Worst "Large purchase" ever?

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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SquawkIdent
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by SquawkIdent »

Ex wife.

And also my "investment" in CMGI stock.

Live and learn... :sharebeer
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LowER
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by LowER »

aja8888 wrote:My first wife...
+1
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Wildebeest
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by Wildebeest »

A first wife, second wife and law degrees x three, as well a graduate degree made the list of Worst large purchase ever, which prompts me to list a trinity of omissions as my worst purchase ever.

1. Not getting out of business partnership, when I should have seen the light ( I did see the light but was lazy and not want to pull the trigger).
2. When the partnership broke up years later, not cutting my losses and move on and instead was reactive in spending a fortune on advisors and lawyers to save what was" rightfully mine". We were like the blind couple fighting over the photo album in divorce proceedings.
3. The fall out of the stress, anger turning me, which made me hard to live for the 5 years this dragged on and put undue pressure on my marriage.

It does make me realize how lucky I am, that it did not cause financial devastation. At the time I was not even aware that staying longer in the partnership would have extracted an even higher price emotionally.

My parents having shared their struggles financially /workwise when I was young. I wish they would have been there while I was going through this. However knowing what they had gone through and came out OK, did support me greatly during these trying times. I hope that my child will gain the same from me telling my tales of woe.
The Golden Rule: One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.
Ivygirl
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by Ivygirl »

Caduceus wrote:My worst large purchase in monetary terms (adjusting for time value) would probably be books. I didn't know that the world would be transitioning to paperless formats (which is a superior format to me for a variety of reasons), and it was painful to donate or throw out all the books that I've bought over the years that I wasn't going to read again.

I know many people have spoken about how they are attached to the tactile feel of a physical book. For me, having to store/move/care for physical books is not worth it. I don't buy or keep physical books anymore, apart from those with charts or guidebooks/textbook-type tomes.
So much written content is available for "free" now, but it isn't really free. We pay for it with ads and spam and vulnerability to hacking and loss of our privacy. Internet "anonymity" is like a cheap lock, it only keeps the small criminals out.

E-books started out cheap but I notice they rapidly got expensive. I also notice that real journalism is disappearing fast and everything is a tabloid now. What are we going to pay for the loss of our journalistic watchdogs, to keep the powerful honest?

I see the decline of the printed book as a sea-change from a society which takes its lead from authority to a society which is groping for a collaborative model of finding the truth, a sort of "wiki-truth." It could be good in that voices which were not heard before, can be heard. It could be bad because going to war requires that there be wiki-truth. ("We have always been at war with Eurasia.")

Years from now, you may read an e-version of a book you used to know well, and be shocked that it is different from what you remember. It might be the Bible. It might be the Bill of Rights. It might be "Huckleberry Finn." You may walk around trying to interest others in your discovery that the text has been changed. Nobody will care. The wiki is all.
JDDS
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by JDDS »

Buying mutual funds that had loads, 12b1 fees and somewhat higher than average expense ratios. Fortunately this didn't go on for too long. I'm not sure if this added up to $10k higher than my current portfolio, but it's the largest purchase I regret most.
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yukonjack
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by yukonjack »

Fortunately I haven't made any $10k mistakes yet but I have to say this is a very enlightening thread. I'm learning quite a bit from some of the mistakes listed in this thread. It never hurts me to hear about how wasteful high end autos can be. So far I have avoided the urge to but a BMW or Audi. Thanks to all.
oxothuk
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by oxothuk »

Ivygirl wrote: ("We have always been at war with Eurasia.")

Years from now, you may read an e-version of a book you used to know well, and be shocked that it is different from what you remember.
Actually, it was "EastAsia". Which kind of makes your point.
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by Ivygirl »

oxothuk wrote:
Ivygirl wrote: ("We have always been at war with Eurasia.")

