How I Blew Through $100,000 Before I Turned 21

How I Blew Through $100,000 Before I Turned 21

Ballin'

Dollar by dollar, I managed to unload over $100,000 in less than three years. I am pretty sure I kept a few retailers in business and helped pay for a few mall fast food employees’ college tuition with the way I blew through my cash. Now, I did not earn any of this money, mind you. I actually received it in a lump sum at age 18.

How Did I Get It?

It’s actually a sad story how I received the money. At age 4, my father passed away from melanoma skin cancer. Unfortunately, he was not properly diagnosed resulting in a failure to catch the cancer before it had metastasized (entered his blood stream). By the time they figured it out, it was too late. I’m a little sparse on details, but some kind of law suit happened and money was put away for me in an annuity. I would receive this money at age 18, 21, 23, and 25.

I was also in a car accident just before I turned 18. My buddy and I were in his speedy little car on a small highway near my home. At least, that’s what I was told. I actually have no recollection of the accident and can’t remember anything up until 2 hours before it. My buddy was driving about 120MPH and decided to try and pass a car at this speed. The car tried to move out of the way, my buddy hit the brakes and turned the wheel and we ended up sideways on an embankment. The car flipped 6 times, each time landing on the roof on the passenger side. My head was compressed each time and the pressure exploded the vertebrae in my neck. My bones literally exploded from the pressure.

All I remember was waking up in the hospital, hooked to a bunch of wires and my neck was sore. It was an absolute miracle I was alive. I was just an eighth of an inch away from severing my lifeline in my spine. I was not paralyzed and didn’t even have to wear a halo neck brace. I was set for recovery in 3 months. During recovery, we resolved details of the settlement with the insurance company to recover money for damages (and future medical bills!).

What Did I Do With The Money?

At this point, I had close to $100k in the bank. A RIDICULOUS AMOUNT for an 18-year-old kid without much financial training and no plans after high school. I had no idea what a budget was, let alone how to save money for anything. Of course, the first thing I was going to do was to get a sweet ride! But instead, since I didn’t really know ANYTHING about cars at the time, I decided to get a two-seater low rider truck with tinted windows. It was the shiniest thing on the lot, so naturally I gravitated toward it and bought it quickly, because hey, I had the cash (I have since learned about cars and regret this decision). That’s $9500 gone in a day. And what’s a car without a bumpin’ stereo (don’t forget, I was a gangster)? So I went to a recommended car stereo shop and dropped $4,500 like it was nothing. Subwoofers, new speakers all around, and of course, a DVD player. I ended up hooking up my Xbox and Playstation 2 in the car, along with a rear-facing camera, black lights on the interior, and red underglow (to match the candy-red paint). Pretty much a baller. To top it off, I bought some hot 100-spoke 18″ rims (by hot, I don’t mean temperature).

I was in and out of Community College and then decided that school was for suckers (I was an idiot). But not before dropping about $4,000 getting a few credits. I did end up buying my mom a Cadillac for $4,000 for Christmas because her car was dying. That was kind of cool. And after playing a lot of HALO, I decided that I should probably go to school again. I enrolled in an art school, but only paid half the tuition and pulled out loans for the rest (though I had the money to pay it all). There’s another $16,000 gone. I decided I was going to take this seriously, because you know, I was going to be some famous music producer after school. So I quit my job and lived off my extra cash. At $1,500 a month for 18 months, that’s another $27,000 smackaroos down the drain.

And that’s all I remember spending my money on. Which is weird, because it doesn’t account for the other $35,000 THAT I SPENT SOMEWHERE?!?!?! Wow. I do remember eating a lot of mall food, buying a lot of clothes at Abercrombie (because I was now a rich, preppy kid and had to dress the part), and generally not looking at receipts. But I honestly could not tell you with any sort of accuracy where that $35k went off to. All I can fathom is that I help stimulate the economy for a few years and helped a few employees earn their commission for the month. UGH! I kind of feel sick every time I think about it.

Lessons Learned

Mostly, I learned that you should NEVER GIVE MONEY TO A KID WHO DOESN’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH IT! Heck, you shouldn’t give money to ANYONE who doesn’t know what they are doing with it. If you don’t set out a plan and set goals for your money, it will disappear faster than Britney Spears’ acting career. That’s why most lottery winners go broke within something like 5 years. They couldn’t manage their money before winning the lottery (evidenced by them buying lottery tickets) and the only thing that changes is now they have a ton more money to mismanage. I also learned that if you’re a spender, you should lock your money away where you can’t touch it until you have a solid plan. Luckily, I threw $10k in a Roth IRA so that money is still there today. I had also put $50k in CD’s earning about 5.5% (Oh, how I wish I could get that rate now). BUT, I had put a contingency on the account saying I could withdraw the money anytime I wanted without penalty. And withdraw I did!

It’s sickening to think about the interest I could have earned with an extra $100k in the bank for 8 years. I could have paid off half my house by now! Heck, I could have bought a rental home and started making some extra passive income. I could have at least bought a Toyota Supra Mk4 and had a real race car to show for the money! Well, looking back, it’s easy to see all the mistakes I made and regret not making different decisions, but there’s nothing I can do about it now. All I can do is appreciate any dollar that passes through my hands and make sure that I use them all THE RIGHT WAY from now on. Now that we have gotten on a good financial plan, I know exactly what I would do with $100k. Pay off debt ($15k), Max out our retirement accounts (401k $17k, Roth IRA’s $10k), start a college fund ($3k-ish), pay down our mortgage so we can refi (probably like $40k-ish), put $10k away for our job replacement fund (Mrs. iHB is now a stay-at-home mom, still working out the income loss), and go on an all-inclusive vacation to Jamaica ($5k). Woohoo!

Comments: Have you blown through a large sum of money? How do you feel looking back at all the money you have spent somewhere, but you have no idea where it went? What would YOU do with a cool extra $100k in you bank? Anyone want to help me lay 2000 bricks in a few weeks? I’ll pay you nothing and even play some Journey on my outdoor speakers (who doesn’t like Journey, amirite?)

