Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending on?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
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jackpullo997
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Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending on?

Post by jackpullo997 » Thu Mar 20, 2014 6:27 pm

If you could go back in time, what are some things you wish you spent the money on,
but at the time, you were too focused on saving, investing, early retirement, whatever.

What are some things you wish you didn't deny yourself ?
In hindsight, things that would have been worth spending on?
Or spending a premium on.

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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by tennisplyr » Thu Mar 20, 2014 6:33 pm

I bought a new tennis racket a few years ago. I only got one because I was cheap, now they don't make it anymore. Oh well.
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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by sscritic » Thu Mar 20, 2014 6:42 pm

1965. Paris. A suede shearling coat. Saving, investing, and early retirement had nothing to do with it. I was 19, but I was already my cheap self.

I could add the BMW 2002 in 1972 that became a Dodge Dart. Same reason, although I was older and married. Note that I was too cheap to even consider a Bavaria.

But that regret is nothing like the regret over the suede coat. It was soft and beautiful, but since I am not, perhaps it was better that I didn't buy it. I did go to the store to try it on a number of times on a number of different trips to Paris (I was in France, but not Paris, at the time).

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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by poker27 » Thu Mar 20, 2014 7:12 pm

I'm not a frugal person, but mine would be experiences/ travel. I go on fairly simple vacations every year ( NYC, San Fran, Mexico) but never do the Europe, Asia, Hawaii thing. Honestly I am afraid to fly and hate doing it, so add that to not wanting to spend 5k on a vacation it doesn't get me far.

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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by inky » Thu Mar 20, 2014 7:15 pm

Not visiting Petra when I was in Jordan as a penny-pinching 22-year-old backpacker 20 years ago. I think the entrance fee was $50, which seemed like a fortune at the time.

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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by LadyGeek » Thu Mar 20, 2014 7:26 pm

This thread has run its course and is locked (neither personal nor actionable). See: A reminder that non-investing general comment threads are OT
- It must be personal. In other words, you must be asking about your own situation. You can also ask on behalf of someone specific, such as a family member.

- It must be actionable. You must be able to do something specific with the replies that will make a difference in your situation.

The OP has a previously locked thread on a similar topic: Was frugality a mistake? The downsides of saving too much.

...Thus if a topic is locked, please do not start up another thread to continue the discussion,...

This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (how you spend your money and your time).


Update: Thread unlocked, see below.
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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by LadyGeek » Sat Mar 22, 2014 9:51 am

After receiving a PM, the OP has given sufficient justification for the thread to be reopened. This thread is now unlocked.

FYI - Here's a similar thread in a different context, which is open for more suggestions: That Frugal Thing You Do
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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by jfn111 » Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:11 am

We never took a lot of family vacations when the kids were young. I was always working two jobs and thinking making more money was the end all. :oops:

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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by Professor Emeritus » Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:15 am

I had a separate thread on "savers remorse' but it's the same issue.

How do you in "real time" recognize "the big one" the failure to spend that you will later "possibly" regret?

My biggest clothing splurge was 23 years ago I bought a Leather coat in Greece that was made in Egypt. I wore the coat this morning and it still feels wonderful. but I still remember the pain I felt in 1991 buying a $200 coat.

So what did I not buy? that I even think about?
Pictures
We did not have a professional photographer at our wedding.
I skimped on photos the first 7 years we were married. I treasure every picture I have of DW from that time. Only when the kids came did I splurge on decent equipment. I also took too many pictures of things and not enough of people
It's fascinating since my wife was an imaging specialist who could develop her own pictures.

Best (at the time) splurge We bought an original Model 1 Compaq Deskpro in 1984 1 week after it was introduced. It cost $2000 All the computers we had before that had been built by DW. The Deskpro was like a Ferrari. Fast, elegant and technically brilliant. it had 2 360 k floppy drives and a gigantic 20 MB disk drive. Unlike DW's computers, IT HAD A MANUAL!!
I took it to Germany on sabbatical in September of 1984 and everyone who saw it wanted one.

