Ok, so today I read this post by Joe about kids investing and I left a comment, etc… Well that post reminded me of a girl (can’t remember her name) I worked a short while with at the first company I worked for after graduating college.
In relation to what Joe wrote about I was reminded of how successful early investing was for her. She was already wealthy in her early 20’s and was so thankful her father “forced” her to invest while growing up. She paid cash for everything because she understood you don’t buy it til you have the money to pay cash. She didn’t have credit cards. She lived a comfortable lifestyle and it was paid for. She was teaching other people how to change their mindset about money, spending, and investing. I evidently wasn’t ready to apply what she was teaching because I’ve since had many struggles financially, but I did learn another important lesson from her.
Ironically this same girl taught me another important lesson. She was so savings minded that it seemed like a good idea to carpool. We were both driving 45 minutes one way from the same area to the same workplace, so why not ride together. It was just carpooling. The problem with it is I was engaged – to Shawna. I fell in to the trap of believing it was ok because there was no attraction and it was what it was – carpooling only. I guess I was somehow blinded by the thought of saving money on gas, and I had not been taught anything about the little things that lead to big mistakes in relationships. We carpooled a couple of times before I realized it wasn’t right.
What did it take for me to realize it wasn’t right? Well that girl who started out with innocent intentions started inviting me to have some drinks with co-workers. I would decline and wait til the weekends when Shawna would meet up with me (we had to live two hours apart for about 2 months when I started that job before we got married). Then one day the girl made a comment that I need to sow my wild oats. I thought she meant partying and drinking – which I was kinda over after college. I guessed that isn’t what she meant when she followed that statement with an invitation to hang out with her and one of her friends (another girl). The light finally came on in my head and I realized this girls intentions were no longer innocent. The carpool was headed down the wrong road so I got out.
Luckily the awkwardness ended shortly after that when she was transferred to another location. The good news is I look back on that and realize where I first learned that even something that seems harmless and innocent can lead to compromising situations we should never be in. I’m so glad I was able to recognize what was happening and end it, but some people don’t realize it until they’ve already made a huge mistake. The first mistake is usually one we consider harmless. We have to keep our guard up for even the smallest compromise if we want to prevent the bad ones from happening.