 

Thoughts from Mrs. iHB:

Though that shiny red truck was a worthless investment it sure did get him noticed!  Only reason I started talking to him was because of that thing!  Now if “hot chicks” were on the top of his priority list at the time, he spent his dollars wisely ;)  What 17-year-old girl doesn’t want to date a baller??  If not for those black lights and bumpin’ bass, I’m not sure where we’d be today ;)  But seriously, he has a good personality too…it’s not all about the money….

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Comments

  1. Wow, that’s quite a yarn! Your right: Money + Immaturity = Disaster. This doesn’t compare to your story (but then I didn’t have $100k at my disposal or it might), but the summer before I went to college I bought a 1963 Cadillac Eldorado convertible, red with white leather seats. It got 9 mpg and required premium gasoline. As your wife notes, the girls loved it! I did smarten up enough to sell it before heading off to school.

    • Nice ride! Yes, we all have a tendancy to blow insane amounts of cash if we have never been taught the value of handling money properly. Bummer is, if I have listened to some Dave Ramsey when I was in high school, things would be MUCH different now, seeing as I had access to $100k at a young age.

    • A crazy and captivating story indeed! It had me going through all the emotions from sadness to hear about your father, through to banging my fist against my forehead when reading about the car. Although I think this is a stage most young guys go through, including myself of course, the only difference being no $100k sitting in the bank!

      It’s a real shame there is no formal financial education at schools, at least there wasn’t when I was a pup. I think if someone told me about investing, and compound interest when I was 18 I’d be a lot better off now, but you never know I guess!
      theFIREstarter recently posted..2014 AspirationsMy Profile

      • Yeah, I think most boys cannot handle that amount of money at that age….and I proved it!

        One of my goals is to create and implement a simple, effective financial course for high school students. Dave Ramsey has a great one, but I have a bit of a different approach. That’s in the 5-year plan for sure.

  2. Whoa, that’s a pretty crazy story. Sure, I blew through 100k in 3 years once, when we purchased our condo and the market dropped like a rock. :) Oh well, that’s life. We just have to learn from our experience and keep going. If I have an extra 100k now, I’ll put it in my dividend stock account to increase the dividend payout.

    • Bummer about the condo. My house is underwater as well, but I don’t really care because we’re not moving anytime soon :) Dividend stocks are something I REALLY want to do some more research on and get into once my income is up enough. Passive income is the way to go!

  3. Jake,
    Your story is insane and wild at the same time.
    I’ve never came close to that kinda money, but I’m a glad I didn’t either.

    • Haha! It was an interesting ride. I worked during some of that time, but then quit work to go to school. I honestly don’t remember where a ton of that money went, probably because I had no appreciation for it. I didn’t earn it, per se, so it left just as quickly as it came.

  4. It’s one of the times I am fortunate not to have that much money. I’ve always just had enough to pay my bills. I’m sorry to hear about the causes for getting that money, but happy that you learned your lesson.

    • I hope the lessons learned can be passed onto as many people possible. I am actually really excited to teach my kids about money and help them build appreciation for what we DO have instead of taking it for granted.

  5. I never came close to that amount of money but I remember getting “extra” money back from school. It wasn’t extra as it actually paid my rent/utilites as I lived off campus but the bad part is that I was working full time through school and should have started paying back my student loans. Instead, I blew through money like it was nothing.

    • All of my college roomates did the same thing. You pay it back one way or another! But getting money back from school (aka, extra loan money) for some reason feels like free money and is almost imposible to hang on to. Now you know better and you can inform others how to avoid your mistakes, which is what I hope to do here as well!

  6. I feel like when money is tough to come by as a kid, any windfall as an adult will be spent in a flurry of “rewarding ourselves.” That’s what happened to my paychecks after college. Very interesting story. This leads you to one of the other most important personal finance lessons: we can’t obsess about bad decisions in the past, we can only move forward and sunk costs be damned!

    • True that! Though it sometimes hurt a little when thinking about the potential of this money, there’s no turning back. I have to take the lessons learned and know that if I ever get my hands on $100,000 again I can take those lessons learned and apply them. Though I do miss having all that bass in my car!

  7. I have not blown 100K in a year, but I have blown some amount during my year stint at university. Sure, I got a Bachelor’s and Master’s. But sometimes I wonder where all the money went apart from rent. Did I really spend that much on food? One of the reasons why I started my blog was to motivate myself to track our expenses and savings goals. It’s wonderful that the PF community is strong! It definitely motivates me to be better!

    • I hear you. Not knowing where $35k of my money went baffles me to no end. I can’t imagine spending over $1k a month on eating out!! But, alas, the money is gone. I’m so glad to now be on a budget and rockin’ the frugal lifestyle. Us thrifters have more fun, anyways!

  8. Ahhhh, the post I’ve been waiting for! Commenting now BEFORE I read, and will come back and comment again :)

  9. You two are hilarious — great story, and great lessons. I’m sorry you had to be the bad example!

    You gave a little glimpse into your current (and recent) financial decisions here… I’d love to hear more about the way you’ve chosen to manage your money in terms of buying a house, having debt, and moving to one income. Future post on “How to Not Put Your Life on Hold Because of Student Loans”? :)

    • Brynna, great to see you here! Thanks for the encouragement! I’ll definitely be walking people through our buying decisions. House, Car, moving to one income. And I’ll make sure to give a snapshot of where we were at with debt, income and expenses. There are definitely things I would advise other NOT to do, but I will also challenge the concept of not having enough money to buy a home!

      Also, I’ve added your blog to my feed reader. I’ll be dropping by :)

  10. Jacob, I’m back!

    First and foremost, I am HAPPY YOU ARE ALIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m also happy you are not paralyzed or anything. You must think about how fortunate you are almost every single day! That experience is probably going to make you never take anything for granted and make you a big success!