Years from now, you may read an e-version of a book you used to know well, and be shocked that it is different from what you remember.
Actually, it was "EastAsia". Which kind of makes your point.
Actually, it was both. Which kind of makes my point. :D

I am sure I have invested over $10,000 in books in my lifetime, and I have never been a big earner. Like Erasmus, "When I get a little money, I buy books. If there is any left, I buy food and clothing." How could I regret those purchases without also wishing I had never read and been affected by those books? I point out that I still retain what I learned by reading, when the material things I might have bought would have long since gone to a landfill or junkyard. Other women bought clothes, which the moths have eaten by now.

I remember arguing with my mother about the near-extinction of the snowy egret; its feathers were popular for hats in the 19th century. I pointed out to her (with what I thought devastating logic) that all those hats had moldered into dust by now, and without laws stopping the slaughter, we would have ended up with neither hats nor egrets.
stonerolled
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by stonerolled »

gerrym51 wrote:
bhsince87 wrote:RV van. Bought it used for $19K, and thought it was a deal! It cost $50k new!

And then I put in $5k bringing it up to modern specs.

And $400 in insurance every year. And an $80 inspection and $70 registration each year.

We used it 3 times.

Now I'm looking for charities who will take it away, and having a hard time finding one....
i'm currently in the process for buying a van rv(roadtrek). however i waited until i retired so i could use it.

i learned my lesson with the park model rv and site i was hardly ever at.

rv's and boats have a similiar issue-although there is a cost-you need free time to use tham.
This. I bought a Honda Goldwing for 23k that sits till the weekend and the occasional trip. I figure that insurance is cheap though and it is always ready to use. It seems that when most work they have money, then when most have time, they have no money. Looking extensively at RV's, I came to the conclusion that I better dang have time to use it a hell of a lot which is not available now. Thanks to this forum and a Bogle book or two, my chances of having both time and money have increased. No guarantees but 'official retirement' is four years off. Even if one buys a boat, if it is used constantly for fishing, what a joy.
texasdiver
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by texasdiver »

I bought a new SeaSport 27' Seamaster when I was single, making good money, and living in Alaska. Fabulous boat for fishing and exploring SE Alaska. I had it tricked out with all the latest electronics and toys.

Image

Three years later I was married with a daughter and another on the way, and leaving the Alaska for Texas.

Managed to sell it at a $25,000 loss to a charter operator out of Sitka and felt like I was doing good.

No one has ever made money owning a boat.....ever. At least not a pleasure boat.
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ladders11
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by ladders11 »

HMan768 wrote:
happyisland wrote:
frugalhen wrote:
happyisland wrote:Law school. I wish I had that money (and time!) back... :oops:
Not trying to hijack the thread, but why? I have lawyer friends who did not practice because they hated it and those who did not practice but found it helpful in business.
About 2/3 of the way through law school I realized I would never be happy practicing any kind of law. So when I graduated I started a business and I've been an entrepreneur ever since. The vaunted "helpful in business" benefit from a legal education is real, but it's only a minor help -- definitely not worth $100,000+ and 3 years of foregone salary and work experience.
I too regret law school. I started before the degree was known to be worthless (2005) and ended right when the economy collapsed (2008). I've never found work as an attorney. It's a lie that a law degree will help you when you work outside the law. In fact, it tends to hurt you during the interview process. Take a look here:

http://abovethelaw.com/2014/05/people-a ... aw-degree/

Fortunately, I went to a cheap state school so my debt is not as bad as others... But I would gladly trade in my bar admission for my tuition. In fact, I'd probably trade my admission for a few hundred bucks...
Thanks for writing these notes, as someone who once considered law school it is good to hear. And also rare to hear people who have gone through an institution and paid their dues express regrets.

I have seen the job application process change and I feel that any non-traditional resumes are quickly filtered out. It seems that trends to exclude those who are "over-educated" have taken corporate culture by storm, and even those vaunted "critical thinking" skills are taken as a liability in some companies.

