Thursday, November 09, 2006

Best and Worst Money Moves

Alot of the financial blogs out there seem to be addressing this issue lately, so I thought I would throw my hat in the ring on the subject. I should also give credit to the blog that originated this subject: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/ .

Worst Money Move:

Racking up tonnes of student debt.
When I graduated from university, I owed in excess of $40,000. I'm currently paying $600 a month for these loans, and it will take me 6 more years to finish paying it. See my other blog entries for some ranting and advice about student loans. The real mistake here was not knowing what I wanted to do coming out of high school. I thought doctor was a decent calling so I started university pursuing a biology degree. Unfortunately, when I got there biology in university was alot different than biology in high school. In high school, I found that it was the sciences that required critical thinking and analysis, which business type courses were read and regurgitate. At the university level, this pulls a 180. Through my first 3 semesters, all my work involved reading the text and answering multiple choice questions. I was miserable. My roommates were all economics or business majors. I realized a definite calling, so after completing my degree in bio, I started in on an economics degree. The reason I didn't switch after 3 semesters was because those 3 semesters would have been completely wasted (obviously there isn't alot of overlap between a bio and economics degree.

When it was all said and done, I had spent 6 years in university and acquired two degrees (including some summer courses). Had I simply known that business was my calling, I could have likely saved about $20,000, and started work a couple years earlier.

My Best Money Move:

My best money move was easily investing while I was still in school. I was fortunate enough to be in university when the .com bubble burst. I was in tune enough with investing that I learned a lesson from this, without actually having to suffer any losses. I was looking to invest in something low risk, with the intention of paying back that money towards my student loans after graduation. I got to know income trusts very well and made alot of money on them. As a result of this early investment, I had about $30,000 saved by March of this year (about 1.5 years out of school). While most of my friends are still paying off their credit card debts incurred during school, I have already bought a car, a house and an engagement ring. Now if I could only get rid of those damn student loans....

Until next time,

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