Best Financial Advice You’ve Received


Father and son surf lesson in Morro Bay, CA 12 of 12

There’s a meme going around that I saw at The Digerati Life who got it from Sound Money Matters.  It’s basically asking everyone to answer:

What’s the best financial advice you ever received?

Probably one of the best pieces of advice I received was from my dad.  When I go my forst credit card he told me to be careful and not go into debt with the cards.  “Pay off your balances every month,” he said.  Unfortunately I was young and headstrong and had to learn mistakes the hard way.  I’d go onto opening numerous credit cards – Macy’s, Bloomindale’s, two CitiBank cards, and others.

At first I was real good with my cards and paid them off.  But as I got older with more responsibilities the balances started to grow (that and I couldn’t keep my hands off buying “stuff”).  In the end I had debt in the thousands.  I was able to slowly pay everything off with a little help from my family as I moved back in with them for a while.

I was foolish for not taking my dad’s advice to heart.  I’m sure many people out there have a similar story.  They know what the right thing to do is but somehow their credit card debt got out of hand anyway.

If you’re one of these people – You can get out of debt! It may take a while but small steps will lead to big changes over time in paying back your cards.  Start now!

If you’re not in credit card debt then make sure you stay that way!  Be responsible with your charges and make sure you can pay back everything once the bill arrives.

I’m not one of those who thinks that credit cards are evil. The mistakes I’ve made with them I take full responsibility for.  They can be very useful in fact.  But you have to be responsible with them.

I’m tagging the other members of the Money Life Network to answer the question: What is the best financial advice you ever received?  (MiB Smarter Money, Bible Money Matters, Sense To Save, Remodeling This Life, Prime Time Money, and Milk Your Money).

If you’re reading this then consider yourself tagged too!  Write about it or drop a comment here.

What’s the best financial advice you ever received?

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Published or updated December 11, 2014.

Comments

  1. My father also concurred with your father’s advice: Pay off your credit card balance every month. Credit cards are a financial tool that can be used wisely to one’s benefit. If things get out of hand, credit card bills can turn into a nightmare, as many have learned.

  2. Another piece of financial advice from my parents: don’t buy something until you can afford to do so or don’t live beyond your means.(Of course if your refrigerator conks out, that is a slightly different situation!) Like my parents, we actually always try to live well below our means. There’s a great difference between what we may fleetingly want and what we actually need. I am reminded of the old WWII saying about buying things that still has great merit :
    Use it up.
    Wear it out.
    Make it do,
    Or do without.

  3. “Save your pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves.”

    I think this has a different meaning to everyone, but it resonates with me every once in awhile when I go over the budget.

    Bella

  4. Thanks for sharing this advice. Everyone who’s posted a blog about this so far has very wise parents.

  5. Great post. Just added to my Twitter. Thanks!

  6. Just wrote my post covering this topic to post tomorrow morning! Wasn’t as easy to answer as I thought, but I think the answer was a decent one. thanks for the tag!

  7. Wow, so many to choose from… I guess I’d have to go with “invest for the long term”… Case in point, today’s economy. If you’re NOT doing that, you may be in for a surprise… ;)

  8. The best advice we ever received was from my mother after my father passed away and we received a small inheritance. She urged us to use the money as a deposit on a house because the interest rates were so low at the time. We did so, and I’m very grateful we followed her advice because the money would have been frittered away otherwise, I’m sure, on one thing or another.

    We didn’t feel completely ready to buy a house but if we hadn’t then, we wouldn’t have been able to afford one later, when the prices started skyrocketing.

  9. @ Nancy – Credits aren’t evil, it’s how they are used that’s bad! Or better how they can be used. And you’re right – Use what you have before you buy another!

    @ Bella – I like it! If you take care of the small details everything else falls into place (at least that’s what I take out of it).

    @ Aryn – You’re welcome! What was your best advice?

    @ BSCC – Thanks for the add. Leave your best advice to share with us too!

    @ Peter – Read your post. Good stuff!

    @ Hank – I hear that! Fortunately my retirement plans are a ways off (did I just say that it’s good I won’t retire soon?).

    @ Mindful – Sounds like great advice that paid off for your family. You’re very fortunate!

  10. carry NO debt. , . period!

  11. @ Paul – Simple and good. Though I think debt can be good at times like with a home purchase or school of done right.

  12. The best advice I’ve been given regarding money has always been not to allow it to respect money, but don’t idolize it. It is an enabler of your life, not the focus. Seems overly simplified and trite almost, but it’s helped pretty well.

  13. Pay yourself first !!!

  14. I come from a family of financial idiots. I call them the “Moneytards” (apologies in advance to anyone who finds that offensive). They’re very, very good at burying their heads in the sand when it comes to $$$. No words of wisdom from them! With that in mind, I’d have to say that the best advice I’ve actually put to use came from Suze Orman: You don’t solve money problems with money.

  15. @ Guy – I like it!

    @ Arturo – A great way to save and accumulate wealth.

    @ Kate – Moneytards, that’s a good term. Seems the government could use that advice at times.

  16. From my parents. It was to use 2 piggy banks. One was a safe place for 20% of my allowance and the other was for saving until I wanted to buy something. By separating the two my parents taught me to never pull from my 20%. I have written about it along with other financial lessons they taught me on financialswami.com

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