Financial Regrets From This Past Year and What I’ll Do Differently In ’09

Although we are financially secure and tend to make wise decisions regarding our finances, we still screw up sometimes and do things that we later regret. We’re human. However, while we may have regrets I choose to look at them as learning opportunities. Whatever we regret from this past year is something that can be fixed in coming years, moving us closer to our goals. As 2008 draws to a close, I’m taking a look back at some of my financial regrets and thinking about what I want to do differently in 2009.

Regret #1: Not getting my 401K out of the market before the market crashed: I knew the bust was coming. I spend my days writing about finance and watching CNBC. I knew it was


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10 Responses to Financial Regrets From This Past Year and What I’ll Do Differently In ’09

  1. Kathy says:

    Curious about #7 – the hot water heater. Do you have electric or gas hot water? Is the tank wrapped in an insulation blanket? Where is the tank located – in garage, in house? Are you located in a very cold area like Wisconsin?

  2. Myrtle says:

    Outstanding article. Thanks so much!!

  3. Jennifer says:

    @ Kathy:

    We have an electric water heater and it is wrapped in a insulating blanket. The tank is in the crawl space. Our area gets cold, but it’s not super cold and doesn’t tend to stay very cold for long. So the tank doesn’t take that long to warm up when we turn it on, and there’s usually some hot water left in it from the last use (I’ve turned it off for 2 days when we went out of town and when we got back there was still a little hot water left.

    If you need hot water on demand, it might not work, but my routine is such that I can turn the water heater on the the AM, go eat breakfast and go for my run and when I get back have plenty of hot water for a shower. At night, I turn it on when I walk in the door and by the time I’m ready to do dishes or take a shower, it’s all heated up.

  4. Debbie M says:

    About #1 (not getting out of the market). I remember that everyone was talking about the huge market bubble there was in 1996, especially tech. Getting out then would have been a mistake, because the market kept rising like crazy anyway for FOUR MORE YEARS and when the crash came, the market did not plummet anywhere near the 1996 level. The current plummet is also nowhere near the 1996 level.

    You just never know what’s going to happen. What I’d do is sort of over-rebalance my accounts. What I mean is that I would rebalance, only get rid of even more of whatever I feel bad about than what the numbers would say. If I’m wrong (like I would have been in 1996), I can rebalance again later. If I’m right, woo hoo!

  5. Emily says:

    Wow – thanks for this very interesting article – I too am interested in the hot water heater idea. We have a 40 gallon tank – which is never used during the day. All your observations ring true in my life – yes I will add to the principle of my mortgage, (down to 22 thou) but still I would like it done with. Our 2 credit cards total 3125.00 – I am glad for that, and no car payments. But medical – ugh! We are in our late fifties and the aches and pains are occurring more frequently… some debt is necessary.
    Thank you again and again – great insights!

  6. fern says:

    You can also buy a timer for your hot water heater, similar to what many people have for their furnace. That way, you don’t have to try to remember to turn it on or off. I have mine on a timer and it’s only on 3 hours a day and i don’t have a problem not having any hot water.

  7. fathersez says:

    May I suggest Regret No: 9.

    I had too many regrets in 2008. In 2009, I’ll seek to dig out the better things that have happened to me and my family and have less regrets.

    Just a thought.

    Have a great 2009!


  8. crazyliblady says:

    Have you considered a tankless water heater? I don’t have one, as I don’t own my own home, but my father-in-law bought one and installed it. He is physically disabled, so for him to install something like that is a big deal. He reports that it has made a huge difference in the gas bill. I plan to get one for my home someday.

  9. Spokane Al says:

    I would caution you to not put too much stock in #1. The fact that you seemed to get it right this time does not mean you will get it right the next time. Many, many so-called financial experts are totally wrong year after year after year, and then get one call correct and live off the glory of that moment for a while, re: Elaine Garzelli.

    And then of course comes the eternal question of when to put your money back into the market.

  10. Jacey says:

    Thanks for sharing your life experiences. I found this article helpful and motivating in my personal quest to get on back ontop of my finances and start building up savings.

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