So much of the higher education system is still geared towards a world where 50% less went to college - they are teaching leadership, management, decision-making to people who will quickly head out into a world that wants compliance, conformism, and general slavishness.

I don't even know if my Econ degree helped me at all... if I hadn't gone I would regret it and never hear the end of it from my dear mother. But as far as netting me better jobs or more pay than I would have had otherwise - I don't think so. It did make be smarter, this just doesn't matter much.
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by sschullo »

No regrets.
"We have seen much more money made and kept by “ordinary people” who were temperamentally well suited for the investment process than by those who lacked this quality." Ben Graham
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by ladders11 »

Ivygirl wrote:
Caduceus wrote:My worst large purchase in monetary terms (adjusting for time value) would probably be books. I didn't know that the world would be transitioning to paperless formats (which is a superior format to me for a variety of reasons), and it was painful to donate or throw out all the books that I've bought over the years that I wasn't going to read again.

I know many people have spoken about how they are attached to the tactile feel of a physical book. For me, having to store/move/care for physical books is not worth it. I don't buy or keep physical books anymore, apart from those with charts or guidebooks/textbook-type tomes.
So much written content is available for "free" now, but it isn't really free. We pay for it with ads and spam and vulnerability to hacking and loss of our privacy. Internet "anonymity" is like a cheap lock, it only keeps the small criminals out.

E-books started out cheap but I notice they rapidly got expensive. I also notice that real journalism is disappearing fast and everything is a tabloid now. What are we going to pay for the loss of our journalistic watchdogs, to keep the powerful honest?

I see the decline of the printed book as a sea-change from a society which takes its lead from authority to a society which is groping for a collaborative model of finding the truth, a sort of "wiki-truth." It could be good in that voices which were not heard before, can be heard. It could be bad because going to war requires that there be wiki-truth. ("We have always been at war with Eurasia.")

Years from now, you may read an e-version of a book you used to know well, and be shocked that it is different from what you remember. It might be the Bible. It might be the Bill of Rights. It might be "Huckleberry Finn." You may walk around trying to interest others in your discovery that the text has been changed. Nobody will care. The wiki is all.
The thing about physical books is that if you've already read them and won't read again, they're either just trophies on your bookshelf or objects of negative value due to storage costs. So the same can be said for e-books you're done with - you realize most of the value of the purchase on the first read, anything else is trivial. I'm not sure if my perspective satisfactorily clears your regrets. But my bookshelf exists for books I haven't yet read, or those I plan to wholly or partially read again.

What is odd now is that Amazon is offering these self-published "books" which by all appearances are total garbage. There is no longer any novelty to finding an error in a book. Nor is it rare to find a biased, profit-motivated books that exist to spur a business interest of some sort. I don't believe e-books are worth the same price as properly edited, illustrated and published books were; there is a marginal value to the physical books on my shelf due to this factor of quality.
Barefootgirl
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by Barefootgirl »

A 2008 Nissan Altima

BFG
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rec7
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by rec7 »

Barefootgirl wrote:A 2008 Nissan Altima

BFG

Did you get a lemon?
EddyB
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by EddyB »

ladders11 wrote:
Thanks for writing these notes, as someone who once considered law school it is good to hear. And also rare to hear people who have gone through an institution and paid their dues express regrets.


I don't even know if my Econ degree helped me at all... if I hadn't gone I would regret it and never hear the end of it from my dear mother. But as far as netting me better jobs or more pay than I would have had otherwise - I don't think so. It did make be smarter, this just doesn't matter much.
I have an economics degree and a law degree, and the economics education (if not the degree) and the law degree were both very significant in me finding my way to a very specialized law practice, which, for all the issues of being a service professional, has been a great career. So while I've no doubt the others consider similar purchases to have been negatives, I think (1) there's a lot of variety in what one buys in getting those degrees (they're not fungible) and (2) it sort of depends on what you do with them!
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by fsrph »

poker27 wrote:
frugalhen wrote:Interesting how so many people regret car purchases..........
Well in my mind there are only 3 things that cost more then $10k, homes, jewelry, or cars.
I have another. Buying individual internet stocks during the internet bubble. Way, way more than 10 K involved.

