Top 15 Blog Challenge: Austin Chapman

Editors note: We asked each of our Top 15 to tell us a story about a money-related blunder that they've made.

Let’s rewind the clock about 15 years…

The year is 1998, I’m eight years old and for the last three weeks my sole purpose in life has been getting a new action figure to replace Spiderman after the tragic sandbox incident. Clutching the hard earned ten dollars in my hand, my mind fantasizes about the SWEET action figure I’ll be able to buy with three weeks of hard work, blood, sweat and tears (emptying trash cans and walking the dog).

Upon reaching the toy isle, my eight year old brain takes about 10 seconds to decide on which lucky figurine will join the ranks back at home. After reassuring my Dad that YES- this WAS the one I wanted and NO- I didn’t need more time to think about it, we were checking out and on our way home. Impatiently ripping through the plastic wrap and twisty ties my excitement suddenly turned to horror as I realized the mistake I had made. Unlike the Spiderman who had come before, this action figure was the worst of them all. With ZERO bendy parts and no ability to clutch the cardboard sword that I had fashioned from old toilet paper tubes, this was just another useless toy that would soon find its way to the back of my closet.

Now while this may not seem to be the most important of life events, back then this was a HUGE mistake. By jumping the gun and not taking the necessary time to check out my options, I let my impatience get the best of me. It’s funny though that now that I’m 22 I STILL find myself making this mistake. However, instead of it being with action figures, it’s with new cell phones and other gadgets.

So next time you’re out shopping for the latest replacement phone or new gadget, take a second to reminisce on the mistake that I made when I was 8. Ask yourself… Are you smarter than a fifth grader?

Making financial mistakes since 1998,

Austin