DW used the Deskpro to develop the systems that would make her whole career. the payoff was fabulous.

So how do you know?

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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by cheese_breath » Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:20 am

A vacant lot on an inland lake. I shied away because the homes on the other side in full view of the property were pretty ramshackle and run down. But over time they have mostly been torn down and replaced with something nicer.
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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by Leesbro63 » Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:27 am

Funny because I splurged for a professional photographer for a big family event in 2003. But at a similar event in 2007 I hired a kid for a few hundred dollars. I still regret spending all that money the first time. I will admit that between 2003 and 2007 the world went digital and my comfort with amateur photos had increased. But, still, the professional was really a waste. And now, in 2014, amateur photos are way good enough. I would not want to be in the professional photography business today.
Last edited by Leesbro63 on Sat Mar 22, 2014 11:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by LowER » Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:28 am

OP: My retirement!

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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by MrMiyagi » Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:34 am

I think one thing the YOLO crowd has right, is spending money on travel and any physically demanding activities when you are young and able to do these things. I'm only in my mid 30s, but my knees are shot. I really regret not participating in things in my youth that fall into those categories, but now I can't do due to health and work schedule constraints.

I also regret not spending more money on better food. I grew up in poverty, so I got used to eating ramen and ordering off the dollar menu at McDonalds. Unfortunately, I kept up with this sort of diet till today due to frugality and a sense of comfort with this diet. Now my health is paying for it and I'm just starting to realize it. I regret not starting to eat better when my salary allowed it to, since it'll probably wind up costing me more money and headaches in the long run. Fortunately, I don't think it's too late to reverse course on this issue.

Health and time are two things you can't buy back, no matter how rich you are. Material goods are something I really don't care about, so no regrets foregoing those. You can always buy those at a later time anyway.

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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by travellight » Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:38 am

Professor Emeritus: it seems to me from your posts that you are still giddy in love with your wife. That, imo, is priceless. Beyond pensions and early retirements, You've won the game.
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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by jackpullo997 » Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:40 am

jfn111 wrote:We never took a lot of family vacations when the kids were young.
I was always working two jobs and thinking making more money was the end all. :oops:
If you could go back in time, what age would the kids be, and where would you go?

Do you regret working 2 jobs and not having more time for yourself?
Looking back, did you truly NEED to work those 2 jobs,
or was it a case of overcompensating for some innate need for control/insecurity/money anxiety? (which is the root pathology of frugality, in my mind)
Last edited by jackpullo997 on Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:42 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by Rattlesnake » Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:40 am

Not going to New Zealand to visit our friends when they were there for 2 years....
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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by jackpullo997 » Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:48 am

Professor Emeritus wrote:I had a separate thread on "savers remorse' but it's the same issue.

How do you in "real time" recognize "the big one" the failure to spend that you will later "possibly" regret?

My biggest clothing splurge was 23 years ago I bought a Leather coat in Greece that was made in Egypt. I wore the coat this morning and it still feels wonderful. but I still remember the pain I felt in 1991 buying a $200 coat.

So what did I not buy? that I even think about?
Pictures
We did not have a professional photographer at our wedding.
I skimped on photos the first 7 years we were married. I treasure every picture I have of DW from that time. Only when the kids came did I splurge on decent equipment. I also took too many pictures of things and not enough of people
It's fascinating since my wife was an imaging specialist who could develop her own pictures.

Best (at the time) splurge We bought an original Model 1 Compaq Deskpro in 1984 1 week after it was introduced. It cost $2000 All the computers we had before that had been built by DW. The Deskpro was like a Ferrari. Fast, elegant and technically brilliant. it had 2 360 k floppy drives and a gigantic 20 MB disk drive. Unlike DW's computers, IT HAD A MANUAL!!
I took it to Germany on sabbatical in September of 1984 and everyone who saw it wanted one.

DW used the Deskpro to develop the systems that would make her whole career. the payoff was fabulous.

So how do you know?
Here is the tread you mentioned
http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtop ... st=1986257

I also regret not taking more photos, even just free ones with my phone.
They're just never convenient. I need to do this more.

