On your journey to becoming a financial wizard, the most important thing is that you do your research. Hey, look! You’re already ahead of the game by reading our articles! But, seriously, Warren Buffett once told CNBC that he spends 80% of his day reading. So, if you want to be the next billionaire, you should be eating up information like it’s a Thanksgiving turkey.
However, it’s important to be able to tell the difference between the financial information you should trust and the bad advice that could ruin you financially. Don’t trust everything you read on the internet. And definitely don’t trust the Dogecoin clowns on Reddit.
In this article, we’re going to talk about the 7 worst pieces of financial advice that just might drain your bank account if you listen to them.
#1: Save 10% And You’ll Be Set for Retirement – More Than That, Pal
For a long time, the general rule for saving for retirement was that you should be putting away around 10% of your income every month. And while that might’ve held true a few decades ago, these days, things are a bit tougher. Yes, it is fairly depressing, but 10% is just not enough anymore.
Why is that? Well, if you’ve been reading the financial news as I told you to, you’d know that wages are on the rise. Hooray! Let’s go ball out at the mall or peel off in a fancy new car! But, wait! There’s another factor at play here. Somewhat due to the pandemic, inflation rates are rising at unprecedented levels. And what does that mean? You’re pretty much paying more for everything these days. A lot more.
And that inflation has pretty much offset all the wage gains that workers have received. So, while you’re making more money, you’re also spending a whole lot more money. In effect, the “real wages” are now a whole lot lower than they used to be. And, so, you’ve got to save more than 10% if you ever want to retire.
These days, you should be aiming to save at least 20% of your monthly dough or else you might just be working straight to the grave. The good news, though, is that with proper budgeting, you can easily achieve this no matter what your wage is.
And, to help you out, we made an entire video about money-saving hacks. So, now that we’ve gotten the depressing stuff out of the way, let’s talk about something that might give you some hope, especially if you’re in a 9-to-5 job.
#2: Working a 9-To-5 Won’t Get You Rich – Don’t Quit Just Yet
These days, the self-made millionaire is our modern version of the heroes of Greek mythology. These self-made men and women are praised over all others and it’s gotten to the point where a lot of people assume that you can’t get rich unless you quit your job and start your own money-printing company. However, this is so far from the truth.
With proper money management and self-control, you can easily make your way to a million dollars, or even several million, while working your 9-to-5 job. The key here is to save whatever money you can from your 9-to-5 job and then put it in the right places.
First of all, if the company that you work for has a sponsored retirement plan, take advantage of that whenever possible. Some companies will match up to around 4% of your 401(k) contributions. So, if you put away $100,000, your company will basically just give you another $4,000 for free. Who doesn’t like free money? And once you reach your 401(k) limit, keep putting your money into a Roth IRA and get that extra tax break. Don’t already have a Roth IRA? Get on that now!
On top of that, you can increase your earnings at your 9-to-5 and make it easier to save more. Be a good employee, ask for raises, and don’t be afraid to shop around for other jobs that might pay you more.
Speaking of shopping, have you ever been told that you should never buy anything with a credit card? Because that’s totally false.
#3: You Shouldn’t Ever Use a Credit Card – Please Spend Responsibly
Alright, there is some truth to the idea that you shouldn’t ever use a credit card. However, this advice only applies to a certain group of people. And those are the people who are unable to remember to pay off their credit balance or who can’t stop themselves from spending more than they have. Yes, if you’re just going to get yourself into a mountain of debt that you’ll be paying off for the rest of your life, you should absolutely never get a credit card.
But, if you’re the kind of person who is capable of controlling your spending and remembering to pay your credit balance once a month, then a credit card can be an excellent tool. Here are the benefits. First of all, you can get rewards! I’m talking about cashback, airline miles, and special discounts! Shop around and find a card that has the best rewards program for your lifestyle. Like to travel? Get those airline miles. Drive your car a lot? Get a card with rewards at the gas pump.
Second, building credit history is important to having a good credit score. And having a good credit score is essential to your financial success. Want to know exactly why your credit score is so important? Well, we made a video all about it! But, basically, having a good credit score will help you get better rates on mortgages and other loans, and it could even help you get a better job.
