Welcome to another edition of Blog Swap a collaborative endeavor by members of the Yakezie Network, the world’s largest network of personal finance and lifestyle blogs. Each blogger writes on the same topic. Today’s question, “If you had one financial do-over, what would it be and why?” After you finish this article, stop by my site, Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance to read Melissa from Mom’s Plans take on the topic!

Charles Givens

My passion for personal finance was developed early on. I hungrily devoured all information on money management and investing. In my twenties, I received a large gift of several thousand dollars from my grandmother’s estate. As was my habit, I saved most of the money. But back then I also splurged a bit when I received a gift.

After watching a compelling money management program infomercial on television, I spent the enormous sum of $300.00 on the Charles Givens money making kit. I’m afraid to calculate the inflation adjusted amount today, as it will make me feel even worse.

Don’t get me wrong, there was some value in the kit, just not $300.00 worth. Here’s the main benefit I recall from the kit; shop around for insurance and compare prices. The kit was probably worth about $15.00 or so.

 What I Learned from this Mistake

 The pain I felt after wasting that money was real. I couldn’t get it back.

  •  I learned to be highly critical of hard sell programs.
  •  I learned to doubt the veracity of oversized claims.
  •  I learned that there is no simple “get rich path” but like most things of value, wealth building takes time and patience.

As I remember this purchase, I wouldn’t change a thing. (Well maybe I would change the price from $300.00 to $50.00 J ) Although, the long term benefit I gained from avoiding future scams is certainly of value. And the satisfaction I feel right now as I google Charles Givens and uncover allegations that he was in fact a “scam artist” who was sued many times before his death, makes that $300.00 spending a well spent investment lesson.

 Tell me about your financial missteps.

By, Barbara Friedberg, editor in chief of Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance.com, where she educates, inspires, and motivates for wealth in money and life. Learn money basics from a real life portfolio manager, and visit her site for the FREE ebook, 20 Minute Guide to Investing.