Turbo Monkey
Apr 8, 2006
New York City

October 20, 2010, 12:22 PM
Regrets? Yes. And Money Was the Root of Them All.
Earlier this week, Christine Haughney, who writes the weekly column The Appraisal, described efforts by developers to get back commissions they had paid to real estate agents for deals that later fell through. She asked readers to describe some financial decisions, or purchases, that they wish they could reverse. Some commenters took a very wide view of the question, to say the least. Here, only lightly edited, are our favorites:

I’d not have bought so many young women drinks.
— Spofford Torrington

I would have rented instead of buying in 2007. And what Spofford said.
— Brendan

I would not have bought shares of Kellogg. I was tempted by the high dividends, but there were far better options.
— Jingna

I regret not finishing the six months of college I had left to get my bachelor of science degree to marry a man who turned out to be gay, leaving me childless forever.
— South Park Snooki

I regret the very expensive and fashionable eyeglasses. They looked great on me for about five minutes. Something about the shape of the lenses, however, made the progressive quality of the lens hard to adjust to. Even worse, the temple pieces were straight with no curve for the ear, so they would not stay on my head. The thick frames made them impossible to adjust for my slightly misaligned ears. After two months of compliments and constant adjusting, they slid off of my face and under the wheels of a car.

Naïve in my 20s, I cashed out $12,000 in retirement savings to pay deposits and move-in fees for a new apartment. Had I left it there, it would have been worth about $200,000 at retirement. Oops!
— Aaron

Dumping my best boyfriend, at 27, and graduate school debt. … The split for those two events shows in the lines of my palms, forever. …
— m.honey

I would not have left my father’s deathbed at the insistence of JPMorgan Chase that I complete their annual budget projections before taking any more family leave. Even if they hadn’t laid me off a few months later. Some things are more important than money.

No joke. … I would never have gotten a master’s degree. … What a waste.
— Phil

Simple: I would never go to law school. What a complete waste of time and money. I’d have been MUCH better off learning an actual skill/trade that is actually in demand. Welding. Solar panel installation. Diesel mechanic. Whatever.
— Andrew M.

I would have never refinanced on a brownstone that was paid off and I inherited from my grandparents. Now I cannot keep up on the payments and I am afraid that it will go into foreclosure. I regret it every day!
— JB

Not spending enough, actually. Bought in Manhattan in the ’90s when interest rates were 8 percent. It felt great to refinance, but if I’d known how low rates would go I would have done whatever it took to buy an entire building. Too late now. …
— Diana

I bought oregano once. In Washington Square.
— Don

I regret every time I denied myself the smallest pleasure in order to put away money for retirement. Fortunately, I didn’t do it very often.
— rosalind

I have hurt people in my life. This and this alone constitutes my sole regret. I am shocked by the number of people writing here about so-called “missed” opportunities. We miss nothing. We do what we can do. But to have hurt people – not to have missed out of millions – that is the thing to regret.

— Rev. E.M. Camarena, PhD

Surprising how many people here regret going to law school. I once regretted that I went to the public law school run by NYC instead of a fancy one, but the result is that I had little debt when I got out, I make a comfortable living doing public interest law for poor people, and I’m very happy I became a lawyer. Anyone who goes into the kind of law that helps rich people screw the rest of society shouldn’t be surprised that they discard you when they’re finished using you.

I guess my only real regret is that I crashed & burned at several other careers before going to law school, but maybe that was also part of the process.

— Chris
28. October 22, 2010
10:34 am
I regret getting an archaeology degree. Now I’m working as a secretary, a pretty much dead-end, brain-atrophying job for me. I should have gotten a degree in something useful. But I chose what I loved. And now I can’t even do that.

— SP
29. October 24, 2010
5:11 pm
I regret not having been born very rich. that way, when i lost all my money, i would still have plenty left.

— judy, nyc
30. November 3, 2010
11:48 am
I regret flaunting the good things I had. When you have something good protect it, because sooner or later someone will get jealous and try to take it or ruin it.

I regret not shopping around more thoroughly for graduate schools.

I regret not studying philosophy, psychology and economics as an undergrad. Searching for the truth is important to everyday life, it’s not fluff.

— Karl, morningside heights
31. November 3, 2010
2:09 pm
I regret not going to nursing school right out of high school, like I wanted to but my Mom talked me out of it. I finally went to nursing school in my 40s, after completing a useless Master’s and PhD. Well, I am probably a more compassionate nurse now than I would have been back then. And the PhD still seems to impress people.

— JenofNJ
32. November 3, 2010
3:14 pm
I regret marrying the great looking guy instead of the simple guy who did nothing but fall in love with me… youth we make mistakes

— Gray
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Tool Time!
Feb 17, 2002
Nowhere Man!
Doing so many drugs and drinking way to much. I have nothing right now except a teamsters pension. I pissed it all away....


<b>WAY</b> Dumber than N8 (to the power of ten alm
Feb 21, 2008
I don't regret jerking off in my ex-mother-in-law's french toast.