April 21, 2014

I am currently recovering from another hellish weekend. Last Tuesday, I worked a 16-hour day between my day job and my part-time job. I was so exhausted and out of it the rest of the week. Then I also worked my crazy carnival gig on Friday, and Saturday, and worked a very long, Passover dinner yesterday. I’m beat. To make matters worse, on Friday I was rushing to get somewhere, so while I was texting and walking I ran into the edge of a wall. I proceeded to bleed,  and felt very disoriented, and now my eye is a little black and blue and I have a nice cut on my eyebrow. I was beyond embarrassed and it just felt silly. Apparently, texting and walking is really dangerous, so be careful.

I’m beat, but I’m also really excited because this is the last of it. I am working one day this weekend, and in May my schedule is a lot lighter. I have more freelance writing gigs, and will focus my attention on online efforts. I am really excited about this– finally seeing progress on some things and I get to stay at home more!

I’ve learned a lot working so much the past three months. This past weekend really tested me. The accident was just a manifestation of how busy and tired I am and it is starting to affect how I take care of myself. Even though this month will mark the most side hustle income I’ve ever made, I consider it a failure on a lot of fronts. I’ll write more on it later, but working this much really has diminishing returns after a certain point. I have reached my limit and now want to focus my energy on creatively fulfilling work I can do from home. The running around part is really costing me so much energy and money! In light of these realizations that I have failed in some ways, I thought it would be fun to start the week off with some of my epic financial fails.

1. When I was 17 and spent $250 on breast enlargement pills (haha, no they didn’t work).

2. That time in Rio I got off at the wrong bus stop and had to take a $75 taxi ride back to the hostel. While drunk on the beach in Rio, I also got swindled into getting a fake tattoo which cost me another $50.

3. When I was 13, I found $100 bill…..and spent it on shampoo, conditioner, and skin care products?!?

4. That one time Ryan and I went to happy hour, with coupons and still spent $50.

5. In Reykjavik, I tried to order a glass of wine, and ended up buying a bottle of it. I didn’t realize this until after I signed the credit card receipt.

6.  The first time I used my emergency fund after running a stop sign and getting into a car accident.

7. When I was 18, I really wanted my then boyfriend to love me….so I paid for our flights and a concert….in Vegas. We couldn’t even drink, so this was just such a waste. We didn’t even last more than six months!

8.  After getting my first real career job, moving into a studio all by myself and paying $1,000/mo, even though I had student loans.

Me and my karaoke mama

Me and my karaoke mama

9. From 22-23, I went out to karaoke 3-4x a week. Yes, I was addicted, but it was also my therapy. That shit adds up.

10. Not being insured and ending up in the ER.

 I want to hear from you! What is your most epic financial fail?


Melanie is a freelance writer currently living in Portland, Oregon. She is passionate about education, financial literacy, and empowering people to take control of their finances. She writes about breaking up with debt, freelancing, and side hustle adventures at DearDebt.com.

Currently she puts more than 50% of her income towards debt, while living a frugal, fun life. In addition to her love of personal finance, art and music, she is also a karaoke master. Follow the adventure @DearDebtBlog.

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34 responses to “Epic Fail”

  1. Easy. Student loans to pay tuition at a for-profit school.

    I love your drive, Dear, but slow down a bit, for the wall’s sake. 😉
    Kasey @ Debt Perception recently posted…Happy April 20th, 2014My Profile

  2. Oh hon, hope you are okay!!!! That accident sounds like it could’ve been much worse! No more walking and texting, young lady! 🙂 Funny about the breast enlargement pills: I know someone who took some and they worked so well that she had to have TWO reduction surgeries b/c they would not stop growing. Not sure if she OD’d on them or what. I have too many epic money fails to count. 🙂
    Laurie @thefrugalfarmer recently posted…Extreme Things We’ve Done to Save Money While Getting out of DebtMy Profile

  3. ouch! Hope you’re ok (and no one was watching!). 🙂 I agree that some side hustles aren’t worth it if you are sacrificing your health and sanity. I regret the several thousands of dollars I paid for life coaching classes. 🙁
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted…Money and FamilyMy Profile

    • deardebt says:

      I’m ok and several people saw it. I was at work and it was after my shift as I was leaving. Ugh. Hopefully you got something out of your life coaching classes even if you ultimately consider it a failure?

  4. Hi, I just found your blog today and I’m following you on Twitter 🙂

    Hm. My biggest financial fail…I can’t think of anything major. I regret buying my car less than a year ago as I bought it under pressure and made the wrong choice. I’m now trying to sell it and it’s proving difficult.
    Emma @ Make Money Without a Job recently posted…IntroductionMy Profile

  5. Amanda C says:

    Sadly for me it was blowing $10,000 on… I don’t even know what!