    That is interesting how you cannot recollect where the $35K went. But alas, that is the cost of living since you didn’t have a job.

    Will you be coming into equal sums of money at 21, 23, 25? I donno how old you are. The money got you your truck, which got you your wife, which got you your baby. I’d say that was $100K well spent!!

    Best,

    Sam

    • I am definitely happy to be alive. It’s weird, you would have thought I learned my lesson, but I honestly didn’t really care and was out partying in my neckbrace, doing stupid stuff again. It really took a while for it to sink in that it was an absolute miracle that I was alive.

      I did receieve the other sums of money (I am now 26) and that was more productive. Paid for a wedding, ring and honeymoon. Paid off all my debt, helped buy a house, built up savings for my wife to quit work. It didn’t pay for everything, and getting on a budget has really enabled us to get where we are now, but I was able to use it for much more productive things rather than Mt. Dew and video games.

      Having my wife and baby are definitely worth every impractical penny I spent on that ridiculous truck. BTW, that is a real picture of the truck I owned. I wish I had a pic at night with the underglow on, haha!

      Thanks for dropping by Sam!

      • Not bad at all man. Well, imagine if you didn’t go through this process. Maybe you would have never learned and woken up one day at age 50 with nothing! Hence, I see this experience as an absolute positive!

        • I can’t dwell on the mistakes, I can only learn from them and move on. Once it was gone, it was definitely a wake-up call. That, and getting engaged without a budget. That was a little scary!

  11. Awesome story Jacob. I wonder how many kids in that position are actually able to resist that kind of temptation. Unless you were raised with extremely strong financial values, that is just a green light to have some fun and live the high life. Your truck sounds like it’s pretty sweet though. So it’s not as if you have nothing to show for it. I guess we have a somewhat similar background. I blew through at least that money in about the same time frame, but it was from website income. So it was that sudden windfall where you can pay for everything with cash. It’s amazing how much money can disappear just from a lot of eating out, drinking and partying. Add in a nice vehicle and you wonder where the money all went.

    • For reals! I didn’t have any real financial training except “pay for your cars with cash”. OK, no problem! What I didn’t think about was keeping any of that money. It’s like the money had some kind of cooties and I needed ot get it our of my hands as soon as possible! WHO NEEDS COOTIES?! I did have some fun times annoying old people at traffic lights with that truck :) . I don’t have the truck anymore, I ran out of money and had to sell it to pay rent. That’s when my money ride was over and reality hit, hard!

  12. Wow! I thought I was terrible when I ran through $2500 worth of student loans in one month that were supposed to last four months! You definitely know how to make me feel better.

    I always play the “if I had 100k” game or “if I won the lottery” game. All I can think of is paying down my student loans, investing, and getting a new car. I’d blow through that money in 30 seconds flat.

    I know nothing about laying bricks, call me when you need electrical work. Journey music is all the incentive I need.

    • I’m glad my misery can lift others up. THANKS A LOT! Totally j/k :) . I think paying off debt, investing and a new vehicle are reasonable things to want if you had some cash. I know I’d do the same.

      We need to run power out to the corner of our yard for hanging patio lights, so let me know how to do that. iheartbudgets @ gmail

      Thanks for dropping by!

  13. We always say at the office that money can do good things or money can do very bad things: http://www.myjourneytomillions.com/articles/money-can-do-good-things-money-can-do-bad-things/

    First time to the site so I have to ask – how old are you now? What payments do you have left? also do you have that “sweet” ride still?

    • Money can definitely do good and bad things. Like the Biblical saying that everyone messes up “the LOVE of money is the root of all KINDS of evils.” But there are many generous wealthy people who do great things with their money as well.

      I am 26 years old. We have about $15k in student loans and a ginormous house payment :)

      Had to sell the sweet ride to pay rent. Yea, things went bad pretty quick once the money ran out. Now I’m Ballin’ on a Budget! ;)

  14. Your story is redonkulous. I’ve encountered several kids in your position and most of them end up spending around 2k/week at Walmart. What on Earth are they buying?

    With the way you explained it, it’s easy to see how a windfall can quickly disappear.

    • Wow, at WALMART?! That’s a lot of camo pants and….nm, I won’t go there. But yes, you can definitely blow cash in a hurry without a good plan. I had no plan, so that was even worse. I guess I could call it “how fast can I spend this money and not know where it went” plan…hmmmm…

  15. If I ever get any sort of large sum of cash from family, or anything else in my life, I will make sure to do what you said, Set goals. $20,000 in a CD for a few years might be the smartest thing, while we think about what we want to do with the money. Placing that money in a checking account is the last thing I want to do. Thanks for the advice.

    • Yes, having that much liquid cash without a plan is disasterous! Sure, it may be a fun disaster, but when your tornado of “spend until my debit card magnetic strip stops working” spree is over, it’s quite a mess picking up the pieces. But that’s partly how I ended up here, so I can help people avoid making the same mistakes I did. That’s why I display them publicly to be mocked and have rotten tomotoes thrown at them (or something…I think I’m getting dizzy…)

  16. Yikes! What an interesting story… I think the most amount of money I spent in one transaction was $1,000 and that was on my wedding dress. Haha.
    If I had $100K in my bank account at 18 I am sure I would have nothing to show for it now.

    Most importantly, a lesson was learned! :-)

    • A lesson was definitely learned. If I ever impart money to my childred (I hope I do), there will be much training beforehand and probably a few more strings attached than I had.

  17. Loved your wife’s comments. I may or may not have fallen for a tanning-bed-on-wheels or two in the day. I’ve never had an inheritance or any rich, generous relatives.

    • Haha! It totally works :) . I am a pretty lucky guy that she stuck with me, though, because our fisrt date was HORRIBLE! I was a rich cheapskate (more on that later). I have since changed my ways, and I’m a broke, generous husband, lol :)

  18. What a terrible story! Not how you told it, but the circumstances surrounding your gain and loss of the money! Glad to hear you’re alive! I work with car accidents a lot and you are right about the possibility of injury. Anyways, you’re right – a kid should not be given this much money. I would have probably blown through it the same way. And not the way I would today!

