How to go through a lot of money in a short time

I've been going on and on about my situation. The debt, the mortgage, and trying to save it all. I never really spoke about how we got here in the first place. We didn't just wake up and *poof* had a house. No, no. That would be no fun. The story I'm about to tell you is worthy of a book, and it's just one chapter of my interesting life.

It all started about six years ago. We were driving back from Phoenix from a funeral. We were dropping my sister off when her husband came out and gave us the horrible news that my mother and step-father passed away in an accident. The vehicle they were in had a blowout and rolled over. This led to a lot of in-fighting in the family. Mainly the six siblings vs. me, the one who didn't want to take the route of the lawsuit. It took a lot of convincing from MANY sources to convince me to go ahead with everything, and four years later we settled the lawsuit.

I can't say how much money I got as my share of the lawsuit, but it was a lot. Not "go off and retire," amounts, but enough to where I should have been able to solidify my credit and save for the future. Needless to say I did neither.

First thing I did was pay off my van. I figured getting rid of the payment would be nice, and it was. We went out and got a house. We didn't buy the whole thing, instead we put down a large down payment and took out a mortgage. I bought a new truck, paid cash for it, which turned out to come in handy with our lifestyle. I also put a downpayment on a Harley Davidson, something that I had dreamt about owning for many years.

Not all of the money went awry. I made several loans, a lot of which I didn't seek repayment. My wife and I are very grateful of all the help our family has given us and were more than happy to return the favor. It wasn't a money issue, it was a family thing. I have no regrets for that.

Without going into detail on how much money we received, two years later the money is gone. Not all of it, but most of it. There is still some tucked away in CD's and money market accounts, but not enough to retire off of. It is a start, a modest one at best, but still a start.

I regret how I handled this. I should have put most of that money away. I let my past get the best of me. I grew up in poverty. I always wanted a bike, a game system, new clothes but I rarely got them. I wanted to give my kids the things I never had, and I did that. I did that knowing that the dollars were going away ever so slowly, but I did not care.

Now we are here. We aren't in dire straits here, we are doing ok. My kids aren't going hungry, they have a roof over their heads. We are not in danger of losing anything. I just want to do what I should have done two years ago; fix our credit now, save for the future. Something tells me we would have benefited more from that as opposed to how I handled it.
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