Francis
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pinhead
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by pinhead »

1. House in 2007 (-70K)
2. Individual stocks in 2008 (-70K)
3. Mercedes that did ok for 6 years then transmission blew bringing its value at that time from $9K to $0 overnight (-9K)
skylar
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by skylar »

I checked back in my accounts, and the only purchases over $10k I have ever made have been index funds at Vanguard. I have yet to regret them. :)
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by Toons »

No rgerets whatsoever,whatever the purchase it was the right decision at the time :happy
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surfer1
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by surfer1 »

Bought a fixer-upper house. Sold it a year ago for a 5-figure loss. I'm now renting and looking for another house, but not finding much out there. I feel I'm still paying for that mistake, kinda, sort-of.
Last edited by surfer1 on Mon May 26, 2014 10:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
steve_14
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by steve_14 »

Ivygirl wrote:I am sure I have invested over $10,000 in books in my lifetime, and I have never been a big earner. Like Erasmus, "When I get a little money, I buy books. If there is any left, I buy food and clothing." How could I regret those purchases without also wishing I had never read and been affected by those books?
I'd say the average book spends a week being read and 30 years gathering dust. That's not a high enough utility ratio for me to have them cluttering my house. The only books I have left are signed editions and a few reference books. Meanwhile, I read a book about every 2 weeks on my Android phone. I also have a Kindle, but the HD resolutions of current phones (I have a Galaxy S5) make me favor them for everyday reading. Some books you have to pay for, others are cheap or free.
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by Ivygirl »

steve_14 wrote:
Ivygirl wrote:I am sure I have invested over $10,000 in books in my lifetime, and I have never been a big earner. Like Erasmus, "When I get a little money, I buy books. If there is any left, I buy food and clothing." How could I regret those purchases without also wishing I had never read and been affected by those books?
I'd say the average book spends a week being read and 30 years gathering dust. That's not a high enough utility ratio for me to have them cluttering my house. The only books I have left are signed editions and a few reference books. Meanwhile, I read a book about every 2 weeks on my Android phone. I also have a Kindle, but the HD resolutions of current phones (I have a Galaxy S5) make me favor them for everyday reading. Some books you have to pay for, others are cheap or free.
Hm. I have written a book. It took me a year and a half of intense creative effort. I'm not sure that the term "utility ratio" means much to me. Nor would it mean a damn to any other author worth his or her salt. Keep talking about "utility ratios" and books "cluttering your house" and you'll get what you're asking for: cheap books, ephemeral books, books without any truth to them.
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by Barefootgirl »

RE: The 2008 Nissan Altima - it was not a lemon, but I was spoiled. I'd own Hondas before that…no repairs, great resale value. Could not report the same for the Nissan.

Once you've owned a Honda, nothing else compares - aesthetics aside.

BFG
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Quotia
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by Quotia »

We bought a house, thinking we would be there many years, and 15 months we moved to a new city for new jobs. Meanwhile, the real estate market in old city had turned, and it took us 10 months to sell the house. At least we didn't have to bring money to the table when we sold. I loved that house, but I wish we hadn't bought it.