Clothing is one thing I've learned to splurge on.
And the good stuff will last a decade and not go out of style.
This is money very well spent. Dressing badly is a disservice to yourself.
You unwisely underrepresent your actual ambitions & net worth. (While other men wisely over-represent theirs....)

Your wife was building computers in 1984? How did she get into that? Wow!

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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by jackpullo997 » Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:49 am

MrMiyagi wrote:I also regret not spending more money on better food. I grew up in poverty, so I got used to eating ramen and ordering off the dollar menu at McDonalds. Unfortunately, I kept up with this sort of diet till today due to frugality and a sense of comfort with this diet. Now my health is paying for it and I'm just starting to realize it. I regret not starting to eat better when my salary allowed it to, since it'll probably wind up costing me more money and headaches in the long run. Fortunately, I don't think it's too late to reverse course on this issue.
[OT comments removed by admin LadyGeek]

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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by protagonist » Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:59 am

It doesn't happen. Regret [stinks --admin LadyGeek]. Before I would regret not spending money on something, I would spend money on it.

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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by jfn111 » Sat Mar 22, 2014 11:12 am

jackpullo997 wrote:
jfn111 wrote:We never took a lot of family vacations when the kids were young.
I was always working two jobs and thinking making more money was the end all. :oops:
If you could go back in time, what age would the kids be, and where would you go?

Do you regret working 2 jobs and not having more time for yourself?
Looking back, did you truly NEED to work those 2 jobs,
or was it a case of overcompensating for some innate need for control/insecurity/money anxiety? (which is the root pathology of frugality, in my mind)
I took my daughter to Disneyland when she was 13. I did the big trip with her but I would have liked to have done more small stuff. Her and the boyfriend do a lot of camping, mainly with his family, and I wish we would have done more of that kind of thing.
My son is partially disabled, meningitis when he was a baby, and he doesn't like to leave his comfort zone. He's 28, works two jobs and has already saved up a couple of hundred grand. I've taught him to be a saver but not much of an explorer.

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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by LadyGeek » Sat Mar 22, 2014 11:15 am

As a reminder, discussions of medical issues (diet advice) are off-topic. See: Forum Policy
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Questions on medical issues are beyond the scope of the forum. If you are looking for medical information online, I'd like to suggest you start with the Medical Library Association's User's Guide to Finding and Evaluating Health Information on the Web which, in addition to providing guidance on evaluating health information, includes lists of their top recommended sites in the following categories: consumer health, cancer, diabetes and heart disease. They also provide a larger, but less frequently updated, list called Top 100 List: Health Websites You Can Trust.
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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by John3754 » Sat Mar 22, 2014 11:22 am

There are many things in life that I regret spending money, but nothing comes to mind that I regret saving money on. My wife and I live well below our means and save a lot, but that doesn't stop us from spending money on the things we enjoy, like eating out and traveling. We simply save in other areas of our lives that we feel don't bring us as much enjoyment, for example, many of our peers own large houses, we do not. We used to own a house and found that it brought us more expense and angst than enjoyment, so we downsized considerably and now rent.

Honestly I can't think of a single thing that I wish I had spent MORE money on, we live fairly frugally but if there's something that I think will make me happy, I buy it (perhaps after some consideration and discussion with the wife, but still).

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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by Iorek » Sat Mar 22, 2014 11:27 am

When my then-girlfriend and I were in Venice in our early 20s I thought a gondola ride was too expensive, so we ended up taking another trip about 15 years later so my now-wife and I could fix that mistake. :)

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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by jackpullo997 » Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:02 pm

Iorek wrote:When my then-girlfriend and I were in Venice in our early 20s I thought a gondola ride was too expensive, so we ended up taking another trip about 15 years later so my now-wife and I could fix that mistake. :)
How much was the Goldola ride, in 2014 dollars?

Edit: $110.
http://goitaly.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1/ ... 3FPag%3D43

Yea, I can see skipping that at age 25 (and then regretting it also!)

