We've all received it.
Advice given to us that's supposed to change our lives for the better.
It's always given with good intent.
Even good intent though, doesn't always make it good advice.
Both my parents weren't the best at managing their money.
Despite their struggles, they still felt compelled to pass along the best advice they could.
Both my parents insisted that when I start to make money that…..drum roll please…..
You need to save.
How many times have your parents told you that you need to save and they think that they’re giving you the best advice ever?
That they had given you the golden keys to life and now that you can go the rest of your life and have complete financial control.
As we know, that’s bunch of crap.
My parents telling me that “I need to save” is like me telling a college graduate that they need to get a good job. Uhhhhh…..yeah, think?
Great, thanks for the info mom and dad. Thanks for enlightening me with your infinite wisdom. I hope you're catching the sarcasm here.
Yes, I know I need to do something with my life and I know I need to save. But, why don’t you show me how?
The thing is though that my parents never did. They never showed me specifically how to do it. How to really save.
They gave me the same hollow advice that many other parents do. Because of that I stumbled into my earlier twenties figuring out what it is I actually needed to do. The right way to save.
More Bad Advice
At first, it wasn't pretty. The second piece of bad financial advice I got was directly from my father.
He had suggested that I open a credit card. You're probably thinking that he suggested it so that I could build my credit in preparation for my financial future.
He suggested I do it so that I could buy stuff. And no that's not a joke.
I started down a path of racking up debt and NOT saving for my financial future.
By the grace of God, I became a financial advisor and I learned on my own. I was one of the lucky ones.
Most people aren’t so lucky. They don’t realize until they are in their late 40's (or later) how they need to save.
How to Really Make a Difference
If you're in a situation where it's your turn to give advice, whether to be family or friends, don't do what my parents did.
Make the advice specific.
I wish my dad would have shown me the way on how to invest. Even though he didn't know the ins and outs of it, we could have learned together.
That's something that I've committed to myself in teaching my kids. It's not just “giving advice”. It's about teaching them, nurturing them and making they sure they understand the path you've laid out before them.
That's how you give good financial advice.
What's the worst piece of financial advice you've received? How were you able to overcome it?