    The extra bit from the Mrs is great!

  19. Wow…what a story! It is easy to let large amounts of money slip away just on day-to-day lifestyle choices. It really adds up quickly. Even if you are experienced with financial budgets, getting a lump sum of money can cause you to relax your standards.

    When you were a teenager, who do you think you would have listened to for financial advice? Your mom, friends or a class at school? There are lots of opinions about where financial education should come from. Curious to know what you think since you had such a large amount at such a young age.

    • I think if there was someone who was just a little bit older (maybe my older brother) who had done smart things with their money, I would liten to them. Parents, I wasn’t a reat listener at that point. Friends were all broke or their parents were rich, so I couldn’t relate. I guess it would need to be someone who could show me the benefits of managing money well because they, themseleves, had already done it.

  20. Wow, what an intense story. Too bad there weren’t other strings attached to the money to help you manage it better. Glad that you’re doing well now though!

    • I know. My parents trusted me to handle it well. My mom did help me get in to the Roth IRA (which is awesome), and I put $50k away in CD’s, but we then left a contingency on those CD’s that I could withdraw at any time without penalty. Basically, we left the back door cracked open, and I decided to bust in and raid the place!

  21. So funny story. I dated a guy who drove a truck like that… thats the only reason we dated. I also went through my car phase where I spent an obscene amount of money on my stereo, speakers, amp, and subs. Yes, I was that girl. I’m sure I’ve spent close to $80-90k somewhere over the last 10 working and I have no idea where it went.

    • Those trucks seem to work, haha! I loved having a sweet stereo, so I understand the “sound investment”. It’s a bummer when you look back to when you didn’t have a budget and realize you have no idea where a large sum of money went. But at least you’re on track now, that’s all that matters!

  22. Jacob… You Are my inspiration… I know the past was rough but you are a better man now because of it. Ryan and I are so grateful for the love and advice you provide us with.you are a hard working father and husband and I just want you to know I love you and I’m so proud of the man you have become.

  23. Wow what a story. I don’t even want to tell you how I blew 169K. If I did I might get a whole different response. Congrats for sharing a great story and the lesson learned.

  24. Wow.. that is quite the story! I laughed out loud at the gangster part. That’s a lot of money to blow through, but it looks like you learned your lesson. The most I ever blew through was like $7K in my first year of college on food, bars, and clothes. Of course I had a credit card that I shouldnt’ have had and it took me SO LONG to pay it off.

    • Ahhh, credit cards in college. Definitely a recipe for disaster. I seriously want to teach a class to high school students on how to use a credit card. Have them get on a budget, plan to save money through college, and earn rewards with credit cards for Spring Break travel and stuff. But, it could backfire and I could be leading students to a life of debt….hmmm…

  25. I’ve never had that much money to blow. At one time I had a serious gambling habit and if I’d had $100,000 to blow I’m sure it would have been blown.

    • I’m glad I didn’t gamble, ever! My money would have been even more worthless. I think it’s a good thing to not have as much money when you’re younger so you can learn how to manage it first. But most adults can’t handle money either, so I guess it’s a wash.

  26. That’s a crazy story! I blew through a couple grand my first year of college on random crap like clothes and junk food. I’m sure if I’d had 100k my story would have been similar to yours!

    If I had 100k now I would put a nice down payment on a house! One can dream right?

    • Dream away! It’s weird, because Mrs. iHB and I were talking last night, and me blowing $100k is a normal thing to us. It’s part of our story, so it’s not really a big deal. But I guess it’s out of the norm.

      Based on the comments, though, most people have blown through some sum (see what I did there?) of money that could have been used better elsewhere. That’s why I think financial education is so important. I wish Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University was a requirement for gradutating high school, not my stupid “senior project”.

  27. Ouch! But glad you came to your senses! And I am glad you now know how to handle the next big payments a little less crazily.

    We made a crappy $15k investment in 2007 and lost it all in a friend’s business. It sucked but didn’t kill us.

    As for your other question, if we had $100k extra in the bank right now, I would pay off our current house with $25k, invest $25k in the stock market, max out our two Roth IRAs for 2012 with $10k, make sure our cash padding is at $20k, and put anything left to the new mortgage of the house we are having built that we will be closing on in September. I cannot wait until the day we will be completely mortgage free and able to live on like $30,000 a year super happily…

    • Are you still friends with that person? I imagine that put a strain on the relationship!

      Sounds like you have a plan for your next big scratch ticket win! And congrats on the house. You’d better post pics when it’s done!

  28. Wow Jake I like this post and it get me thinking about how do we teach our kids to deal with money? I don’t think its realistic to prepare a child for a windfall as you experienced but I think planting values about money early on would have been helpful in this case. If I was to look at our family as a whole I don’t know if we all have any strong influences or examples of how to manege money? let alone someone pulling us aside and giving us the 411 on investments etc. I know my parents put most of there savings toward real estate and its been a pretty good payback for them so I used their example and did the same thing and put all my my extra cash into real estate and actually we have never sold a property for a loss in all of that time but 2 of the 3 properties we currently own have lost considerable value but we hope to see that change in the next few years if we hold on to them. I think you were young and most of us might have done the same things you did but I think it goes back to the lack of examples you had in dealing with money. I look back at some of the decisions I made in the last few years like buying a Corvette, a new truck ( making my last payment on that sucker in Sept $570 a month ouch ) getting Anne a new Tahoe when we had 2 cars paid off and traded them in and picked up a $ 500+ a month payment. Stuff like that I think was stupid or maybe keeping up with the Jones played into that? We were making crazy incomes during that time some years over 200K. I got to say all that stuff did not make me happy as a result we ended up here in AZ with less but happy!. It also helps to have a good women as Anne and I are great together 22 years! I know you have a good women so you will be a powerful team and I think that is what it takes. Anyway I don’t know if my story helps or even has a point but I wanted to get in on this thread. Jake thanks for your post, I think is great to see you moving ahead in such a positive direction and I love IHB so keep it coming, ps still waiting for that spreadsheet.

