Financial advice is everywhere. Unfortunately, a large quantity of it is bad financial advice–that is, tips that no one should follow if they want to experience financial success. These tips are among the worst received by individuals trying to get their finances under control–and knowing how to avoid them is critical to continuing financial success.
Bad Tip #1: Never use a credit card.
Credit cards are the devil–at least, that’s what many financial advisors want their advisees to believe. The reality, however, is that credit cards–when used responsibly–can have many benefits. The trick is to never charge something that can’t be paid off the same month to avoid accruing interest.
Bad Tip #2: Everyone should plan to go to college.
Student loan debt in America is staggering. The average 2016 graduate carries over $37,000 of student loan debt–an amount they’ll be struggling to repay for years. This is an expensive balance, especially for individuals who head to college because it’s the “next thing to do,” not because they know what they want to do with their lives. The better piece of financial advice is to choose a profession, then take the steps necessary to achieve those career goals.
Bad Tip #3: Embrace the mortgage.
A mortgage means building equity in a house–but it also means a ton of added expenses. Individuals who are ready to buy a house should make sure they seriously consider how those added expenses will factor into their annual budget. In many cases, renting can be the more practical financial choice.
Bad Tip #4: Create a retirement plan that allows you to retire as early as possible.
Many people see retirement as the ultimate financial goal. The reality, however, is that everyone’s goals are different. In order to ascertain whether or not early retirement is the real goal, a savvy financial planner will evaluate their real life goals, then save money to reach those goals. Working longer can also help keep minds sharp and talents prepared, which can be beneficial for many individuals.
Bad Tip #5: Saving for the kids’ college is critical.
Not only is it not necessary for every child to go to college–and many won’t–it’s important that parents carefully choose how they allocate their savings. Their own financial goals matter just as much as getting the kids in a good college, and retiring on time is important, too.
Understanding the difference between good financial advice and bad can make a huge difference in the financial outlooks of many individuals. By discarding the bad advice, it’s possible to go a much longer way to experiencing financial freedom.