There are a lot of financial “gurus” out there and plenty of blogs and magazines that offer the “best financial advice”, but a lot of them are just interested in writing an article or they are just misinformed. You may even have a close friend or family member who means well but just doesn’t know what they are talking about when it comes to money.
Some of this expert advice could actually end up harming your financial situation rather than helping it. So how can you tell the good advice from the bad? What advice should be listened to and which advice should be ignored? It’s hard to know sometimes, but here are a few pieces of advice that should be ignored.
Cut the Cards
I hear it all the time and it’s not 100% bad advice, but taken to the extreme it could be really bad. That advice is to destroy all of your credit cards. Remember, the problem isn’t the card, it’s the one using the card.
I am a firm believer in staying out of credit card debt, but I am also a firm believer in building your credit through the use of credit cards. The problem with destroying your credit cards, as I see it, is that it is really hard to build your credit score without them. Also, in cases of emergency, a credit card can be a lifesaver. The trick is to pay off your credit card bills promptly by paying more than the minimum monthly payment.
My advice is to pay off your credit card debt and then destroy all but one credit card for emergencies and for the sake of building your credit back up.
A Life Plan For Your Children
A lot of insurance agents guilt trip well-meaning people into investing in a life plan for your kid should something tragic happen to you. It’s good to plan for the future, but what if nothing ever happens to you? Then you have been paying for something totally useless!
I recommend that instead of investing in a life plan you invest in your child’s college fund. This way they get the money w
whether or not you die and you can actually use it toward something.
So you are in debt, you don’t have the greatest income, but you are still human. I hear it all the time that you shouldn’t budget for “fun” when you are in debt, but if you don’t make provision for fun or entertainment then you will go crazy, hate life, and resent being money smart. It doesn’t have to be a lot and you don’t have to do something every weekend, but set aside a little something for occasional fun or else you will go mad.
The Cost of Couponing
Couponing has become a craze recently and that’s not a bad thing, but like anything you can do it wrong and waste a lot of time and energy doing so. Actually do the math when couponing and make sure the savings are worth it.
A lot of people who coupons end up buying stuff they don’t need because they are “saving”. You are not saving if you buy something that you don’t really need, want, or will ever use. Coupons can be a trap that people fall into, so remember that when you coupon the goal should be saving money on what you were already going to buy. Anything else is money down the drain.
With any advice, I suggest that you chew the meat and spit out the bones. What I mean by that is that you should take in the good advice and ignore the bad. If you’re not sure then do some more research on your own and find out what you think would work best for you and your financial situation.