    Long story short – I worked a sweet part time job while in University and because I’m a natural saver, I had $10,000 in the bank when I finished my degree. But instead of graduating, I decided to stay in school another year. Pretty much everything went wrong and before I knew it, I was back to living with my mother, unable to find a job, and that $10,000 was looooong gone.

    Every time I think about it, I think “that could have paid for nearly half my car!” or “that would have knocked off 20% of my student loan debt!”. Instead, it’s just a embarrassing “epic fail” story I sometimes tell.
    Amanda C recently posted…Lifestyle Carnival – 102nd EditionMy Profile

    • deardebt says:

      Ugh, that’s pretty epic! It’s hard when a combination of bad decisions and life circumstances happen and really let things get out of control 🙁 I’m sorry for that. But you are getting back on track and doing so well so that’s what matters now 🙂

  6. Ouch! Running into a wall=not fun! Hope you get to enjoy some of your time at home and don’t find yourself working when you should be resting some too, that can be the downside of working from home. My biggest financial fail… I’m not really sure, I guess just continuing to spend money on material things when I knew I was broke?
    Shoeaholicnomore recently posted…How Long Will it Take Me to Use 1,000 Rolls of TP?My Profile

    • deardebt says:

      Yeah I don’t want to get caught in the same trap, but just at home — BUT at least I’d be at home 🙂 Thanks for sharing your fail, I know how hard it is to cutoff spending when you are broke.

  7. I am so excited that you are concentrating more of your side hustle efforts online because Girl you can write and I am soooo excited to see more of your writing around. 🙂 Sorry to hear about your eye! I have too many epic financial fails to list but one that comes to mind is when I paid $600 in college for a Japanese straightening when my hair is already straight. Ugh.
    Girl Meets Debt recently posted…2 More Common Debt Myths DebunkedMy Profile

    • deardebt says:

      Awww that’s the best kind of motivation, GMD 🙂 LOL that hair straightening is pretty epic. Thinking about it, I also spent a ton on hair dye in my youth. It’s been a few years since I colored it. It’s amazing how much women spend on cosmetics, especially in youth and older age.

  8. E.M. says:

    Oh no, I hope you’re okay! That honestly sounds like something I would do. I can’t text and walk at the same time at all. I can barely walk straight sometimes! I hope the bruise heals quickly. I’m so glad to hear everything is coming together for you next month. You deserve it! As for financial fails, I have a lot of stories of doing X so boyfriend will be forever grateful. Thankfully none with the current boyfriend, but young love can be silly.
    E.M. recently posted…New Car EnvyMy Profile

    • deardebt says:

      I’m ok, it’s healing nicely. Glad I’m not the only one who is clumsy. Oh gosh, I spent so much money on being in love and treating boyfriends like gold, when I could hardly get their respect.

  9. megan says:

    I was 16 and going on vacation with a friend’s family. I pulled $450 out of my bank account to pay my friend’s mom in advance for my flight and portion of the hotel. Before dropping it off I went to the gym where I kept the money in my unlocked locker. Clearly the money was gone after my workout. Loosing $450 to a 16 year old is like loosing a couple grand now. Uhg. Makes me mad thinking about my stupid mistakes.
    megan recently posted…How to Eat Healthy While On the RunMy Profile

    • deardebt says:

      Ouch! That kind of money at 16 is a ton! Stupid mistakes are painful, but we can recover and laugh at them later. And hopefully learn valuable lessons.

  10. anna says:

    Oh no, I’m so sorry to hear about your texting injury! I hope you’re feeling better. I’ve had a few epic fails, but my favorite was when I decided to move to both NY and LA after graduation thinking the money will just pour in, so I spent and partied like there was no tomorrow. And then got hit with a medical situation a few years later. No bueno. I love that picture of you and your mama! 🙂
    anna recently posted…My Biggest Money A-ha MomentMy Profile

    • deardebt says:

      I feel much better and it looks like it won’t leave a scar. I understand your fails– I thought my life would easily be much better in those cities, but you have to work for it. Also, that’s not my real mom, it’s my karaoke mom — she was the KJ in Redondo Beach at a lot of the bars I went to, lol.

  11. It sounds like you are making some good progress!

    I remember when my wife and I were paying off our debt. At one time, I worked a full-time as a manager, full-time at an auto body shop, part-time construction and I delivered a paper route…but once we were 100% debt free, it was all worth it!

    My biggest financial fail? Signing up for Direct Buy (like $3,000?) to get cheap building materials for a house we never built. We used the membership to buy a baby crib…A CRIB! That’s it. And after paying shipping it wasn’t even cheaper than other stores.

