I want my 10 years back

January 31, 2010 at 8:05 am (Uncategorized)

Do you ever feel like you wished you could do it all over?

I’ve learned my lesson. I know I used credit unwisely. I know what I need to fix it and while I’m on the path to do so, I wish it would take less time than 4 more years. I’ll be 42 before I can start investing heavily in myself. Oh, sure, I have $45K in 401K/Roth/IRA investments right now, and I’m investing 4% of my salary (I plan on increasing it a percentage point a year until I’m out of debt). But to really make good on that compounding interest, I should have started doing this 15 years ago. D’oh!!!!

While I don’t feel intensely stupid, it’s disappointing that I’m so late to the game. All I can see is how unprepared I am compared to what I could have been. How far behind I am. On top of that, my $43K salary ($50K if you include my prodigious overtime) is ok. It’s certainly not minimum wage, but when I compare myself to people around me that are the same age and have tech degrees, or masters in sciences, they are making twice or more what I do. I know I’m smarter than that, but I’ve been lazy and have been resting on my laurels quite a bit (see how I got into debt). I excelled in the sciences in high school. I’ve got a pretty analytical mind. I should have stuck it out and been an engineer, or gone into computer science.

At this point, it’s probably not worth going back to school to get a degree – I’m not sure how valuable that is, unless it’s more vocational training, with specific job skills. J is a few months away from finishing his paralegal training. Most positions run about 75% to 150% higher than my current salary. It is possible to do the training in 2 years, possibly 4 if I take night classes. But am I interested in the legal field? Doesn’t matter. Must focus on getting out of debt. I can’t take any detours until it’s gone. No big vacations, no new car (unless my current one breaks), no buying a house (bummer, this is the best opportunity ever to buy, will probably not have the opportunity again), no higher education or art workshops.

There’s a lot of if onlys above, and a lot that go through my head outside of this post. I’m not defeated by it, but kinda disappointed. Where’s my control-z for the last 10 years?

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2 Comments

  1. Danielle said,

    Amen. I feel the same way.

    And I thought switching careers would be the best idea ever. Not so sure anymore.

  2. debtmaven said,

    Danielle, do tell! What were you doing before? How long before you feel like you’ll break even with the debt incurred vs. your old salary?

    Or is it just the being in debt part that you don’t like?

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