What’s the worst financial advice you have ever received or read? For me, it was ‘To get rich, you have to be making money while you’re asleep!’
But, why? I don’t want to make money while sleeping, I want to dream and sleep peacefully. Relatable enough?
Well mate, we are in the same boat! Unfortunately, most of us didn’t learn personal finance while growing up. All the financial know-how came from parents, friends, colleagues, or traditional practices.
Not to worry! Today, I am going to demystify some common financial advice and give you some food for thought on how these finance-related gyaan can turn out bad for your financial independence.
You should have XX money saved by a certain age
You must have read or heard plenty of times about where you should be in terms of saving & investing by a certain age if you want to build a corpus, retire on time and live luxuriously. It is okay to keep a benchmark for yourself but most people fail to do so.
Your financial life changes with every small effort you make, day in & day out. It takes education, hard work, and dedication to become financially independent.
Moreover, why should others decide where you should be at a certain age? I feel personal finance is personal. It should be handled differently by every individual as per their unique needs and understanding.
Decode your savings & spending habits, carve out a financial plan for yourself (maybe, for the next 3 years), analyse your financial position carefully and you will achieve it.
Credit cards can be your lifesaver
Instant gratification by using a credit card is convincing enough to have one. But, it comes with a cost.
If you don’t have the money to pay for your purchases in the first place, then you shouldn’t make it more expensive by adding interest charges to your credit card. Any delays in your monthly payments can be detrimental to your credit.
The best way to avoid credit card debt and interest charges is to not spend money until you have saved enough to cover your purchases.
Plan ahead for your future
It’s okay to financially plan for unplanned situations. But, it shouldn’t be at the cost of your present circumstances. If you’re currently undergoing a crisis, be it your job, family, or lifestyle, you should ideally pause all your long-term financial goals. Your focus should shift to decreasing cash outflow from your savings account.
Buying a house is a good investment
This is one piece of advice that has been passed from generation to generation. Owning a house might be a great way to scale your net worth in most cases but it is also an expense. Buying drains away your hard-earned money as the down payment, while you could have used that money to otherwise invest, spend and earn rewards/interest.
While renting doesn’t add to your net worth, it does -
- Give you the flexibility to move in or move out whenever you want
- Provide an opportunity to reduce your monthly living expenses by living with a roommate or a partner
- Afford the neighborhood where you could never buy-in
- Prevent you from paying out of your pocket in case of any repairs or replacement
Most people don’t realize that nearly all the money they pay in the first 5 years of a home loan goes to interest. If you’re thinking of buying a home, please consider it only if you intend to live in that house for 5 years or more to actually build your corpus.
Owning and renting a house have their own financial pros and cons. You should carefully understand these and then, jump onto the decision.