    • Joe, thank you for that. You’re totally right, we definitely need to instill the right values and attitude towards money early so our kids have a chance to make wise decisions as soon as they start earning money. Our family hasn’t ben the greatest example of managing money, but you can learn from good AND bad examples, so I have definitely done that. I know you guys were rockin’ it here for a few years, but I’m glad that you found yourself in a place that makes you happy with less.

      Thanks for reading, I’ll keep the heat comin’ here at iHB!

      and DOH!, I totally need to get you the spreadsheet ASAP. I started building it but got sidetracked with projects. I’ll get it to you in the next week.

  29. I think most teenagers, upon receiving 100K, would spend it. I think once you say, “I’m just going to buy myself this..” it leads to more spending—”just one more thing…”

    • Spending can be like any other vice. Once you say “just one more” you’ve already lost the game. I think having a plan in place can help detour impulsive spending and get your excited to do something more productive with your cash. i definitely didn’t have a plan, as evidenced by me blowing through so much money in a short amount of time.

  30. Wow, you were lucky that you weren’t paralyzed from the accident! And hey, if the $100K resulted in you marrying your wife, then it’s not ALL bad news ….

  31. At the age of 20, I received 113k for an accident I was in 4 years beforehanded. I blew it all within 10 months. I gave my mother 15 and she burnt it in 6 mths.

    It went to eating out, not working for 4 months and trying my hand at poker, a couple of trips and some gadgets.

    I’m back working now, trying to get rid of the bad eating habit I’ve managed to pick up.

    If I could go back I would’ve spent the money on learning how to make real money, and use some for the idea I have now.

    You live and learn. The worst thing would be to live it and not learn and set yourself up for another disaster.

  32. Veronica @ Pelican on Money says:

    I know I’m really late to comment on this but after reading your story all I could say is “Wow!” I’ve never heard anything similar happening to anyone and reading about your accident I just couldn’t believe it. I’m really happy you made it though, even if you blew the money. Hey, kids are kids and things like that happen but it’s not the end of the world. I sort of know how you feel – last year I blew threw $130,000 of my own money. I got really lucky in the affiliate marketing industry but never learned how to manage money and there it went. Poof! Have to start over new from somewhere, so here I am. I look forward to reading your blog!

  33. That is some story you have there! Great learning experience if nothing else.
    Savvy Scot recently posted..Scottish Insolvencies Rise – How does this compare with the rest of the UK?My Profile

  34. This is a great story! now I have a story for you. Click the following link and read how i saved $100000 before I was 21 Years old!
    http://www.expandingmoney.com/100-000-before-the-age-of-21/
    Mark Herdman recently posted..$100 000 before the age of 21My Profile

  35. Raphaella says:

    What about 2 Million Euros?
    Don’t feel bad.
    I know a similar case: my cousin lost her parents on a car accident at the age of 15.
    She then moved to the best orphanage of the country that honestly better than any 5 star hotel I know. I had no idea that there was such a thing.
    She was extremely stupid, always spreading rumours, lying about everything to anyone, always manipulating people against each other and not thankful at all. The only thing she wanted was men. Any men.
    She had about 2 million € in the bank she would inherite at the age of 18, so she did. She always did very poorly at school and when she left the orphanage right after she turned 18 she had no plans for the future in her head.
    She disappeared, no one knew where she was but I was sure she’d call again as soon as she’d blow up the entire fortune, and so did she: 6 months later she was completely broke: no house, no money, no education, no “friends”, no NOTHING!
    She tried to borrow money from everyone “Just a couple of thousand of Euros”, like she always said.

    Btw 2 million Euros are over 2 600 000 American Dollars. How did she manage to blow up that much money in 6 months? Partying, lots of new “boyfriends”, but most of all she was increadibly stupid, had no plan in her head, no parents to tell her what to do and unfortunatelly too much money and time on her hands. She spent the whole money on parties and each guy she slept with got a sportscar: at least one Ferrari, a Porsche, a Maserati and others. Also part of the money was spent on vacations and the nicest resorts in the world – mostly for her “boyfriends” either.
    At the age of 22 she is BROKE, lives with several roommates, and has crapy jobs one after the other, but she always ends up being fired because she doesn’t hates anything that resembles work. If she doesn’t pay the rent she’ll end up on the streets

    Yet she still thinks she is the cleverest person in the world and that everyone is gonna “lend” her as much money as she wants, since she keeps trying, always with a new story to support it. Some people believe her and lend her the money. She always gives it away to men immediately, even though she is broke, and never pays back. The men who dumped her and keep dumping her are the men she offers all the money she can put her hands on.

    Don’t feel bad. I am sure you are not like that. As long as you don’t have a psychiatric condition like I am sure she does.

    Good luck for you.

  36. Jacob, Rick and I too were making great money when we first got married 17 years ago. We blew it ALL, got in and out of debt several times before waking up and smelling the coffee. We are now on our journey out of a boat load of debt. Just be glad you woke up before you were in your 40′s. :-)
    Laurie @thefrugalfarmer recently posted..Why We Blew a Hole in Our Entertainment Budget this MonthMy Profile

    • lad to hear that you’ve seen the light, and are now on the path to financial peace! I truly am blessed to have learned so much at a young age, and hope I can help others do so as well! :)

  37. Best post I’ve read all month. Way to put it all out there and share my man – sorry I’m late to the party! :)

    • Hah! Thanks J$. It was interesting to write, and hopefully serves as a warning to all those who have some money in the bank. It won’t last long without a plan.

  38. What a story! Thanks for sharing.

  39. First of all, I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your father and the other misfortunes that resulted in your “windfall.”

    Secondly … wow, what a story.