But (and this is important), you need to make sure you aren’t spending more than you have in your bank account on your credit card, and you need to make sure to pay off your credit balance weekly.
A lot of people stay away from credit cards because they think they’re used by major corporations to control the masses. And, yeah, they’re kind of right. But those same people will also tell you that cryptocurrency is going to take over the world. And that’s not 100%.
#4: Crypto Is the Future – In Crypto We Trust
Alright, obviously, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Dogecoin, and Ethereum have been making headlines for years now. And they’re definitely worth paying attention to. Once again, having your finger on the pulse of the financial world requires researching every financial sector. But, there is a large group of people out there who will try to tell you that cryptocurrency is going to be the future. 110%!
And, while there’s certainly a chance that that could be the case, no one can predict the future 100%. So, don’t listen to those people. And don’t put all of your eggs in the crypto basket. Most of your money should be held in much more stable investments like index funds and blue-chip stocks, instead of throwing the kitchen sink at Dogecoin.
There’s a reason why the major companies that have made crypto investments only hold them as a small fraction of their portfolios: crypto is still very risky and very volatile. Does that mean you can’t make some money by investing in it at the right time? Not at all. But, make sure that you’re investing most heavily in safe places that will secure your financial future first, and then feel free to play around in crypto with your extra cash.
And, if you want that extra cash to play around with, you don’t have to work every minute of your life to get it.
#5: You Have to Work Every Minute of Your Life – Modern Day Slavery
In today’s world, there’s a whole lot of emphasis on being the kind of person who’s willing and able to work endless hours. And certain sources will tell you that working every minute of the day is the only way to achieve financial success. That’s a big, fat lie. And it’s a lie that might have you looking back on your life at age 60 and wondering where the time went.
I can’t stress how important it is to make time in your schedule to relax or do the things you enjoy. Apart from the obvious value of enjoying your life, these relaxation spells will leave you feeling recharged and ready to be productive tomorrow. If you’re just constantly working yourself to death, you’re either not going to be at your most productive or you’re going to burn out entirely.
What’s the difference between you and the billionaires of the world? It’s not that they work significantly more than you do, they’ve just learned to work smarter. Examine your work life and think about ways that you could save yourself time rather than just thoughtlessly working like a dog.
And, if you’re going to come up with some time-saving work hacks, you’re going to need a well-rested brain. It’s true: rest and relaxation are just as important as working. One way to earn more without working significantly harder is something that’s gone out of style lately. And that’s going to college.
#6: A College Degree Is a Waste of Money – Knowledge Is Power
Alright, by now, we’ve all heard the story of the student debt crisis in the United States. You go to school, waste an absurd amount of money, don’t get a much better job than if you chose not to get a degree, and then you’re paying off your student loans for the rest of your days. However, a lot of people overestimate you really have to pay to get a college degree.
Why? Because everyone assumes you have to go to a big, expensive university that costs $60,000 a year when they could just go to community college for a mere fraction of the cost. The average cost per year of an in-state community college is $4,800, which you could make in a few months of bartending. You can also do two years at community college and then transfer into a 4-year university and save a ton of money and still get a great-looking degree.
It’s also important that you get yourself a marketable degree, meaning that no one’s going to hire you if you major in “Typewriter Manufacturing” or “VHS Tape Maintenance.” Computer science, business administration, health science, and engineering are some of the most marketable degrees out there. Do something you feel passionate about, but just make sure it’s going to help you get a job in the long run.
And, if you’re the kind of person that’s more into self-education, there is such a thing as reading too many books.
#7: Reading Books Will Make You Successful – Stop Reading, Nerds
To be clear, I’m certainly not saying that you should never read a book again or that we burn all the books like in Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, which is one of my favorite books, in fact. So, obviously, I like to read myself. However, no matter how many books you read and how much knowledge you get out of those books, you’re never going to become successful unless you get out in the world and start doing things.
That’s right; thinkers don’t make the big bucks, doers do. Sure, instead of watching Netflix, go read a book and exercise your brain. However, even more importantly, get out in the world, make some experiences, make some connections, and then you’ll start making some money.
You can read a million different books about economic theory but, if you don’t actually get out and engage in the economy, you’re just going to waste all your money at Barnes & Noble without making any of it back.