So for those of you who don't know there is quite the plethora of information out there on personal finance. I am always reading new articles trying to gain more information and hoping for a leg up on the game of life.
When I started this journey I read MSN money, Kiplingers, and Yahoo Finance. These sites were easy to access and viewed by thousands of people. I figured that these articles would surely have truthful information that would lead me to success. Oh how wrong I was:)
I don't know how or why but one day I came across Mr. Money Mustache. Man was I blown away! Here was a guy who laughed in the face of mainstream financial advice. Soon I discovered GRS, 20somethingfinance, and others.
These guys know there stuff and are not afraid to show their bottom line aka what they actually have in the bank. I mean, wouldn't you rather take advice from someone who is willing to show their portfolio versus some random writer on MSN? I know I would and I do! I'm not trying to discourage you from reading from these other sites, but I would encourage you to read them with a more critical eye which is why I am reviewing a recently published article by Kiplingers. Here is the LINK to the article if you would like to follow along as I poke a few quick holes in some of the advice given. Remember that these "holes" are merely my opinion and that you should always use critical thought when reading my opinions.
The first tip they give in the article focuses on consumption.
BUYING AT THE WRONG TIME. I would rather focus on reduction rather than consumption. The premise of the tip is fine. Don't buy an item at full retail and try and buy at the end of each season during mark downs, etc, however, I prefer to just not buy. Do I need new clothes every season? NOPE. I believe this tip misses the importance of highlighting the wrong time. The wrong time in my opinion is when you don't actually need an item, you simply buy because of receiving a good deal. It isn't really a good deal if you didn't need the item in the first place.
TOSSING FOOD BASED ON THE EXPIRATION DATE. I know that not a lot of people are going to agree with me on this one, but I will not eat food past the expiration date. Sorry but not sorry. I don't want to get sick and deal with the medical bills or the sorrow of having my stomach pumped. Instead I would say plan your meals and food consumption so you never have to worry about expiration dates. If you check in the store before you buy then you can avoid a lot of this mess all together. See an expiration date approaching...try and use up the item or make something with the item and freeze it for a later date.
OVERSPENDING ON GAS AND OIL. This one is kind of obvious. I like the tip about not spending for premium fuel or changing the oil every 3000 miles. Most people already do this. Also buying a slightly used fuel efficient car to replace a gas guzzling monster is a great idea too. The advice does not mention a reduction in use. Why wouldn't you ride your bike or walk instead of driving if you could? How about a bus or other form of public transit? If you must drive could you carpool or consolidate trips? Think before you just go hop in your vehicle and drive two doors down to your friends just because it is a little "too hot or chilly" out!
These are just three of the pieces of advice in the article that I found to be troublesome. I'm not saying the article didn't have good advice. I just want you to think before you act on advice you read from a big supplier (like Kiplingers, yahoo, etc...). In fact you should always think when processing information that is going to affect your financial life. Does this apply to me? Will this information be harmful or helpful to my situation? Can I take this advice and improve upon it?
Remember that you want to improve your life and "get mo monies". To do that you are going to have to use critical thought and not just follow the masses, even if that means ignoring some of the very advice on this blog:o
Garbage in, Garbage out.