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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by protagonist » Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:04 pm

protagonist wrote:It doesn't happen. Regret stinks. Before I would regret not spending money on something, I would spend money on it.

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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by Sheepdog » Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:14 pm

I really try not to have any regrets, as regrets seem to hurt more. Besides, nothing changes with regrets. You can only change the future, not the past. That's basically what Lorek said
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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by carorun » Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:25 pm

poker27 wrote:I'm not a frugal person, but mine would be experiences/ travel. I go on fairly simple vacations every year ( NYC, San Fran, Mexico) but never do the Europe, Asia, Hawaii thing. Honestly I am afraid to fly and hate doing it, so add that to not wanting to spend 5k on a vacation it doesn't get me far.
I am addicted to traveling. I studied abroad in college and have taken a trip almost every year since. I do regret not taking a "year off" or joining the Peace Corps after college. It would have been a great experience, but I was so worried about money and my "career". Now, it's harder to just unplug. My new goal is to work abroad for awhile after I finish my MBA.

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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by four7s » Sat Mar 22, 2014 1:24 pm

While visiting Egypt in '94 I passed up the opportunity to visit Abu Simbel because it involved riding in a small airplane and I don't like small (or big) aircraft. I could have toughed it out for an hour's ride but I didn't. That I regret. Later on the same trip I chose not to walk hunched over to the center of a pyramid. The tunnel was hot and kind of dark and not meant for the claustrophobic. That I do not regret.

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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by EnjoyIt » Sat Mar 22, 2014 1:48 pm

I truly believe spending money on experiences and saving on not spending on useless baubles and trinkets. If it is a product I use regularly and get enjoyment on it, then it is well spend (ie: Media room.) My only spending regret is not traveling more when I was still in school. Although it would have cost me in more debt today, those experiences are surely missed. But who knew back then that I would have made the money to pay it off.

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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by TxAg » Sat Mar 22, 2014 1:55 pm

My wife and I were in Key West for our honeymoon about 3 yrs ago. We wanted to take a trip out to Dry Tortugas but we had already spent quite a bit on the wedding, honeymoon, etc.

A year later we found ourselves back in Key West for a friend's destination wedding. We took a hard look at doing the plane trip out to Dry Tortugas but were too cheap (i think it was something like $250 per person).

We love National Parks an just last week I was telling my wife how I wish we had just spent the money and taken a ton of pictures.

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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by mickeyd » Sat Mar 22, 2014 2:05 pm

Can't think of a single thing. Life is good.
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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by cfs » Sat Mar 22, 2014 2:13 pm

Can't find one to mention here.
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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by Professor Emeritus » Sat Mar 22, 2014 2:30 pm

jackpullo997 wrote: Your wife was building computers in 1984? How did she get into that? Wow!
Her first build was an S-100 in 1978. The second was a reconstruction of a North star The third build was a CP-M system in 1982, which was the system I used to learn Wordstar.

My father in law and Mother in law were both computer pioneers. FIL built the first Altair system I ever saw.

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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by cfs » Sat Mar 22, 2014 3:02 pm

And talking about Wordstar-- it was good -- what happened to this word processing software?
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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by tj » Sat Mar 22, 2014 7:16 pm

Best (at the time) splurge We bought an original Model 1 Compaq Deskpro in 1984 1 week after it was introduced. It cost $2000
It's crazy to me how much computers have gone down in cost. I just got a new computer with 16 gigs of ram and 1 terabyte hard drive for less than $600.

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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by topper1296 » Sat Mar 22, 2014 7:25 pm

Not spending a semester studying abroad while I was in college.

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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by Bmac » Sat Mar 22, 2014 8:09 pm

topper1296 wrote:Not spending a semester studying abroad while I was in college.
+1. Too laser focused on pre-med studies. Fortunately have had lots of opportunities to travel abroad since, but nothing that would be quite like spending 6 months studying in a foreign country as a carefree college student.