    While you did spend $100K before you turned 21, I think you can rest assured that you put some of it towards “good” stuff. The car that you bought wasn’t too too expensive — yes, it had too many bells and whistles, but its not like you bought a brand-new BMW or anything — and you probably were able to drive it for many years or decades into the future. And you were able to get an education without incurring student loan debt. Plus you saved 10 percent in a Roth IRA. So you should be proud of all those accomplishments.
    Mary Anne @ BillGuard recently posted..Four Tips For Avoiding Surprise Charges On Your Credit CardMy Profile

    • Thanks Mary Anne. Not everything I bought as a complete waste, but I was. I spent money not thinking about long-term value or even thinking past the weekend! I got lucky that I didn’t get into MAJOR debt. I did pull out $16k in student loans, but paid the other $16k cash for school. At least those are gone now :) The Roth was the only move I can say was a long-term thing that is still here today.

  40. I had something similar…I was in a car accident when I was 4 and received about $20,000 when I was 18. Then I went to Iraq for 2 years and had minimal bills and a nice tax free income. Somehow blew through it all in a year by shopping for clothes, car, furniture, nights out with friends…too much at once, too fast. I wish someone would have waited to give me that money until about now at 27!

  41. Well, it’s good to know I’m not alone. In February this year I had $100,000 from a major car accident 5 years ago. I was in the back seat, broke my jaw in 9 places, nose in two, both lungs collapsed, piece of glass in my chin (which almost killed me), 6 vertebre out of place, all 8 front teeth knocked out and a concussion. So I got 100k 5 years later, I had a plan though.

    I’m a rapper/producer/designer and have been for 13 years. I had planned to buy a cheap house, all the studio and production equipment necessary, and have 10k set aside to release my album plus have money to go to performance school. Instead I got a 2012 dodge avenger, and invested 35k in a pizza place on the U of I campus (Drew’s Pizzeria). I invested because I was scared of not having a back up plan, and Jose B. convinced me he could make this work. I still had some money to do some of what I wanted and looked at houses.

    However I was dating a girl, who is dead to me now. I took her on a trip to Memphis Tennessee for a music festival (Memphis in May). At the end of this trip (long story short) she got fucked up and destroyed our hotel room. We ALL got arrested for felony vandalism, even though all of us (her included) told the police it was her doing. I spent a week in Memphis jail, spent 19K getting everyone out of jail, and because she was on a green card (she had been in the country since a little girl) she would be deported and never see her friends or family again. So I got the charges lowered to a misdemeanor, and took her charge for her. Two days after I get out of jail this bitch leaves me and takes a bus back to Champaign, Illinois. I’ve been through some bad breakups, but this is a mindfuck. (Now because I took her charge my background check comes up with vandalism even though I’m innocent)

    So, I get back to town, only to find out that the guy I invested in with the pizza place, decided to try to fuck me over and say I had no equity in the business. (he was also on the verge of being deported until I stepped in and gave him the opportunity to run his own business. We were friends, and it was a verbal agreement being drafted on paper.) He went back on his side of the deal and refused to let me help him run the business the entire summer. He turned the “Investment” into a “personal loan” so he owes me 35 grand. However he ran the place into the ground. He decided to do a “tits for pizza” promotion that hit the newspapers nationwide a couple weeks ago and has the entire world calling his place the “worst pizza place in Champaign, Illinois”.

    He is suppose to be making monthly payments to me, but he just missed his payment and is trying to sell the business out from under me. And my lawyer said there isn’t much we can do because of the nature of our verbal agreement. I have no leverage at this point.

    Now, only 9 days before my 21st birthday I have NO money, my car just got impounded because I took out a title loan to pay bills thinking I was getting money back from people who owed me, I’m basically homeless, no phone, and the financial stress has taken a huge toll on my health. I’m so mad at myself for letting so many people take advantage of me, and disrespect me so deeply. I’m usually a very positive person. I’ve never been this depressed or lost in my life. I was expecting to release my album around my birthday and make it the best birthday I’ve ever had. Now I’m pretty sure it will be the worst. I’m 21, homeless, jobless, carless, phoneless, broke, with a lot of wasted talent.

    I have one of the craziest stories anyone could ever tell, but I’m not sure that in the end at this point, any of it was worth it. I can’t believe helping people hurt me so bad. I let myself stray so far away from my gameplan, it’s like I never had a plan to begin with. Don’t get me wrong, I partied a lot and spent my fair share, but in the end my x, and a deadbeat pizza maker deprived me of over 50 thousand dollars in less than 2 weeks. There were many other people who I helped along the way including my father who I loaned $3700 in march and he hasn’t paid me a penny since. If anyone wants to send me some birthday money I would probably cry. I’m glad I’m not the only one who went through a similar experience. Only mine lasted about 6 months, not 3 years. If anyone has any advise as to where to start or how to make things turn around I’m all ears. The new name of my album is called “Wasted Talent”. Very fit for this situation. You can download/listen to a couple of my songs at http://www.soundcloud.com/mysterrenaissance

    Thanks for reading, I left out a lot of detail, but I would be here for days telling you everthing. I guess just wait until I reveal it all in my music.

    Rick (Myster Renaissance)

    • Wow! Rick, I’m so sorry to hear about everything that’s happened man. My brother also blew through a LOT of money (close to $100k), and most of it was people taking advantage of him. He also ended up homeless by 21, so I know it can be really hard to deal with everything that’s going on. Honestly, the biggest thing that pulled him out of his rut was finding a good church and group of people that supported him and helped him get back on his feet.

      You’ve got a good head on your shoulders, and I know you’re going to have a tough time trusting others right now, don’t blame you in the slightest. But you’ve learned a very important lesson at a young age. NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR MONEY MORE THAN YOU DO. And though it’s all gone right now, it won’t be forever (trust me). All you can do is start now and put together a plan, not only to make some cash, but a plan on how to use it even when the smallest amounts come in.

