20 things you shouldn’t do with your money.

Today’s personal finance advice: just say no. Before you conjur up a one-off instance in where these rules aren’t applicable, I’d still argue that if most people followed these rules, they’d be better off financially. Credit cards, auto loans and most forms of consumer debt are the cigarettes of the financial services industry and the population-at-large would be better off without it. Just because a few people are able to benefit from credit card points, does not mean credit cards are good for society. Want a life of financial independence? Here’s 20 things you shouldn’t do:

  1. Don’t open a credit card, ever.
  2. Don’t ever finance a car.
  3. Don’t worry about your FICO score.
  4. Don’t take an early withdrawal loan from your 401k.
  5. Don’t buy trip-cancellation insurance.
  6. Don’t retire with debt.
  7. Don’t opt for the extended warranty.
  8. Don’t day trade.
  9. Don’t buy investments without first settling on your financial goals.
  10. Don’t take out a large mortgage just for the tax deduction.
  11. Don’t make minimum payments on a student loan just for the tax deduction.
  12. Don’t take out student loans for college.
  13. Don’t lend money to family members if you’ll need it back.
  14. Don’t get financial advice from your broke brother-in-law.
  15. Don’t purchase a house where the monthly payment is more than 25% of your take-home pay.
  16. Don’t think you need to attend a prestigious college to get a high-paying job.
  17. Don’t get caught up in the corporate rat-race.
  18. Don’t forget that a high potential return means high risk.
  19. Don’t manage your money without a written monthly budget.
  20. Don’t believe the hype about ‘good-debt’, it doesn’t exist.

5 thoughts on “20 things you shouldn’t do with your money.

  1. What a depressing article. It’s like then 10 commandments. What should we do then while we’re busy resisting the temptation of all those things as a means to take a chance to get where we’re going in one piece?

    1. Hey Bob – i hear you, its a dramatic 180 from the lives we are used to living. The ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ is that this is temporary. The 20 tips (and most of the stuff on this page) all advocate the same message: living on a written budget where you spend less than what you make. Through this activity, I came to the realization that a budget, or the rules outlined above, actually set me free by giving a framework in which I could spend money without guilt.

      What’s the other end of the spectrum? Most americans today..8 out of 10 can’t afford their next emergency, 1 out of 4 have more in consumer debt than retirement, and the average car loan is now 60 months @ $508/month. Does that sound like happiness?

  2. I like the commandments…if that is what we are calling them. I am trying to live on a written budget and realizing it does make a difference everywhere in my life. Thanks for the advice!

    1. Don’t give up! It took me about 3 months to become really proficient with living on a written budget. Now I wouldn’t have it any other way. You can do it, your wallet will thank you 🙂

  3. I do agree with all of the ideas you have presented in your post. They are really convincing and will definitely work. Still, the posts are very short for beginners. Could you please extend them a bit from next time? Thanks for the post.

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