The market in our current city was hot longer, so we bought our current house at close to the top. Not the wisest decision we've ever made, but we've been here almost a decade and hope to stay pretty much forever, so no real regrets.
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by island »

OP
Please enlighten us, what was yours?
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by Ron Ronnerson »

We took vacations in 2005 (Greece) and 2006 (Paris) that we really couldn't afford at the time. We were newly married back then and weren't really thinking very clearly about the consequences of spending so casually. At least we got to see some interesting places, have some memorable experiences, and learned to make wiser financial decisions so some positives did come from it.
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burt
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by burt »

Ron Ronnerson wrote:We took vacations in 2005 (Greece) and 2006 (Paris) that we really couldn't afford at the time. We were newly married back then and weren't really thinking very clearly about the consequences of spending so casually. At least we got to see some interesting places, have some memorable experiences, and learned to make wiser financial decisions so some positives did come from it.
I don't know but... this could have been a wise purchase. Did you enjoy it ? Will you remember it fondly ?
I certainly don't remember the wood floors, granite counter tops, new roof, furniture, and auto's I've bought over the years.
Wishing you the best.

burt
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by Ron Ronnerson »

burt wrote:
Ron Ronnerson wrote:We took vacations in 2005 (Greece) and 2006 (Paris) that we really couldn't afford at the time. We were newly married back then and weren't really thinking very clearly about the consequences of spending so casually. At least we got to see some interesting places, have some memorable experiences, and learned to make wiser financial decisions so some positives did come from it.
I don't know but... this could have been a wise purchase. Did you enjoy it ? Will you remember it fondly ?
I certainly don't remember the wood floors, granite counter tops, new roof, furniture, and auto's I've bought over the years.
Wishing you the best.

burt
The answer to those questions is "yes" but I still think it was not wise for us to do that at the time. We were in a lot of credit card debt, had no savings, and no investments. The trips were very expensive and dug us into an even bigger hole. By the time 2007 rolled around, we woke up to the choices we'd made and started fixing things. We're in a considerably better place now. We've still enjoyed some amazing vacations since then but have been able to do it for a small fraction of the cost. I think circumstances matter. If we were to take the same vacations today as we did back then, I don't think I'd consider them mistakes.
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by goalie »

Owned Hondas, owned Toyotas....I've found Toyotas don't need timing belts at 80K miles....Chip :moneybag
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by gd »

maroon wrote:No one here bought a house at the top of the market (like in 2006 or so)?
Yup, within a few months, knowing we were in a bubble. I mentally reduced my net worth by the value of the house the day we purchased it, never expect to see my purchase price again, and don't care. It was a lifestyle choice I could not achieve any other way, not an investment.
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by Bracket »

Bought a house in 2007, DC area. Not quite the top of the market but close enough. Left the Navy in 2010, new job, had to move, sold at a loss. Had to bring 60k to closing. So dumb to buy knowing we probably wouldn't be staying. Listened to others saying "renting is for suckers, house prices always go up, etc." Not a big deal in the long run but I'd love to have that money back.

Taught me a valuable lesson though: Most people don't know what they are talking about.
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by cheese_breath »

Do current wives count? Acquired in 1976, Don't know the final price because I'm still making payments.
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by Mingus »

Bought a Lexus. I hated it.

Driving a Toyota again. Loving it.
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by hmw »

Bought my first house in 2009 and sold it this year. Lost a little over 70k after paying for the real estate agent fees. But I don't regret the purchase. We enjoyed the house and it was much nicer than any rental house available.
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by prudent »

Bracket wrote:Bought a house in 2007, DC area. Not quite the top of the market but close enough. Left the Navy in 2010, new job, had to move, sold at a loss. Had to bring 60k to closing. So dumb to buy knowing we probably wouldn't be staying. Listened to others saying "renting is for suckers, house prices always go up, etc." Not a big deal in the long run but I'd love to have that money back.

Taught me a valuable lesson though: Most people don't know what they are talking about.
+1 for that lesson I also had to learn. So many people think they know what they're doing, but don't. Much of the well-meaning advice I was given as a young adult, and took to heart, turned out to be not so useful. It was probably a good thing I didn't have any money back then as I would no doubt have done the same thing.
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by fizxman »

Luckily for me, I've never had $10,000+ to spend on anything, except cars and house, none of which I regret.