      As someone who did hip-hop for a while, played half a dozen shows, and tried selling my music, I know it’s TOUGH. And honestly, it’s not where you should be looking to make money right now (unless you’ve already got steady business). Here’s what I would do:

      First, I suggest writing off any debt people owe you right now. DO NOT COUNT ON THAT MONEY. I loaned out over $10k, and never saw it back. I could be bitter, but instead, I let it go, and my life is better for it. I don’t have time to let someone else affect my life that greatly.

      Next I would find a place to crash for a while. I know it’s not that easy, but if you can find someone you actually trust and who won’t take advantage of you (like I said, church folk are incredibly generous in this regard), find a place to stay and start new.

      Next, I’d use all the energy you can muster to find employment. Even if it’s fast food. You need to start somewhere, and getting some steady income is going to not only help put food on the table, but will lift your spirits a bit, trust me.

      In the meantime, please read through my budgeting basics, and come up with a plan for your money before you even get a job. Prioritize shelter and food first, and then savings right after that. You will have the urge to just blow it, I know this. You have been robbed of a LOT of money and been through a LOT of painful events, but blowing money on crap will not fix that hurt.

      I hope you can see that your life just hit the reset button. You are staring up from the bottom of a deep pit, but there’s a way up and a way out man. And write about this. Express this in your music, and tell your story, no holds barred. Don’t hold onto the bitterness, but let it go, because it will only eat at you. Forgiveness is a powerful thing here, and you can forgive those who took advantage without ever having to reconcile with them. Forgiveness takes one person, and that’s you. Don’t let these memories and people control your life, but let them be a reminder to you. Bitterness only hurts you, it’s doesn’t affect them at all. So just start working down the path of forgiveness while you pull yourself together and know that you have a full life ahead of you!

      Again, I’m sorry to hear about all these tragedies, but I know you’ve got something great ahead of you. It’s going to be CRAZY HARD for a while, but don’t give up brother!

      Thanks for sharing here.

  42. Wow, and I thought burning through $10,000 of scholarship money daytrading dot com stocks was foolish (huhuhuhuh college… 1999 rocked!).

    I call losing that $10,000 my tuition at the school of investing. Not sure what to call $100,000? Most expensive course in budgeting ever? :)
    Justin @ RootofGood recently posted..The Cost of Being a HoarderMy Profile

  43. I watched $100k go away in a day in 2000. That’s when the dot com bubble blew up. I was invested in some hot momentum stocks and tech mutual funds. I thought I could time the market. My SEP IRA reached a high of $860k in 1999. It hit a low of $140k in 2002. Shortly after that, I found the diehards forum on Morningstar.com (now on bogleheads.org) with their mantra of low-cost index funds, proper asset allocation, and stay the course. I am much happier with my investment returns now. :-)
    Bryce @ Save and Conquer recently posted..Carnival of Financial Camaraderie – October 5, 2013My Profile

  44. I got to this “oldie but a goodie” post from your post today on breaking up with your financial planner, and I’m so sorry to read about you learning this lesson in such a difficult way. But rest assured, I will direct my clients to this post when they consider setting up trusts or annuities for their kids that mature at 18 years old! It seems like you would have benefited from a few more years of experience before that annuity matured.
    Rebecca @ Stapler Confessions recently posted..Our $20 Christmas TreeMy Profile

    • Yes, 18 was too young for me. That being said, there is something to be said for kids who have some maturity and financial knowledge who may be able to handle this sum of money. But honestly, for most, it would NOT be a good idea.

      • I am 23 years old. I was involved in a accident and broke a bone in my talus. Wasent able walk for months. I will be geting a settlement around 100k. I had a friend blow through 80k. I dont want this happen to me. I wanna put money on a house and idk what do with the rest. Please and advice or a short plan you can give me??

        • I’m about to inherit over $100,000. I’ve been reading this thread with interest! I feel newly educated. Thanks!

  45. I can TOTALLY relate to this post! My father died when I was 20, and I received an inheritance of over $250K. It lasted me a lot longer, until I was about 35, but I blew through a lot of it all the same, and I regret it. Some expenses I don’t regret – about $50K in undergraduate college expenses (my parents stopped paying my expensive private school tuition once I received money), and my graduate school tuition. I was able to put a good down payment on our house, and put money into a college account for my kids. I am also glad I got my Lasik surgery – the 14 years without buying glasses has paid for the surgery. Regrets: I also bought the cool car (a Mustang) and frittered a lot away on misc retail crap expenses.
    Through my 20′s, I was actually doing okay with the rest of the money, until I decided to stay home with my kids. I didn’t make the necessary adjustments to my income, and vastly underestimated how much of a shortfall we were in every month. I also stayed home too long, and then trusted the rest of my money to a shady financial advisor who proceeded to decimate my account with frequent trades and fees. I still remember the first time I got a credit card bill and I didn’t have the money to pay it off in full.
    I am now 40 and I have recovered, mostly, from my mistakes, but I can’t help feeling that I could have been in much better financial shape now, even being able to retire in a few years.

    • It’s sobering to look back, but it’s also the past. Which means you can make a commitment from hear on out to make better financial choices and rebuild your wealth. I’m sorry to hear about being ripped off and going through most of the money, trust me, I know what that’s like. But the positives are awesome here. Staying at home with kids, No school debt, a house and great eyesight are VERY GOOD financial moves. :)

Trackbacks

  1. [...] out from under me, I felt like I was being scammed. Though, that’s didn’t stop me from blowing $100,000 before I turned age 21 (UGH! Don’t remind [...]

  2. [...] hard for your money. Or, at least I hope you do. If you are stealing money, scamming people or just inherited $100,000, then you’ll most likely blow it anyways. But for those of us that really value a hard-earned [...]

  3. [...] money that ended up taking care of us for years to come (I even received an inheritance from it and blew it all). But if that law suit never came, the money to care for us would not be there, and my mother would [...]

  4. [...] over at I Heart Budgets blew through $100,000 before he was 21 like a rock star.  I remember having jack shit between the [...]

  5. [...] can definitely drain your cash supply faster than Justin Bieber running from the paparazzi. After blowing through my inheritance, I had to really scale back my spending; otherwise I would end up in more debt than I already had. [...]

