From neighbors to coworkers, most people have tidbits of financial advice they like to toss around. Unfortunately, those words of wisdom aren’t always so wise–even when coming from so-called financial pros. We asked our Financially Fit Bootcamp Coaches about the worst financial advice they’d ever received and how it impacted their lives. Here’s what they had to say:
“Using loans to pay for the expenses and living of life. I followed this from buying cars to homes, and credit cards. The impact it created was that I was living part of my life paying debts and paying banks, with interest of course.
“The worst advice I ever received was to pay for everything with a credit card to ‘boost my credit score.’ I think here in the US, we’re obsessed with credit scores and will do anything to get our number higher because we take it as a reflection of our personal worth. I did this in college and immediately did what most people do – spent much more than I was able to pay back. I often spent more than I needed to because of the idea that I’d pay it back ‘someday.’ Thankfully, I got fed up with making payments and the stress of seeing how much interest I was paying. I paid off my credit cards and haven’t touched them since.”
Wendy Priester, Owner, D&L Financial Coaching
“The worst financial advice I have ever received was being encouraged to buy a home without knowing how much is the right amount to spend. I was encouraged to borrow based upon the amount I could get instead of how much I could comfortably afford to pay.”
“My worst ever financial advice came from a free financial counselor, funded by the Australian Government. I went to the service to seek advice about getting some extra time to manage some debts and about how to get help setting up a clear budget to make the repayments while still be able to meet my everyday expenses. The first thing the counsellor suggested was we file for bankruptcy! After all, that is what everyone was doing at the time and it was an easy way out. We would not have to repay our debts and could live very comfortably moving forward – those are their words not mine. I was mortified….I left the appointment horrified at the suggestion. After all, we were not in that bad of a financial situation, I just needed some guidance and wanted someone else to deal with the companies and phone calls. After that, I put my head in the sand again for some months and finally came across Financially Fit Bootcamp and regained the confidence to seek further help.”
Melinda Smylie, Founder, Wear Kids Play