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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by travellight » Sat Mar 22, 2014 8:22 pm

Same laser focus, bmac, but I have no regrets about that. I don't know if I would have done as well without that focus and I was too driven to have really enjoyed it anyway. The solo trip around the world at age 28 sufficed just fine for me. I was ready by then to savor, relax, and enjoy.
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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by DFWinvestor » Sat Mar 22, 2014 8:39 pm

Bmac wrote:
topper1296 wrote:Not spending a semester studying abroad while I was in college.
+1. Too laser focused on pre-med studies. Fortunately have had lots of opportunities to travel abroad since, but nothing that would be quite like spending 6 months studying in a foreign country as a carefree college student.
Same for me. I wanted to do a summer in Seville but I was too busy catching up on science courses that were pre-requisites for medical school.

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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by Hexdump » Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:47 am

Microsoft stock when it 1st came out.
I was in the IT business and had an early copy of one of their software releases and I was impressed and told myself that they were going places and that I should really buy some of it.

Much weeping and moaning and gnashing of teeth.

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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by MnD » Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:54 am

More travel in our 20's pre-kids that wasn't family related. We were still in the college mode as far as visiting "back home" but we had a lot less time off so virtually all our trips were to visit her family or mine. Not buying a gorgeous large piece of tropical land near Port Douglas, Far North Queensland AU overlooking the coral sea. It was during the japan crisis and first gulf war and was selling for next to nothing. Had a stream and owners had done a lot of the planting and road construction in prep of home construction. Again we were young and stupid - "we aren't ready to buy land 1/2 a world away....."

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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by stemikger » Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:17 am

I am not into material possessions. I'm the opposite, I hate buying things that I don't even want just to buy them. However, my wife likes her clothes and home furnishings, so she makes up for me. I make it a habit not to have any regrets, but if I had to name a few in this category it would be skipping vacations because of the money. So I guess I would regret not creating more vacation memories with my family.
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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by topper1296 » Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:57 am

It seems like vacations/traveling is emerging as the most common theme in this thread.

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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by seychellois_lib » Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:12 am

I registered specifically to answer this question.

Two major regrets

In 1973 I used to drive North from San Francisco on Highway one. I came across a new develpment called Sea Ranch, they wanted $1oK for an acre on the ocean. I had $2500 cash at the time. Man, I wish I had bought one of those lots.

In 1979 I was assigned to Thule, Greenland and used to get the WSJ mailed up. I came across Berkshire Hathaway at around $279 a share. I had $30K in the bank, spent it on boats, booze and babes, the rest I wasted. Oops!

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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by Iorek » Tue Mar 25, 2014 3:59 pm

seychellois_lib wrote: In 1979 I was assigned to Thule, Greenland and used to get the WSJ mailed up. I came across Berkshire Hathaway at around $279 a share. I had $30K in the bank, spent it on boats, booze and babes, the rest I wasted. Oops!
but the memories are priceless! :sharebeer

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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by scone » Tue Mar 25, 2014 4:29 pm

Dental work. If I had done some "optional" things about 20 years ago, I would have a lot less trouble now. I also regret not buying Apple stock when I first saw the Lisa, and thought to myself, "this will change the world." I wasn't even thinking about making money on it, just how cool it was. :oops:
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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by Randomize » Tue Mar 25, 2014 4:32 pm

I went to UHawaii @ Hilo my sophomore year and have always regretted not buying a car while I was there. While I made lots of friends and enjoyed the dorm life, I only got to leave Hilo a couple times while I was there and, what with walking and all, didn't get to fully enjoy even the local stuff as much as I should have.

DouglasDoug
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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by DouglasDoug » Tue Mar 25, 2014 4:54 pm

A ticket to see Lena Horne's great comeback, & generosity to now dead friends.

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HomerJ
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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by HomerJ » Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:07 pm

No regrets on anything I DIDN'T spend on...

Some regrets on money I wasted in my 20s, but I didn't have a lot of money back then, so those choices haven't affected the present me too much.

Randomize
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Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending

Post by Randomize » Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:20 pm

DouglasDoug wrote:A ticket to see Lena Horne's great comeback, & generosity to now dead friends.
That reminds me: Black Sabbath with Ronnie James Dio tickets just before he died :(

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