I guess bad financial advice can come from all kinds of people, sometimes even from folks who really believe that they have it all figured out when it comes to finances.
But you always need to be wary and you need to do your homework when you get money advice from anyone, no matter who they are.
Folks on AskReddit shared stories about really bad financial advice they received.
Let’s see what they had to say.
37. Thanks, Dad.
“My dad in 2008 – “Don’t invest that $1,000 into Apple.”
My dad in 2012 – “Tesla is a pipe dream. Stock won’t be worth the paper is printed on.”
“Don’t pay off your entire credit card balance when the bill comes.
Pay it slowly so that it shows your ability to pay debt over time.
This will help your credit score.”
35. Don’t take that advice.
“”Lease a car, don’t buy used”
leased car price -> $25,000
My used car I drove for multiple years without maintenance (aside from tires/oil) -> $3,000.”
34. Time to leave.
“My husband and I were looking to sell our home and buy another and the realtor told us to put 99 dependents on our taxes so we make more. She said she had done it for years and it was fine.
We left pretty quickly after that.”
33. Doesn’t work for everyone.
“Take out a student loan.
You’ll be able to pay it back easy when you have a degree.”
32. Go your own way.
“Don’t be a programmer. Your job will get outsourced to India.” – my dad when I told him excitedly as a teenager that I tried coding and loved it.
I ignored his advice and I’m now a programmer and still love it. Oh, and the pay is great too. I am now making a lot more than he ever did.”
31. Just do it!
“To buy a house when they were giving them out like candy several years ago. I had bad credit and an unstable job, I said no way.
So many people were pressuring me. All those people lost their houses. Those balloon payments are no joke.”
30. Don’t understand…
“Recent terrible advice: I got hit while driving on a highway and have a crinkled in rear side fender and cracked tail light. I can still drive it, but who knows what damage is underneath.
My car is only 5 yrs old with maybe 60k miles, so it’s still a great car. Yet, my early 20s friend said I shouldn’t get insurance to fix it and instead just “pocket the deductible to save up for a down payment on another car”. Or maybe file the claim and pocket the money.
My deductible is $300, and I wasn’t at fault, so the other person’s insurance is likely going to pay my deductible. I just straight up cannot understand where he is coming from. Why wouldn’t I get the car fixed so I have a fully functional, reliable car? It’s, at most, $300. I just don’t understand.”
29. A big mess.
““If you can’t afford to pay back your student loans just ignore it. Can’t bleed a turnip…” – My father.
He followed it with something along the lines of “what’s the worse they can do to you?”
The answer… ALOT. They can do a lot to you.”
28. Can’t do that.
“My parents and grandparents keep pressuring me to quit my job because I’m pregnant. They think my husband’s job will sustain us and we’ll just have to penny-pinch a little more.
I don’t know if they realize that we all live in America. It will absolutely take both of our incomes to raise our child, especially since I’ll be taking 12 weeks of unpaid maternity leave in about a month.”
27. Never heard that before.
““Saving money attracts bad luck” “Do not save or else you’ll end up using it for an emergency”
It’s a Filipino superstition that “saving” attracts an emergency. Do not save so that you don’t experience an emergency.
Being frugal is frowned upon. What happens if an emergency happens and they have no savings?
They “borrow” money from frugal people and if you say no to them because you know they spent their money on useless things they will say “you can not bring all your wealth to your grave”.
I choose the people who I lend/give money.
“Buy things to see the fruit of your labor”
When buying new expensive items, sometimes things they don’t really need. I have no problem on this if only they use this words once in a while but do it every paycheck is too much.
Then they will proceed to tell me buy stuff like them and not be frugal because you know, you can’t bring all those money to the grave so might as well use it immediately.”
26. Sure about that?
“Several years ago, my company went under new management. They were going to have to pay us all of our remaining, unused PTO. I figured, great, I have a ton of PTO left, like $5000 worth. (I had A LOT of unused hours)
One of my colleagues said “YOU’RE going to be hit with taxes.” And she said it like “oh, you better be prepared. Don’t get excited, they’re going to tax the s**t out of you anyway so don’t expect much!”
I get hit with taxes every paycheck, lady. And when I did the math, they didn’t take out a higher percentage of that PTO than I normally have taken out of my paycheck, so when I did the math beforehand, I managed my expectations well
Then, I was a manager of a call center. The call center agents made 12.00 an hour, but once I came in, I raised it to 15.50 an hour. One of them complained to me that this means her taxes are being raised and she’s earning less. She didn’t see the higher number on the bottom of her check for some reason.”
25. Oh, Dad…
“My father would tell me to max my credit card on a new car and if they asked for payments just say “F**k em, what are they going to do?”
My father is several levels of debt hell deep that he’s trying to get out of now, but he’s at least trying.”
24. That’s a bummer.
1976 San Francisco. Keep renting, no one will ever pay $35,000 for a 2 bedroom house and garage with a sweeping view of the East Bay.
I went back to visit the old neighborhood a few years ago, those $35,000 stucco homes up many flights of steps perched on the top of Potrero Hill were now all gentrified, remodeled, gated, and asking $1M+ and that was 5 years ago.”
23. About that iPad…
“About 5 years ago, I had a friend who was trying to convince me to study through a private college because they “gave her a free ipad”.
She never finished the course, but kept the iPad (you only got to keep it once you pay your fees and graduate. Mind you, the price of the course included the iPad so it wasn’t free).