    Oh life. lol
    Kalen @ MoneyMiniBlog recently posted…Everything You Need to Know Before You Start Paying Off Your Home Early (Part 1)My Profile

    • deardebt says:

      Holy wow, you worked like a madman! It seems worth it at times, other times I feel like it’s not. Your financial fail is pretty epic. But it’s so nice to share, laugh, move on, and know we are much better now! Thanks for stopping by, Kalen.

  12. I feel like that accident is something I would have done. I was at my parents this weekend and somehow I ended up kicking their magazine stand when I came around the corner… that weighs 50 lbs. And I moved it! My three middle toes are now black and blue. It’s a little easier to hide than a scratch and a black-ish eye, but I’m right there with you on the klutz stuff.

    For my own epic fails… how about the time I reversed my parents one year old SUV into my brothers truck… because I didn’t look behind me. In my defence, my brother never used to park behind the garage, but I was running late to pick up my parents from the airport so I didn’t even check the mirror. Big no-no.

    Or, the time I spent $500 on a guitar when I hadn’t learned how to play yet. I ended up learning two chords and then gave up. I sold it for $250.
    Alicia @ Financial Diffraction recently posted…I’m Planning A Trip.My Profile

    • deardebt says:

      Ouch!! Glad I’m not the only clumsy one 🙂 My eyebrow is healing thank goodness. I’ve also gotten into really ridiculously stupid car accidents….one of the reasons I really don’t prefer to drive. I enjoyed hearing about your epic fails, Alicia. Pretty good 😉

  13. Uh-oh…so it’s not only texting and driving that is dangerous but also texting and walking. I hope you are okay. You might want to ease up a bit and enjoy the sun once in a while. But I must say your pep and drive are truly amazing!
    Jen @Sprout Wealth recently posted…How to Start a Side Hustle While in a Day JobMy Profile

  14. debt debs says:

    Sorry to hear you’ve been so busy and so tired that you end up walking into inanimate objects. I’m feeling a bit tired too so will learn from your misfortune and stop texting while driving (j/k). I guess that may not really be that funny because there’s actually people who still do this. Maybe they will make a law against texting while walking. You should be proud for instigating that.

    My epic financial fail (besides accumulating a whack of debt) is buying a time share. It feels like the direct buy thing. Dumb ditty dumb dumb dumb.
    debt debs recently posted…Worth it WednesdayMy Profile

  15. TC says:

    You thought it was dangerous to walk and text? There are thousands of drivers in the USA who thinks it is OK to text and drive. Accidents happen in life but there are many stupid things people do that make them inevitable.

    Debt is in a way like gaining weight. Fun to eat whatever you want but it is never fun to sweat those lbs out. I am glad you have done some fun things along the way to remember when you are working hard to pay it off.
    TC recently posted…Would No Fault Accidents Increase Car Insurance Rates?My Profile

    • deardebt says:

      It could have been a lot worse, for sure. People should be careful texting and doing anything that requires concentration 😉 I am trying to manage my fun, while also prioritizing my debt.

  16. I’m sorry to hear you got yourself hurt. It’s great to know that you will have more free time in May. It sounds like you desperately need a break from work.

    My most epic financial fail… there were so many nothing stands out in particular. I guess my whole financial life in the past 10 years has been one epic fail, lol! It’s feels good to be able to laugh at it now. I’m so grateful things have changed for the better.

    Hope you’re having a fantastic weekend! xo
    Eva @ Girl Counting Pennies recently posted…I Love…My Profile

  17. A couple of my most recent epic financial fails have been running a red light through an intersection where there was a red light camera. That was a hefty fine of over $300. :S My other one was paying almost $200 for two sessions of personal training with someone who acted didn’t really seem to care too much about the client and started 20 min late.

    That’s pretty sweet you found a $100 bill. The most I ever found was a $5 bill.
    MakintheBacon recently posted…Does Your Spending Increase Before You Go on Vacation?My Profile

    • deardebt says:

      Ugh traffic tickets are the worst! I can’t count how many parking tickets I got while living in LA. That personal trainer also sounds awful 🙁

  18. Andrew says:

    We all hit walls in life, some are just more real than others. 🙂 I think it’s important to look at what you learned through your failures, and it seems as if you have. In my mind those then aren’t failures at all, but life lessons. You seem to be very hard working and driven so I am sure you will find ways in the future to work smarter and not harder. I am in the process of writing part II of my financial awakening where I talk about my biggest financial fail. Trading with student loan money during the 2008 financial collapse :-/

    Thanks for the read!
    Andrew recently posted…Swinging For the FencesMy Profile

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