I've read a lot of people saying their ex's but I didn't see anyone say their actual wedding. For all the posts I've read about people saying spending $XX,XXX+ on a wedding was a waste, I'm surprised no one mentioned it here, unless I missed it.
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by bloom2708 »

In 1994 I leased a Saturn SL2. I had no business leasing or buying a new car at the time. Was 22.

My only other big $ regret was buying a 1998 GMC Jimmy for $30k. We had just gotten married and had to have it. It was a pile. Didn't have it 2 years.
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by jollystomper »

Oldest son' college education. I retrospect we should have gone with the school that would have cost us $100,000 less. But it was a highly ranked school in an urban setting that DS wanted to go to. After a year he decided to change his major from one that the school was known for to a more "generic" one. We should have had him transfer but he still liked the school. We just found all the hype help they said when we were deciding didn't exist once he was enrolled. And the alumni network doesn't seem much for networking other than asking alums and their parents for more donations.

We chalk that one up to experience, and have been much more discerning with our other childrens' college interests and choices.
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by TSR »

hmw wrote:Bought my first house in 2009 and sold it this year. Lost a little over 70k after paying for the real estate agent fees. But I don't regret the purchase. We enjoyed the house and it was much nicer than any rental house available.
Legitimately curious: does your $70k loss subtract five years of avoided rent? That may be less of a loss than you're giving yourself credit for.
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by Easy E »

Bought a single-family home in 2006 in a low cost of living area a few hours away to rent out for $117k and put down $25k (while I continued to rent). Sold in 2012 for $95k and didn't get anything back after closing costs. On the positive side, the Realtor I had manage the property kept it rented to good tenants almost the entire time until the last few months I had to carry it vacant while trying to sell (and I broke even most years on cash flow). Also, if I would have had that down payment sitting in my account at that time I may have been tempted to buy a condo in the high cost of living area I moved to which had a higher peak/trough decline so who knows what would have happened. It is a little depressing to think about what that $25k would be worth now if I had added to my retirement investment accounts in 2006 though.
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by Imdeng »

In my pre-boglehead days, one fine day, my stock kept falling and I kept buying - end of the day I was a lot poorer - but also a lot more wiser. Any pretense of my ability to beat the market consistently went out the window - and I found the boglehead way soon after - never to look back.

I do not regret it - as that fixed my obsession for trend-trading, momentum-trading, technical-trading.... you get the picture. Until then I was convinced that I am smarter than the collective wisdom of the market and will surely beat the market.
an_asker
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by an_asker »

twindad57 wrote:[...]I got a bad deal on the car, it turned out to be a lemon, and my wife at the time who convinced me to buy the car, walked out 3 months later.[...]
Look at the bright side - had it not been a lemon, she might have driven out with it ;-)
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by LadyGeek »

fizxman wrote:Luckily for me, I've never had $10,000+ to spend on anything, except cars and house, none of which I regret.

I've read a lot of people saying their ex's but I didn't see anyone say their actual wedding. For all the posts I've read about people saying spending $XX,XXX+ on a wedding was a waste, I'm surprised no one mentioned it here, unless I missed it.
I was adamant not to have a $XX,XXX+ wedding, so the expense was never incurred.

For balance, does anyone have any (ex)-husband purchase regrets? :wink:
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LateStarter1975
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by LateStarter1975 »

sscritic wrote:My second wife.

How much did she cost you?
Debt is dangerous...simple is beautiful
eharri3
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by eharri3 »

I) My 2004 Dodge Dakota Crew Cab pickup. Front suspension un-safe due to inherently poorly designed components that caused wheels to fall off trucks while they were being driven, a problem so widespread it made national news. And Chrysler said they didn't care. One of the biggest regrets of my life was blowing over 26000 dollars for a brand new truck only to get such horrible customer service in return for it.