So last year, four years later, I get a call from the college asking for her contact info. She put me down as a reference and they were chasing her down because she still owed her fees and wasn’t entitled to keep the iPad.”
22. Not too bright.
“My cousin bought a camper, went camping once, and then decided camping wasn’t for them.
Rather than selling it they decided to just stop making the payments and “let the bank come and get it.”
Which, eventually, they did.”
“Don’t take a raise if it puts you into the next tax bracket.
And pay the minimum on your credit card to establish good credit.”
“”Don’t major in computer science. Computer scientists are a dime a dozen.”
I did not take that advice.”
19. Just run away!
“Guy I haven’t seen in three years or so wanted to talk me into starting a business with him, because he just got into college for a bachelors degree in business.
Yeah sure, let me get my check book out in this badly illuminated garage while we’re both dr**k. Guy also got into MLM and weird self-optimisation preachers.”
“Get a bigger mortgage, you can deduct more from your taxes!
Yeah dumba**, and I’ll be spending double that amount in interest so why should I?”
17. Ignore it.
“Just ignore the collection call and eventually they will leave you alone….
I didn’t follow this advice.
I had a parking ticket I didn’t know about that ended up on my credit and the guy I mentioned it to gave me that bit of wisdom.”
16. Not a great time to do that.
“First year outta college, working for a financial advisor, and he tried to convince me to put 5% down and buy an apartment in Chicago.
It was the summer of 2007.”
15. Did the right thing.
“”Don’t go to community college, you’ll never get a job. Instead apply at X and X colleges.”
My grandmother, aunt, uncle, and cousin all told me this, and I really considered their advice because my parents really didn’t give a s**t what I did.
Since I didn’t get any scholarships from high school, I decided at least if I went to CC and didn’t get a job I wouldn’t have student debt and I could just do something else.
I went to CC for two years totally free on FAFSA grants (it was 800$ a semester LOL) and did so well I transferred to a university with a (almost) full ride.
I am now a semester away from graduation with a job lined up and all of 4k of student debt which is likely to be forgiven anyway.”
14. Come on!
“Incite me to go to a real expensive restaurant where you can spend easily $250 without drinks at a time I only had $700 in bank account and had not paid for my car, groceries and stuff .
Because “Come on we only live once”.”
13. Time to take a trip.
“My ex (in his mid twenties and lived at home with no expenses) went out of the country for two weeks with a budget of $2700.
He was real proud of his breakdown: $1000 credit available on credit card A, $1000 credit available on credit card B, $300 in available overdraft, $100 in checking, $300 in savings.
I tried to explain that this is not a great way to budget for a trip, and his response was “credit cards are meant to be used. As long as you pay the minimum payment, you’re good. What do you know about credit cards? You never use it? Start using yours more before you talk to me about money”.”
12. Car talk.
“My aunt took me to a car dealership when I was looking to buy my own first car. I was looking at the clunkers I could afford, but she said I should be looking at the new cars.
She said, “the total price doesn’t matter because you make monthly payments.” I suddenly understood too well why she had always been so financially unstable.”
11. Not gonna happen!
“A relative tried to recruit me into Amway.
He wound up stuck with a garage full of their products.”
“Yeah even if they’ve recently robbed you, you should still lend them the 500$ dollars they need to move to another city, they’re your family after all.
I don’t even know how mom married your dumb a**.”
9. You sure about that?
“My FIL when I mention our retirement plan “I never contribute to my retirement account. Money now is always better than money later”.
I needed to have a conversation with my husband how we would NOT be supporting his mom and dad and their insane spending when they have no retirement plan and make huge financial mistakes on a weekly basis (good news is they both make good money).”
8. Son, let’s have a talk.
“I got 90 dollars and my 11 year old son told me I should buy 90 dollars worth of kazoos.
No real plan past that…”
7. Rent to own.
“”Just get it at Rent-A-Center.”
I had a coworker that got pretty much everything there.
“It’s only $20/week, and they’ll replace it if it breaks.”
$20/week for how long? Oh cool, so you’re paying more than double for it? Got it.”
6. Burning a hole in your pocket.
““Spend it quickly or it’ll get stolen.”
Coming from someone with a history of losing and blowing their money.”
5. Not a joke.
“That an emergency fund wasn’t necessary when you can always get a payday loan or use your credit card.
He wasn’t joking.”
4. Really bad advice.
“One of my uncles once told me that I never really had to pay my phone bill.
He suggested that I simply jump to another carrier and let the first company cut you off.
His life has turned out exactly as you’d imagine.”
3. Oh, boy…
“”Once you cut up the credit card, you don’t have to pay it.”
My cousin is not doing so hot.
I’m pretty sure there are warrants out for his arrest in several states.”
2. I’m just vibing over here.
“”Just get another credit card”.
From my friend who hasn’t worked in 3 years and is currently just vibing with his new credit cards he somehow got approved for.”
1. Don’t listen to them.
“So when I was 24, I was financially struggling. I had a job that worked me a LOT of hours, but only paid me $10 an hour.
My parents talked me into buying a BRAND NEW 2004 4-Door Honda Civic, the pre-interest price tag on it was about $25,000. A few weeks after getting it, my hours got regulated and it took one entire paycheck to make the monthly note on it – I could NOT afford the insurance on it.
I very quickly realized my parents were bad at money.”
Now it’s your turn!
In the comments, please tell us about the worst financial advice you’ve ever received.
We look forward to hearing from you!