Money Regret

I generally believe that regret is possibly the only nearly useless emotion that we experience.  The reality is what happened is done and you can not change that, but people still dwell on it.  I was watching a movie last night that seemed to have a theme of regret.  So it helped propel my mind down a path that I so rarely visit I figured I would share the results of some of my late night musing.

I don’t actually regret much related to money but there are a few items that come to mind.  So here is my list of money related regrets that crossed my mind last night:

  • I wish I would taken on a job not for the pay years ago.  I’m so enjoying my second job as a Trustee that I wish I would had the idea earlier.  I’ve taken jobs where money wasn’t that important, for example, I took a $20,000/year pay cut to move back to Regina.  Yet in all those jobs the money was still partly a factor.  The Trustee job was the first one where money didn’t matter at all.
  • I wish I would have been braver to start my own business.  I had ideas over the years but generally fear kept those ideas in check.  I think it was lack of any supports to travel down that path earlier in life that kept me back (beyond the fear).  I really only learned about a small business once my wife went to open a daycare and now realize it isn’t that hard (not to say it is easy, but it is not impossible either).
  • I wish I would have realized earlier that happiness is just as important as money.  I think perhaps I wasted a lot of time doing many ‘what if’ analysis on too many things before I realized that in the end the numbers are only part of the answer.  It’s ok to do something that isn’t the most logical as long as you know that.  Being happy is important even if you have to work a couple of years longer.

So what have you regretted related to your money?  If you feel like sharing leave a comment.

5 thoughts on “Money Regret”

  1. Thank you for this post. I’m in my 20s now and I really want to be able to not have any regrets later in life, or at least for those regrets to only be that I took too many risks. Right now I’m in the camp where I’m scared to take those risks. I’d like to start my own business, but I don’t feel ready yet. I don’t know when I’ll feel ready, but I hope it’s soon, or else I will regret waiting.

  2. I regret the career choices I made that left me feeling boxed in. Although, I’m now making the move to be an Accountant which I think I’ll enjoy much more and might not have made that decision if I wasn’t where I am right now.

    I also regret not starting a business when I didn’t have so much obligations. I tried starting a painting company not too long ago, without much success. It’s a lot harder now because I have a wife to support and a mortgage to pay.

    I’ll do it one day, but like I said it’s just much more difficult now.

  3. On uselessness of regrets… I saw an interesting article once, indicating that sociable mammals (coyotes in that example) seem capable of regret. The article suggested that regret is a crucial part of learning and adaptation: you need to experience it to correct your behaviour in the future. It’s true that you shouldn’t dwell on it, but you still must feel it first.

    For me personally, I regret not living fully and choosing to read things rather than experience them.

  4. Her Every Cent Counts,

    When you are young you can afford some risk. It does get a lot harder as you get older to take.


    I can agree with that one. I have thought about other career paths I could have done as well. In my case it turned out alright anyway.


    Interesting. Regret has a purpose, not a great one, but a purpose.


  5. Biggest regret was sticking with self employment for more than 5 years, especially since I had little self-discipline or self esteem at the time. And little money as a result…

    I just didn’t want to admit I had failed. Pretty sad, huh?

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