Happy Thursday everyone! The week has flown by again. The Happy Homeowner wrote a letter to her 18 year old self and I loved the idea, so I’m going to do something similar as well. You guys will get to know way too much about me most likely from this post 🙂
My post is going to be to my 18 year old self but I’m more going to talk about what I did, and what I would’ve changed. Yes I am only 22 (almost 23!), but 18 still seems forever ago. I made a lot of life changing decisions that year also.
My 18th birthday was also the last day of high school for me. Graduation was 2 weeks later and a lot happened in those 2 weeks. I came across an adorable puppy and brought her home with me. She was a cute little thing, and she ended up growing to be around 90 pounds. I still have her (see her picture on my Twitter!). She’s a wonderful dog. Probably the best decision I have ever made. I have a deep love for dogs, and she is wonderful. I could talk about her forever if you couldn’t tell.
In the first week of June, I graduated and on that same day I moved into a rental house with the BF. Fast huh? Yeah it was! We were together for a little over a year at that point but I was still so young.
Our house was a small little thing. Rent was only $350 a month. There wasn’t actually a bedroom in the whole house and only a couple of rooms. Probably 500 square feet altogether (not including the basement). This was a good size for us, but gas and electricity still killed us. Somehow our gas and electricity bills were around 4 TIMES as much as they are in the house that we have now (and our house now is around 5X as big).
I had no clue about bills. I basically through myself into the situation and made many mistakes, but I learned a lot from all of those mistakes. Surprisingly, we never had an overdraft or missed a bill. We hardly made any money. We both worked full-time but of course the pay was very minimal.
Stop eating out so much! You two do not need to eat thousands of dollars of food every month. What a waste of money. You are plowing through money like there is no tomorrow. Eat like college students and stop going to the Mexican bar everyday and eating tacos.
I went very fast with school. I started in August of 2007 and graduated in May of 2010 with 2 degrees. I took around 21 credit hours every semester and took 12 credit hours one summer (the only time I have ever taken summer classes). Sometimes I wish I would’ve relaxed in college and enjoyed it more. Instead I was very focused on finishing fast.
I’m not saying that I regret finishing fast though. I wouldn’t be who I am today unless I would of done this. I love my job and my life. And obviously I don’t regret it because I’m doing the same with my MBA.
School Loans. Stop taking out so much! Eat less and apply the difference to your loans crazy girl! What are you thinking?
My father also passed when I was 18 (almost 19). I should’ve slowed down with school and work then. Instead I took a measly 4 days off from work because I didn’t want to think about it. So I became even more busy because I thought that if I stayed busy, then I wouldn’t have time to think about it. Boy was I wrong, I’m still having a hard time dealing with it today. In 1 month it’ll be exactly 4 years from when he passed, and I know that’ll be a hard time, especially since our family keeps growing further apart. I just have to keep thinking about all of the good memories. I love my dad a lot!
Don’t buy that car. I don’t know what I was thinking. I was 18, almost 19, and bought a car that was around $25,000. WHAT why would I do that? I was stupid. This car should hopefully last me while but that’s the last time I do that. I definitely did not need a brand new car at the age of 18 that had $400 monthly car payments.
And last but not least, don’t regret anything! Stop dwelling on the past. You’re wasting time. You can’t do anything to change that regret you have, so you might as well move on and get over it. And then learn from it! Better yourself and don’t think twice.
OMG! My 18th birthday was also my last day of high school! I didn't remember that until you said it. I graduated a week later. I didn't go to school fast, but I can relate a bit, I think, to your feelings of school and wanting it to have gone by slower. I went to a community college on a full scholarship and lived at home my first year so I didn't get the full college campus experience. My second year, I moved in with my BF (then together 3 years) and ended up pregnant by Spring semester and had to take a year off after obtaining my AA – except when I went back to school, I had to think about my baby and opted to do an online college and that, of course, was not a typical college experience either (nor a cheap one!). I'm glad to see a young gal writing a blog about money. I'm young, too. I'll be 26 soon. I relate best with young adults because I am one so I targeted my website for young adults. I have a feeling I will be returning regularly to read your blogs. You write well. (I don't say that often.) Thanks for sharing your story!
Michelle P says
Thanks so much! I'm glad someone out there thinks I write well, because I doubt myself all the time.
Anthony Thompson says
That's a nice story. I was really at the edge of my seat while following your journey into adulthood and independence. First, I'm really impressed that you started out at such a young age. Then, you worked very hard, and in the end, earned your college degree. Now, you're doing your MBA. All the while you're holding down a job and juggling bills and big expenses. You're really doing your thing, and I admire that a lot.However, I'm so sorry to hear about the passing of your father. And worse, you lost him the same year you graduated from high school. Oh my! I can't imagine how hard that must have been, and still is. May he rest in peace.You're such a dynamo, and I only wish that I had an ounce of your spunk when I was 18. Anyway, no regrets.
Michelle P says
Thanks so much! And yes losing my dad was extremely hard, and still is.
Well Heeled Blog says
If I am telling my 18-year-old self something, I'd say, "you are going to marry this boy. Stop worrying." and "life won't turn out exactly the way you envisioned, but it will be OK." and then I'd tell her to stop eating so much cake because, c'mon, it's just going to be harder to lose the weight down the road and by then she would've already given away all her cute dresses that no longer fit.
