Best financial decisions you've made in your life

What are the best financial decisions you’ve made? Here are 3 of mine.

  1. Started contributing to my company 401k early and increased my contributions every time I got a raise.

  2. Went with a 15 year mortgage and paid it off before age 50.

  3. Lived below my means for my whole life and still took great vacations, did a lot of things and had a lot of fun.

Good topic that takes us away from all the political BS.

For me, I would say the following items:

  1. Wife and I started budgeting in first year of marriage and been doing it ever since. I still have my budgets going back 20 years. There was a great article titled the 60% Solution that I ran across that got me started (I think that was the name).

  2. Only buying used cars has saved me more than a hundred-thousand dollars in my lifetime.

  3. Becoming a real estate investor is probably the single greatest decision I ever made. There is no other asset class that has the tax advantages, leverage, and ability to increase Net Worth.

Worst decision I ever made was NOT starting my retirement savings earlier in life. This has turned out not to matter because the passive income stream from real estate is going to allow me to retire by 50 without ever having to touch any saving. We plan to just give all our savings to our kids so that they can retire earlier than 50.

  1. I agree, it’s not what you make but how much you spend and save.
  2. We usually buy new Fords because my wife gets A plan pricing, but keep our cars for ten years and pay cash or pay them off in a year or 2.

That’s a good idea, we’re helping our 20 year old with graduating college debt free and are paying for a lot of his expenses. He does online tutoring and makes decent money but we pay for his car insurance, cell phone and $700 a month rent. He’s paying all his other expenses and most of his tuition, I figure he’s going to get my money one day, he might as well enjoy some of it now.

For some reason I can’t edit or delete my first response to Butler in this thread. Sorry for the confusion.

My best financial decision is one that my husband and I made together when we first got married. That was to live a lifestyle based on his income alone even though we both worked. Consequently, we never bought the nicest house we could afford but homes that were good enough.

This decision provided us with the opportunity to do things for our daughter that wouldn’t have been possible if we bought homes based on our combined income. Instead of putting our daughter in daycare we were able to afford to hire a housekeeper to take care of her while I worked. Since our daughter was always a top student, we felt she earned the right to go to her first choice college, which was Northwestern University, where she majored in math and minored in chemistry and became a Phi Beta Kappa.

This also enabled us to pay for all of her college expenses as well as her wedding so she could start out in life without any debt.

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This is a good one @BridgeMaven for those wanting to become parents. We started doing the same thing as soon as my wife was pregnant.


Best financial decision of my life was more luck than a decision. I moved my entire 401k from a conservative basket into small cap fund on March 17, 2020. That was basically the market low and we know what happened next, my 401k has more than doubled. It’s enabling me to rethink my retirement completely, though I won’t have enough to retire in the south of France.

My second great financial decision is also more luck than sound thinking, I got divorced 9 years ago. I never put more than 5% into my 401k and had little savings. So while I had 3 lean years giving my ex-wife half of my take home pay, after that point I had tons of money to save and invest and this is while I paid for 70% of my kids college expenses.

We did the same thing before we decided to have a kid, lived on my pay and saved my wife’s salary for almost 2 years. Even when my wife went back to work we lived off my pay and invested and saved my wife’s salary. That would be number 4 on my list.

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That was a ballsy move this close to your retirement, glad it worked out for you. I’m a few years from retirement and and done very well over the last few years but am going to start moving investments into safer places. I’ve made my money and now want to protect it.

Retired in 2006 after working for the state of Massachusetts for 30 years at the age of 53. As a pension received 73% of my salary.

In December of 2006, moved to North Carolina. Because of the lower costs of housing in NC was able to be mortgage free on my arrival here.

Come this December will be at age 68, retired for 15 years.


Nice, you did well.

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Buying a cassette rather than 8-track tape player for my first car.

Sheesh, you’re not as clueless as I thought! But have you figured out how to sell your Cabbage Patch Doll collection yet?

Retiring. It may have saved my life.

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Bought less house than I could afford, put it on a 15-year loan, paid off five months ago. Now, I have several years before retirement with no mortgage.


Gutsy move but really glad it worked out well for you.

Good job, I’ve been preaching that for years.

People who want children should have them.

We took the money that it takes to raise children and used it to retire all of our debts and contribute to our retirement.