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Uploaded:2022-07-28
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From spending on a first car to spending on a new apartment, this clear-eyed personal video essay gives an honest breakdown of instances where more research or foresight would have saved more in the long run.

This video is sponsored by Kelley Blue Book Service Advisor. For more information about Kelley Blue Book Service Advisor, visit https://www.kbb.com/service-repair-guide.

Through bi-weekly video essays, "Making It Work" showcases how *real* people have upgraded their personal or financial lives in some meaningful way. Making your life work for you doesn't mean getting rich just for the sake of it. It means making the most of what you have to build a life you love, both in your present and in your future. And while managing money is a crucial life skill for everyone, there's no one "right way" to go about it — you have to figure out what works best for *you,* full stop.

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Written by Christine W.

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Making It Work is sponsored by Kelley Blue Book Service Advisor.

Click the link in our description to learn more. [AUDIO LOGO] I've made a few mistakes with money, and while I've learned from any of them, there are certain spending decisions I wouldn't make the same way again. Some of them ultimately cost me hundreds to potentially thousands of dollars in the long run, while others simply locked me into a situation with fewer options.

Here are five grown up purchases I didn't fully think through and what I'd do differently now. Number one, bought all new furniture from my first apartment. Did you know that when you buy and put together a bed frame from IKEA it will be impossible to relocate it?

I sure didn't. When I moved into my first post-college apartment and had a real if small paycheck for the first time, I got all new flat pack furniture from various big chains. Some of those things have shockingly stood the test of time, but most did not follow me beyond my first apartment because they were literally impossible to disassemble without breaking.

I had to leave behind and then replace a bed frame, dresser, and a TV stand. I could have purchased good quality second hand versions of these things for the same amount of money from the get-go and they wouldn't have needed replacing just three years later. Number two, didn't properly take care of my car.

When I bought my first car in college, I knew absolutely nothing about car maintenance. I used to assume every repair would cost an arm and a leg so I took my car in for maintenance checks a lot less frequently than I should have. Eventually, my car ended up breaking down after about five years.

Something I think could have ultimately been avoided if I'd stuck to a regular maintenance schedule. With Kelly Blue Book service advisor, research on what maintenance your car actually needs can be super simple and take up as little time as possible. In addition to what services your car needs, service advisor provides information on when and where you can have them performed locally if your car has a recall and most importantly, how much this should all cost based on similar repairs in the area.

When you're staying on top of recalls and maintenance details, you're ultimately elongating the life of your vehicle. This means buying fewer cars in your lifetime, both sustainable and budget friendly. Plus, you are never alone.

Service Advisor has a Q&A forum where you can ask other car owners service related questions. Click the link in our description to find out more about Kelley Blue Book Service Advisor and feel more confident making car maintenance choices with Kelly Blue Book, the trusted resource when it comes to car research. Number three, several all new wedding guest dresses each year.

Once I hit 25, it suddenly felt like I had multiple weddings to attend a year. And aside from 2020, it hasn't slowed down. For a few years, I felt like I just had to buy a new dress for every wedding I was invited to.

Then when it came time for my own wedding, I splurged on some pretty nice quality dresses for the auxiliary events surrounding the big day. My bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, et cetera. Because I bought them purely based on my own tastes and preferences, these ended up being some of my very favorite dresses I've ever purchased.

So much so that I started wearing them to other people's weddings instead of buying something new each time. I wish I had simply thought to only invest in one nice dress year that I felt great in rather than multiple just OK options. I literally only ever wear these things to weddings, so it just doesn't make sense to have so many taking up so much space in my closet.

Number four, picking the more expensive college. It's no secret that American society doesn't do prospective college students any favors when it comes to paying for college. I picked my college based on where I was most excited about going, which was a private liberal arts college several states away, rather than going the most affordable route like getting in-state tuition at a public University.

Now, I had no interest in staying in my home state for school and part of me will always be glad I went somewhere more out of my comfort zone, but I was left with a hefty amount of student loans, including private loans that haven't had the pandemic deferment options that federal loans have. And it made it the most expensive decision of my life thus far. I could have lessened the burden by picking a slightly less expensive school or even going to community college for a few years before transferring to my dream school.

Number five, buying a cheaper computer. When I was in my early 20s, I had several contractor jobs that didn't provide me with my own laptop and eventually I needed to replace my MacBook for my college days. But I didn't really have the money to spend on a MacBook, nor did I really want to go on a financing plan.

I ended up dropping $200 on a PC model that was touted to be just as good as what I was used to. It worked well for a few months, but then started getting viruses at a level I had not seen since we got my first family computer in the early 2000s. It would also constantly restart itself without warning to update its software.

I'm sure some of this was compounded by my own user error. I'm certainly no expert in cybersecurity best practices, but it was annoying enough to deal with that I finally caved and bought a new Mac laptop within six months. I should have just stuck with what I knew worked and what I was comfortable with from the get go rather than waste 200 extra dollars and a lot of frustrating hours on something that simply didn't work as well.

Of course, none of these spending decisions ruined my life, and I'm glad to have learned something from each of them. If nothing else, I've learned to almost never go for the cheapest option just for the sake of spending less in the moment because that's so often what cost me more in the long run.