choices. I bought a set of car rims for $999.99. You might be thinking, “What’s so bad about that?”. Well, let me explain where I was at that year and why it was one of my poor life choices.

About 4 months earlier my brother and I had both quit our jobs and decided to move out to San Diego. I was working for a company out of New York but in their Tokyo branch doing Marketing. I was making a competitive salary while living in a paid company apartment with a maid. For a young twenties adult male this was Awesome!

Why’d I quit then? This might seem silly to you but…I had recently watched Office Space and knew I needed to quit my desk job and move to sunny San Diego. Just kidding! It could be true though, for some. I quit because I wanted to go back to school. I knew marketing wasn’t for me and I wanted to get my bachelors. I didn’t know what in but I wanted to be the first in my family to finish college. So I left my comfortable lifestyle and moved to San Diego with my brother. We drove cross country from Greenwich, CT to San Diego and started a whole new life. This wasn’t my poor life choice though.

As you all know, going to school and working is no easy task. I had become spoiled with the salary I was making and I couldn’t find anything close. Even jobs I didn’t want but good paying I couldn’t get. My brother on the other hand found an enjoyable job with a decent wage.  My bank account was taking a hit and so was my confidence.

It is in moments of personal crisis that we face tough decisions. It is here that our character and fortitude stand out.

Unfortunately I made a bad decision – A Poor Life Choice. To boost my confidence I went and bought a set of rims for $999.99 with additional cost for tax and installing. I look back now and I don’t know what I was thinking. There went a third of my bank account on car rims. To make it worse the rims cost a third of my cars value. You get the picture? I probably looked like one of those twenty something’s in a cheap car trying to throw some bling on it to look “cooler” than I was. It’s hilarious thinking about it now.

This taught me a lot. It taught me about my poor financial decisions and also exposed how fragile my confidence was. I was placing value and worth in material possessions instead of character traits like responsibility and honor. I was looking for worth in the wrong places. But we live and we learn, and we walk away a better man. Got 99 Problems? Poor life choices will happen. We can’t avoid that. But we can avoid making similar ones twice.

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  1. “It is in moments of personal crisis that we face tough decisions. It is here that our character and fortitude stand out.” Great quote John, I could not agree more!

  2. When I moved to Colorado I had the same problem. I thought that finding a job would be quick and easy. Almost 4 years later, I’m still working temporary jobs!

  3. Great post! Sometimes, we need to do the stupid stuff to keep us in check. I, too, went nuts on rims….they’re so beautiful though!!

  4. I’ve never understood the need for rims. There is a place in town called Rimco and all the do is LEASE rims. I’m glad you saw the light. I’ve bought many dumb things as well, but maybe rims are more of a man thing?

    • I think it is a guy thing and maybe girls too when they’re into cars. It’s an accessory that just adds a bit more shine and cool factor. I didn’t know rim leasing was a thing now. Interesting…

  5. I really like that quote! “It is in moments of personal crisis that we face tough decisions. It is here that our character and fortitude stand out.”

  6. Thanks for sharing your story. I’m Andrew and I’m sort of a personal finance nerd. I’m 28 years old and after successfully navigating the financial crisis and keeping my job, it hit me, I might not have a job forever. In fact, with all of this global competition and offshoring, I might find myself without a job sooner than later. That kinda got me thinking about how I can keep more of what I’m earning now, make my savings work harder for me and possibly come up with some alternative income sources. That’s where this blog comes in. I’m doing all this research, making a few good decisions and bad decisions. Check it out.

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