  6. [...] How I Blew Through $100,000 Before I Turned 21 - iHeartBudgets [...]

  7. [...] 6 months. Unfair, isn’t it? But let’s look at what really happened here. A kid who had blown through $100,000 before he turned 21 kept his same disregard for finances and racked up $23,000 in debt in just another year and a half. [...]

  8. [...] money that ended up taking care of us for years to come (I even received an inheritance from it and blew it all). But if that lawsuit never came, the money to care for us would not be there, and my mother would [...]

  9. [...] Of course, the easy answer is I’m trying to generate more passive income since I suffer with a quest to want more…and even more.  Perhaps I just want to leave a real estate legacy for my son. But what the hell for? I’ve already established a financial legacy. In the event of my death, I have a pretty substantial life insurance policy for him to inevitably blow, just like iheartbudgets blew through $100,000 before the age of 21. [...]

  10. [...] How I Blew Through $100,000 Before I Turned 21 [...]

  11. [...] budget. I was able to calm her down, let her know I was not judging her at all and assure her that I had wasted much more money than she ever [...]

  12. [...] Have you ever gotten to the end of the month and realized you spent WAY too much money on food? Or maybe you can’t seem to find where your paycheck went? I’ve been there more times than I would like to admit, and really, until I started budgeting every month, that was the norm. I would drop a good $600 a month on fast food. I would look at my bank account and make sure I had just enough money to cover the bills. And I was always broke (well, except for the short period of time when I was ballin’ with my $100,000). [...]

  13. [...] know, I know, such a thing doesn’t exist. But at age 18, I don’t recommend handing over $100,000 to your kid and letting him have card blanche on where it goes. Suffice to say, having my bank account balance [...]

  14. [...] wallet could tell stories of excessive spending, good food, great relationships, good tips and great conversations. Stories of heartbreak, stories [...]

  15. [...] like I did when I received my inheritance annuity, combined with an injury settlement to end up burning $100k in under 3 years! [...]

  16. [...] From My Days of Spending Too Much Money? – Loved this post, because it brought me back to when I blew $100k as a young’n. Ahhh, the good ol’ [...]

  17. [...] My name is Jacob Wade, and I blog over at a small site called i Heart Budgets. I found my way here through some fun challenges in my life, namely being struck with absolute panic a month before my wedding, realizing that I had no idea what I was doing with my money. For those that don’t know the story (about 99.99999999% of you), I was blissfully ignorant about my finances for years, and had never met a dollar couldn’t spend. In fact, I spent over $100,000 of them before I turned 21! [...]

  18. [...] give them whatever they want. I could not IMAGINE blowing that kind of money (wait, yes I could. AND I DID!) in less than a week. But I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be THAT GUY. You [...]

  19. [...] been invited to a fun discussion on http://live.huffingtonpost.com to talk about how I WASTED OVER $100,000 in less than 3 years. Yes, I get to recap my idiocy with an insane amount of cash, and relive the [...]

  20. [...] How I Blew Through $100,000 Before I Turned 21 ($100,000): At age 18, I had a cool $100,000 in my bank account (where’d that come from?). This is my story of what I did with that money over a 3-year span. I blew tens of thousands of dollars quicker than Justin Bieber can change his hairstyle! And you’ll never guess how much money I cannot account for.  [...]

  21. [...] no extra 0′s missing there ;) I just got finished reading Jacob’s incredible story on how he blew threw his $100,000 inheritance before he turned 21, and thought I’d copy him. With a much less exciting story, [...]

  22. [...] to buy a used car like a BOSS! Then, J Money over at Budgets Are Sexy was inspired by my idiocy of wasting $100,000, and had his own story of how he blew $1,000 by age 22! WHOA! Finally, I got a calls from [...]

  23. [...] to $1,000!!! WOW! And we burned it up in a few hours. And though it’s not much compared to blowing through $100,000, it is no small chunk of [...]

  24. […] Of course, the easy answer is I’m trying to generate more passive income since I suffer with a quest to want more…and even more.  Perhaps I just want to leave a real estate legacy for my son. But what the hell for? I’ve already established a financial legacy. In the event of my death, I have a pretty substantial life insurance policy for him to inevitably blow, just like iheartbudgets blew through $100,000 before the age of 21. […]

  25. […] we had much more income than expenses, we saved a bunch of it, but also blew a bunch of it as well. I would venture to say that we were non-frugal friends. We weren’t ALWAYS terrible, […]

  26. […] drummed up the courage to introduce myself. Well, actually, my mom used to work there, and I had just inherited a ton of cash, and she thought it wise to stash some of it away before I wasted all of it. Good call […]

  27. […] we choose to be like Person A, we will spend our money without purpose. We will decide not to give any thought as to what we truly value or what our long term goals are. […]

  28. […] CHA CHING! Earning a cool $6.50 an hour, I was really raking in the dough. At age 18, I got my $100,000 to blow through, AND got a job at […]

  29. […] How I Blew Through $100,000 Before I Turned 21. If the first post is what you SHOULD do, this post is all about what you SHOULDN’T do. Watch me burn $100k in 2 years like it’s nuthin’. […]

  30. […] on how you look at it!) story of how he learned how NOT to blow a bunch of cash — by blowing a $100,000 inheritance when he was 21 years old.  He’s learned his lesson, which is good, but wouldn’t it be […]

  31. […] sense. I seemed to float along, pretending to know about everything, but was somehow clueless that blowing through $100k was a bad idea…? I also made a habit out of ignoring good advice, and would retort with things […]

  32. […] means less time coveting other people’s stuff, which means less brain power spent on ways to blow through money, which means less time wasted on crap that doesn’t matter and more time spent observing the […]

  33. […] worked as a professional trustee for a number of years, I have seen, repeatedly, what happens to younger beneficiaries who receive a windfall of cash. There are obviously those that handle it responsibly, but when you are talking about individuals […]

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