2) My Ethan Allen living room. at 11K-plus it cost 4-5 grand more than I felt we should have spent on a dining room. That extra 4 or 5 grand could have re-paved the driveway or gone a good part of the way towards building me a new garage but instead it was invested in huge hunks of wood in my living room that get used about 6 or 7 times per year but are still supposedly worth every penny because they are 'like works of art' according to a certain someone.
Last edited by eharri3 on Tue May 27, 2014 3:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Ged
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by Ged »

Hmmm - all the physical goods that I ended up regretting purchasing were less than $10,000, although maybe not corrected for inflation. Of these perhaps was a used Datsun 810. That was one of the earliest fuel injected Japanese cars and a real problem because of poor reliability of the fuel system. So bad that I've haven't gone into a Datsun or Nissan or Infinity dealer in the ensuing 30 years.

The only other things I've regretted are some of my investments. Before understanding passive investing I used to occasionally chase mutual fund performance. That never worked out well. The worst was probably a Templeton fund. Besides reverting to the mean it had a load too. That was my first investment outside of a 401K.
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by eharri3 »

jollystomper wrote:Oldest son' college education. I retrospect we should have gone with the school that would have cost us $100,000 less. But it was a highly ranked school in an urban setting that DS wanted to go to. After a year he decided to change his major from one that the school was known for to a more "generic" one. We should have had him transfer but he still liked the school. We just found all the hype help they said when we were deciding didn't exist once he was enrolled. And the alumni network doesn't seem much for networking other than asking alums and their parents for more donations.

We chalk that one up to experience, and have been much more discerning with our other childrens' college interests and choices.

What was his major if you don't mind my asking? A lot of people seem to fall into the trap of blowing money on expensive private schools for liberal arts degrees where it doesn't really make a difference whether the piece of paper comes from a state school or a foo-foo private liberal arts university that costs twice as much. I think what school you go to is important for certain business and science disciplines but its importance gets way over-blown for most other fields.

That's why we keep seeing all these college loan hard luck stories about someone who spent 200K for a 'dance therapy' degree from a private Liberal arts school and now they're whining because they can't find a job that lets them pay it off and keep a roof over their heads. And somehow people think lowering the interest rate a few 10ths, making the loans more widely available, or just giving worthless educations to people for free is the permanent fix.
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by SRenaeP »

maroon wrote:No one here bought a house at the top of the market (like in 2006 or so)?
That would be me. Bought our 'forever house' in the burbs in 2006. Six years later realized I don't like the burbs that much and we bought too much house. It's still worth nowhere near what we paid for it but DH doesn't want to move anyway so I guess it's moot.

Second runner up - grad school. Expensive degree at a private school that has proven to be marginally useful at best. Paid through the nose and missed out on years I could have been earning or at least having fun (I went straight after undergrad).

Only other $10k purchases were the first house and two cars. Though there were arguably better financial decisions to be made in the case of the first house and second car, I'm satisfied with the choices I made at the time.

-Steph
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Re: Worst "Large purchase" ever?

Post by jollystomper »

eharri3 wrote: What was his major if you don't mind my asking?
No problem with your asking. :happy He insisted he wanted to study Political Science, and this school did have that as a strong major, and connections to Federal/State/local governments where paid internships were available the 2nd school wasn't as strong in that subject, but one of the reasons they admitted him and offered him what they called a "scholar" position was due to his writing. They had a strong English department and (I think to encourage folks), as a "scholar" he would get treatment and work opportunities. But the other school was in a suburban area and DS wanted to be in a city.

Naturally, after his freshman year completes he decides he doesn't really like Political Science, and decides to major in... English! That's when my wife and I should have said "you are going to transfer", but we didn't. We did insist he minor in something practical, so he chose Economics. But the private's school's English department was not as good as the school that he turned down, had few internships (along the lines of "here's a list, good luck), and fewer connections.

It my view it has taken him him longer to find steady employment than if he had gone to the other school. DW and I were fortunate in our income and saving so that he graduated without any debt (and he did get partial academic scholarship aid during his junior and senior year that saved us about $10,000). He did appreciate what we did during his first few years out of college.
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