I am very frugal with my finances. Back when we got married over 12 years ago, my husband was not. Over time, he has embraced my frugal gene as well: We do our own yard and pool maintenance. We do all our housekeeping and home maintenance. Cook over 90% of our meals. Shop yard sales and hand me downs for clothes. Buy used books online or at ‘Fill a Bag’ sales at the library. No pricey vacations except for our biannual trip home to Asia, we did splurge a little and finally went to Disneyland in 2016 – using our credit card points for hotel stays, shopped online for 12% savings on entrance tickets. You get the idea…
Over the past 3 years, and excluding paying cash for our home and rental properties, our savings rate is over 80% of our gross income. I maximize my 401K savings, HSA savings and FSA when I did qualify for it.
Despite all that, I knew nothing investments. Every cent is saved: in a (low-yield) savings account! The only thing I did right was to put some of it in (slightly) higher yield online savings account – I have accounts with Ally, Discover Bank and Renasant Bank (previously Metropolitan Bank).
Assuming that I had invested 100K in the Total US Stock Market in 2008 and put another 100K every year, the principal amount of 900K (these are conservative numbers) assuming that the dividend is reinvested, would be worth over 3 million dollars today! Instead, with the same amount in savings, it amounted to less than 1.2 million dollars. That is one big, over 1 million dollar mistake.
One of the first personal financial blogs that changed things for me was White Coat Investor. The other is Physician on Fire. The Women Physician Personal Finance on Facebook has been a treasure trove of information for me. It was not until February 24, 2016, that I opened my first Vanguard account and a quarter of our savings over.
My husband was pretty mad initially, as he felt I was speculating on stocks. Over time, as I shared blog posts from other personal financial bloggers and mainstream media, and he is now getting to be on board with investing. Within the past few months, I started investing some of my Health Savings Account (HSA) money as well.
I can tell you that I am very Type A, and investing, even in index funds, till today, scares the bejesus out of me!
What money mistakes have you made? Or are still making? Comment below, and perhaps we will all learn from it.
This is a series of articles from other Personal Finance Bloggers sharing their money mistake(s):
- ThinkSaveRetire – Don’t brag about success; tell me your failures
- A Journey to FI – MY FINANCIAL MISTAKES
- Chronicles of a Father – My Financial Mistakes
- OthalaFehu – Budget Bungles, Money Muddles, and Fiscal Flubs
- Turning Point Money – My Financial Mistakes
- Femme Cents – 7 lessons I learned from my biggest financial mistake
- Jumpstart From Scratch- Recent Financial Blunder
- The Frugal Gene – Top 5 Sorry Financial Mistakes Of My Early 20s
- Gen Y Money – My Tell All: Investing Mistakes in my 20’s
- 99to1percent – Our 6 Financial Mistakes and 15 Lessons Learned
- Atypical Life – 5 Super Lame Financial Blunders From My Life
- Winning Personal Finance –
My 7 Most Regrettable Financial Decisions
- Overdrawn Checking Account – CMO Clan Makes a Big Mistake
- My Biggest Financial Mistake: over A Million Dollars Worth!
- Is An Emergency Fund Necessary with a High Savings Rate
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