Education is expensive... and generally painful.
Let's get started off on the same foot: When I talk about education in this text I am not talking about what is commonly called "formal education", I am not talking about classroom education I am talking about the "School of Hard Knocks", real life. Among the many things I have learned "the hard way":
Stereotypes... would not exist if there was not a reasonably high statistical occurrence of behaviors associated with them. When I was attending a tech school in Phoenix, AZ, I had a couple of roommates, over time, which were of a certain ethnic background. I have always given people the benefit of the doubt, after all, everyone is an individual, right? Okay, I don't think that was my mistake, I knew that these people stole stuff, they bragged of it openly. My mistake was trusting that that they wouldn't steal from me, right? I was their friend, right? The signs were there, one of them actually stole a bicycle from his fiance's father. My mistake was not putting 2 + 2 together. Stereotypes may only be true for a small percentage of a demographic group, but stereotypes exist for a reason, and to ignore them blindly... that is truly stupid. By the way, I had about $1200 worth of stuff stolen by one, and was left with a $200 phone bill by another. Cost of this lesson: $1400
Negotiations... I learned a whole heck of a lot when I bought a new car, and it was really painful. #1 - never trust a salesperson, even if they seem friendly and honest... hey, that's their greatest weapon. #2 - deal with only one person, and if not possible demand that that person be present when dealing with another, hey... you can take your business elsewhere. #3 - never, ever trust that the paperwork is right! Once you have signed it... you have no legal recourse whatsoever. And last but not least: if looking for a car, NEVER SHOP AUTOWEST DODGE IN FREMONT, CA!!! Cost of this lesson: $4000
Love... this is the most painful, even though it has no monetary value (at least it hasn't for me yet). Don't allow the "idea of being in love" to be the basis of the relationship - that's a tough one... I was in a relationship for several years, and there were signs from the start that it wouldn't work, but I was so in love... with "the idea of being in love" that I mentally blocked out and ignored all the signs. I am not saying that "the idea of being in love" is a bad thing, I still think it's a wonderful thing, I'm just saying that you need to take an objective look at the relationship, and try to look for signs, and don't let the "idea" taint your interpretation of any signs, and don't be afraid to get out of a bad relationship, you'll just have more time for a good relationship. Cost of this lesson: 4 years of my life.
There's other stuff, and I'll add it as I have time.