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From an entire car to an ill-advised blue coat, Chelsea breaks down the terrible purchases in her 20s that are most cringe-worthy, and how she was bad with money.

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Hey, guys. It's Chelsea from The Financial Diet.

So this week, I thought I'd do something a little bit fun and talk about the dumbest purchases that I've made in my 20s. I'm going to be turning 29 in January, which means technically I still have a year and change to make very stupid money decisions. And let's be clear.

I probably will make a few. But I figure I'm close enough to the big 3-0 to take a look back at my 20s, which have obviously in a lot of ways been defined by money, and kind of pick out the worst decisions I made with my money throughout those years. So without further ado in no particular order, here are the six dumbest purchases I made in my 20s.

So first and foremost, I have to start off with my infamous robin's egg blue coat, which some of you have probably heard about in other videos. And to be clear, even though it wasn't just in sheer dollar terms the most expensive dumb purchase I made in my 20s, it's definitely one that makes me cringe profoundly. So let's give a couple points of context.

First of all, I did not buy this. But I almost might as well have, because I essentially forced it to be my Christmas gift. I all but threw a tantrum in the department store at age 22 when I saw this coat.

And poor Mark was like, it was like a hostage situation. I think it was $500 on half-off sale, which, God, the context of that. But what made it so bad was that at the time,.

I was working part-time as a writer and part-time as a nanny and going to school. Mark was in the second year of his career. No one was making that kind of money.

I'm still not even making the kind of money where I would buy a designer coat even if it's 50% off. So this was definitely at a time in my life when, let's say, I was still figuring things out fashion-wise. And I really had this feeling like dressing sort of like a Disney princess was the best way to, I guess, be taken seriously or be a woman.

I still had really muddy ideas of what I should be looking like every day. And normally when you walk through a store and you see a robin's egg blue, knee-length, wool coat with a white fox fur collar, your first thought is not, I need that. Your first thought is, who the hell wears that, and rightfully so.

But I became utterly obsessed with it. It became a weird fixation. And as I mentioned, I basically all but blackmailed Mark into getting me this for Christmas that year.

And I enormously regret it. I think I've worn it over the past six years or whatever, I think I've worn it maybe six times. Probably less, just because not only is it ridiculous looking, but it also has to be-- and I'm not exaggerating, this is the only weather that it works in-- 32 degrees and bright sun.

You can't wear it in any sort of inclement weather. It can't be too cold, because it's not actually thick enough. But it also can't be too warm, because it has a giant fur collar.

So point being, it was probably the worst purchase, just in terms of what I spent on it versus the use. I got out of it, I've ever made or anyone's ever made on my behalf. One of the biggest things it taught me was that if you're not willing to part with the money yourself for something, it's a sign you shouldn't get it.

Yes, of course I was 22 and an idiot and didn't quite realize that funneling my stupid purchases through my boyfriend was an even worse way to make them. But that's still no excuse. Now the gifts that we get each other, particularly since all of our money is combined, are things that we would want at any other time of the year and are things that we would buy for ourselves.

For example, most of my big gifts the past few years have been just big ticket kitchen items, which I use the hell out of. Another good option is special experiences, like when he took me to Las Vegas to see Celine Dion and I sobbed my eyes out after the first song. Either way, no good gift includes a giant robin's egg blue fox fur collar coat.

My second dumb purchase was a 2004 Hyundai Accent. So let me give you a little bit of context. About a year before, I moved out of the country for several years.

When I was still commuting into DC to work several different jobs and doing some internships,. I got into a car accident with my then-car and realized that I was basically shit out of luck and needed a new one. But here's the thing.

I found out during that initial time when I didn't have a car at all that there was actually a good way for me to commute via public transportation to my job and internship. But let me be 100% clear. I was extremely lazy.

I wanted to just get in my car in the morning, turn on my talk radio station, pour myself a cup of coffee and put it in the thermos holder, and drive myself everywhere. I wanted to be my own personal chauffeur. At the time, I had never lived in a city.

And the idea of using public transportation to do things just seemed a little bit ridiculous to me. Some of you might be able to relate to the feeling of growing up without public transportation and being like, a bus? So the idea of buying myself a car, cash, for about eight months that I knew I would be using it before I moved to Europe seemed like a justifiable thing to do.