Michelle P says
I should've included that also about marrying that boy!
The Bluths says
you are officially telling me EVERYTHING i need to hear.love this blog.
Erin @ Currently Cov says
I love this poster. I've seen it before but each time I see it I think it makes perfect sense. What a great idea to write a letter to your 18 year old self, boy the things I would tell me!XO,Erinerinscurrentlycoveting.blogspot.com
Wow, I'd probably tell my younger self many of the same things. I only wish I could go back and knock some sense into my 18-year-old self! Great post!
You got those degrees fast, lady!! I so wish someone would have gone back in time and smacked 18 y/o me.
Liquid Independence says
"I never look back, darling! It distracts from the now." ~Edna
I was 17 when I graduated high school and moved into my dorm without knowing a single person. It was terrifying and I remember crying during the first 2 days of feeling alone. 2 weeks later I met my boyfriend, joined a sorority and now I'm 24, and I'm still with my boyfriend too 🙂 I would have told myself to focus on school more, less partying, less worrying about what people thought, and I wish I had lived by myself to avoid all the drama and avoided losing friends because of it.
Michelle P says
Less worrying about what people think is definitely a good one.
HI Michelle, Love your post. I am really connecting with you because we are around the same age. I am 21. Graduated early with my Bachelor's (3 years). And am finishing grad school early. One Master's in one year! I am working on a dual MS/MBA. The MS I finish in May, and the MBA part I finish next May (hopefully). I am also married. We have a lot in common! 🙂 Great post. You inspired me to write one of my own. If that's okay?
Michelle P says
Wow we do have a lot in common! And of course you can do one for yourself also.
I love this post & made me think back to graduating high school but just like you I started college in fall of 2007 and I finished December of 2011.. thats alot faster than most people could say..I wish I would of done more in my college days..but my real question is..what do you think of ING Direct banking? I keep being told to open a savings account there because they have a better interest rate.. just thought I would ask your opinion
Michelle P says
Emailed you 🙂
Mrs. Baker says
people make mistakes with money all the time-at least you learned from them.
The Happy Homeowner says
Ooh…thanks for linking to me; I'm glad you liked the post! Love yours as well 🙂
Great post! It got me thinking about when I was 18 (was it really 13 years ago? Geesh!)and how much my life has changed. The one thing I would tell my 18-year-old self is to go with the flow of life. I was a planner and at 18, I thought everything would go according to that plan. I definitely overreacted when the plan was not working. I have since mellowed (a lot!) and I would just like to tell my younger self to slow down and enjoy the things that come to you. Enjoy and embrace life. Sometimes the best stuff happens not according to plan!
Good advice Michelle! I love your final advice: Stop dwelling on the past! I treat mistakes made when young as the cost of education we call life!
18 had to officially be my dumbest year on record. I thought I knew it all and boy was I wrong! We all go through these issues but like you, I learned from my mistakes and moved on. Good for you! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. Hope your following, I'm following you! <a href="http://www.winetastegirl.com” target=”_blank”>www.winetastegirl.com
Maldivian Finance Bl says
Very wise words. Love this post. Money related mistakes are inevitable just like most of any mistakes. The important thing is not to repeat those mistakes and learn something from those.
Katherine Krieg says
really like this post. a very interesting and wise thing to do!
Michelle P says
Thank you so much! I always like reading blogs written by younger people like us also.
Michelle P says
Thanks so much. Sometimes I think twice, but then again I realize that I have the rest of my life and I'm almost done with school!
MY biggest regret is not enjoying the moment and always wishing I was somewhere else. Working on it everyday. Great post btw. Maria @ Orchard Bloom
Making mistakes is a good thing!! It helps us grow 🙂
Andrea @ NickelbyNic says
Wow you took a lot of credits in a very short amount of time, you're making me feel rather… uhhh failed for being 26 and still taking credits 😮
Rochelle Rae says
Love that picture at the top – I was having a bad day once and came across it browsing the net, it made my day. You learn/grow from your mistakes. :)I have a few current regrets. Been having a tough time, I need to make life changing decisions, But, I am extremely scared, especially if I regret it later.Enjoyed reading this.Rochellexx
Financial Independen says
About eating out – yes and no. Rarely we are professional cooks and going out is about meeting new people, socialise, have new experiences. Sure for the same money you can get a nicer wine and better quality food at home. But going out it is a new experience, culture. Again, when you will grow up, you may have a nicer car you can comfortably afford, but with the kids, you want drive it fast, you will be very careful.Youth is only once, never again. While the money comes and goes. Totally with you about regrets. Once thought and understood do not regret ever.
It's so hard to have the foresight sometimes to know what an ambiguous financial or career decision will lead to down the road. I like your "don't regret anything" line, because I do have so many coulda/woulda/shoulda's, from both high school and college. But, there's no telling what the great things the decisions I DID make will lead to in another 5 years. Sometimes it just takes time to see the full picture.
Wow did this post resonate with me! The idea of who I was when I was 18, and who I've become are so different, I'm still sitting here dumfounded! What a great question to ask – thank you! I'm going to spend the day thinking. 🙂
B. (Below Her Means) says
Gah! I adore this post.