Everyone has their own opinions and beliefs about money. Most people are very set in their ways and have a hard time facing the facts. It’s difficult to change your habits, especially when you see the people around you buying nice cars, take vacations, and spending money on other luxuries.
The advice I hear from strangers, friends and even family doesn’t always align with my views and what I’ve learned to actually work. Honestly, it’s hard to find anyone with my same money mindset. I have a few friends that are on the same page and this is one of our favorite topics of discussion.
I’m always open to hearing other people’s options and learning from them, but sometimes the things that are said are just straight up bad.
Here is a list of some of the worst finance advice I’ve ever been told. Please, please, don’t do or believe these things…
- Student loans are “good debt”: There is no such thing as good debt. It doesn’t matter where it comes from, you still have to pay it back. As long as you have debt it will be sucking the life out of your income. Pay them off- get aggressive about it.
- Buy a house when you have no money: I can’t tell you the number of times I was told that buying a house was a good “investment” when I literally had a negative net worth. Yes, pile on a mortgage, that sounds like a really good solution (can you hear the sarcasm?) Buying a house is a huge goal for us, but it’s something we are planning and being intentional about. The last thing I’d want is to buy a home and have the home be a burden to pay for.
- Open up credit cards to increase your credit score: This one is somewhat true- sadly. But if you know you don’t have the self-control to have a credit card, (totally OK.. credit cards are snakes ready to bite the shit out of you) don’t let yourself fall victim to this one. Trust me, you CAN live without a credit card and you won’t even die.
- A new car is a good investment, better yet, LEASE THAT PUPPY: For the everyday person, cars are a bad investment. New cars plummet in value the day you drive off the lot and every day after that. No one is judging you by the car you drive- who cares?? Also, leasing a car is the most expensive way to “own.” Just don’t do it. Yes, you’ll have to sacrifice to save up enough money to buy a car, but it IS possible and very worth it.
- Make minimum payments on your debt – invest the rest- As I mentioned above, debt sucks the life out of your income. Making minimum payments extends the life of your loan and increases your risk if something were to happen (like a job loss or a high-cost emergency). The more money you pay in payments each month, the less you have to invest. Think of how much progress you could make building wealth if you had no debt payments.
- Can’t buy it outright? Put it on payments – If you can’t afford something, you definitely don’t “need” it. Don’t put yourself in a worse situation by taking on debt. There is bound to be a number of different routes and options out there. You might have to sacrifice or get creative, but it’ll be worth it when you’re not trying to crawl your way out a giant hole of debt.
- Renting is throwing money away– I love this one because it’s not true at all. Homeownership is a wonderful thing WHEN YOU CAN AFFORD IT. There is nothing wrong with renting and it’s not throwing away money. When you rent, you have the freedom to walk away, you aren’t tied to anything, and when things go wrong it’s not your problem.
Money is a sensitive topic, so when people give this kind of advice I try to bite my tongue and keep quiet. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always go that way and I end up giving them my two cents. Maybe some of it will stick. Have you ever been given any really bad financial advice? Comment below =)
“It’s good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it’s good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven’t lost the things that money can’t buy.” – George Lorimer
Thanks for Reading,