Between actually buying the car, insurance, registration, oil changes, gasoline-- everything. I paid for it-- over the course of that nine months-ish,. I ended up spending about $5,000 more than I ever would have had to spend if I just sucked it up and used public transportation.

Looking back, I regret every dollar of the money that I spent on that temporary Hyundai Accent. And the biggest reason I did is because I didn't realize how much of a normal thing public transportation is to take every day. Number three is a college class I never actually showed up for.

So in my last semester of community college,. I ended up with a couple of I's on my transcript, which, if you're not familiar means incomplete. It just means you didn't finish the class.

And it doesn't really specify in what way you didn't finish the class. But it doesn't actually go negatively toward your GPA. So there's at least that.

But it's not a good thing to have on your transcript. A lot of times, people look at it and they're like, did you get mono or something? It definitely means something happened.

I signed up for more than one class that was in my former major, which was international relations, knowing that I really didn't have any intention of giving them my all. And about three weeks into them, I just stopped going. Because I was doing an internship that I liked way better and was really helping me make the move that I wanted to make.

So I just sort of felt really guilty about it and then panicked and dropped right on the deadline where you could get an incomplete on your class and not actually risk failing it. Now, here's the thing about an incomplete. You still have to pay for the goddamn class.

I paid for three classes. And I can't remember exactly how much it totaled. But it was definitely easily in the thousands, even though it was at a community college.

And what a waste of time and money. Now, as most of you know, I don't have a college degree and, at this point, have no plans to go back to school. But if I ever do, I'm going to have that transcript full of I's staring me in the face when I'm talking to some admissions director.

And I'm going to have to be like, I didn't get sick. Nothing happened in my personal life. I was just a totally irresponsible brat.

A lot of times when we're in college,. I think we get on these weird tracks where we feel like we have to see the decision through. But here's the deal.

Every minute of college costs a lot of money. So every class that you're taking and every major that you're pursuing should be something that you are ready to see through to your best ability. If you know going into it that you can't fully commit to something, it's better to not do it than to pay for it and either drop out or get a really bad grade in that class.

Long story short, weigh every dollar you spend on school very carefully. So number four is my first apartment in New York. Now, as some of you might remember from some of my previous videos, when I first moved to New York,.

I'd only been there once as a teenager. Where, like most teenagers, I saw literally Chinatown,. Times Square, and Central Park.

So my idea of what New York is, let alone Brooklyn is, was very, very foggy at best. And I was moving from out of the country to a neighborhood I'd never been to a job that I had been working at remotely for about a year. So I was like, well, obviously I'm just going to get an apartment right near my office.

Because hey, I don't really have a reason to live anywhere else. And what an effing mistake that was. I didn't do much research on the different neighborhoods in Brooklyn or my various options.

I literally just went to Williamsburg, the neighborhood that my office was in. I walked into the first real estate brokerage office that I walked by and asked for an apartment. They showed me one apartment.

And I was like, sold. And I got that apartment and lived in it for two years. Just to clarify, that is not how that process is supposed to go.

New York is one of the very few cities where you basically have to use a broker in order to get an apartment. But the whole point of having a broker and paying the brokerage fee is that they're supposed to do the legwork and look for an apartment for you. You're supposed to give them an idea of what you're looking for, where you want to live, how much you want to spend.

They're supposed to gather a bunch of options and show them all to you so you can pick the best one. Of course, since then, I've learned to use brokers in a much more effective way and found apartments that were much better for me at a better price. But for this one, we were paying about $400 a month more than we should have been paying.

And we also paid an enormous brokerage fee for literally that man to do 20 minutes of work, opening the key to an apartment, walking into the apartment, and saying, this is the apartment. Now, where you're living may not be a city where brokers are very common. But at the very least, not doing an enormous amount of research about the different neighborhoods and the different options is a huge mistake.

Williamsburg, for those who don't know, is the most expensive and hip and ridiculous neighborhood in Brooklyn. And I could have lived in basically 10 other neighborhoods, paid way less money, and had a much better quality of life. Do your research.

And never, ever pay a broker or a real estate agent to do anything but their best work. Number five is the world's shittiest version of every possible kitchen tool. So when I lived in France for several years,.

I mostly lived in furnished apartments, which came with a good amount of just basic kitchen supplies. But when I moved to New York, Mark and I moved into an apartment that was completely bare, which meant we had to buy literally every item of home furnishing, furniture, et cetera totally from scratch. Now, in addition to the costs of actually just moving into our apartment, that meant an enormous amount of money to spend, which meant that we didn't have a ton of options for what we got.

Now, of course, a lot of that meant IKEA furniture, which is not at all necessarily a bad thing. But it also meant getting some from family, and going to garage sales, and just kind of figuring out whatever we could do. But the area where I really went completely buck-wild and should have really reigned myself in was the kitchen.

Here's the thing with a kitchen. When you are first starting out with your kitchen, you need to follow a few rules. One, you get a very basic version of everything.

One pot, one pan, one good kitchen knife, one colander, one of everything that you basically need to get started. And then you build from there. But number two is that you certainly don't get things before you've established that you're actually going to use them.

I went the opposite route. I was like, IKEA.com/kitchen, sort by low price to high. And I just clicked on the first version of everything.

I got crappy cutting boards, crappy knife set, crappy pots and pans set, crappy dishes. Crappy everything you could possibly imagine, and so much of it. I felt in such a rush to feel like I was at home and in my space that I felt like the only way to really do that was to make my kitchen full of all the things that I wanted.

Now, not only did I end up with shitty versions of kitchen supplies that I literally don't even use. But I also went through, for example, an entire set of pots and pans that broke while I was moving it. A much smarter thing to do would have been to just get one nice pot and one nice pan for around the same cost, use them to death, and slowly added on to my collection.

Or alternatively, I could have gone to thrift stores and consignment stores and gotten much higher quality kitchen items for a fraction of the price. Either way, filling up your kitchen with really crappy products is just a quick way to waste a lot of money and end up throwing them away in a few months anyway. The last dumb thing I got in my 20s was everything I've ever bought online without taking measurements first.

Now, this is everything from clothing items to furniture to little decor items. Whatever it is, the point is, I was in a rush to buy it and/or had maybe had a couple drinks and didn't do my due diligence when it came to measuring the space or really looking at the measurements on the item online. And then it arrives only to be completely not what.

I thought it was going to be. One of the best examples of this was, after a party where I'd been complaining to Mark the entire night that I really needed a new couch for my apartment at the time,. I went on IKEA fully tipsy to buy this adorable little love seat that I loved and I was shocked at how affordable it was.

Surprise, it was affordable because it was, like, for a dog. It came, and it was approximately 1/3 the size of what you would imagine a love seat to be. And Mark would not stop making fun of me.

And out of a misplaced sense of pride and also because it was non-refundable,. I kept that thing in my apartment. And every time Mark would come over--.

I mean, the man is 6'4. He would sit on that thing, and he would be like-- he looked like he was visiting the Keebler elves. This actually also happened when Mark and I moved into our first apartment together, that one that we spent too much money on.

I ordered this dresser offline thinking it was going to be sort of a normal sized dresser that maybe comes up to your waist or something like that. Turns out it came up to my knees. I think it was also for a child's room.

And I just lived with that. I was like, I guess this is going to be a bedside table now. Because it's clearly not functional as a dresser.

All of this was real money spent on real things that I either couldn't use or used and was totally humiliated by. It takes literally 30 seconds to thoroughly read the measurements of something online and measure the space that you're looking for, or the body part, or whatever it is. And it can be the difference between something you will love and use every day and something that literally looks like it was bought as a joke.

Now, clearly I've made some dumb purchases in my 20s. But I think we all have. And the point is not to feel too bad about them.

It's just to learn from those mistakes and be honest about what you did wrong. TFD is the place to talk about these things without judgment and with a good sense of humor. Because hey, if we can't be honest about the time that we bought a couch online and it turned out to be a child sized couch, what can we do?

I'd love to hear about some of your dumbest 20-something purchases. So leave them in the comments section below. So as always, guys, thank you for watching.

And don't forget to hit the Subscribe button and to come back every Tuesday for new and awesome videos. Bye. .