The Good Personal Finance Advice
Before blogging I was an avid personal finance blog reader, with my favorite blog being a site called “Frugal Dad”.
Why did I gravitate to the site “Frugal Dad”?
Because it was a great site and described things that pertained to me. When I started reading “Frugal Dad”, I was past the college phase, and I was debt free except for my house, but even then after a few years, I was mortgage free too (even before Frugal Dad was). Frugal Dad talked about things that I was experiencing and I felt like he was more like someone journeying to the same location as I was.
But one critical thing was different with “Frugal Dad” than most other blog sites at the time… And that difference was that he provided great financial advice advocating frugality even before it was fashionable or really even acceptable. After getting hooked, I went into his archives and discovered that practically all of this writings about financial material more or less mirrored what I believed and practiced. Jason (the frugal dad blogger) was a perfect financial kindred spirit to me. The site was a perfect fit for me (too bad I was too shy at the time to comment on his articles).
The Bad Personal Finance Advice
Since the time when I started reading financial blogs the niche has become crowded with advice that isn’t what I consider good, or at least not a good fit for the majority of us. While I realize that sometimes blog articles are written for shock value, to blatantly state incorrect or even nonsensical saddens me to a degree and I think such articles could damage the financial well-being of their readers.
Here are a few bad examples of the pf concepts that I believe aren’t really that great to follow, out in the personal finance blogosphere in the recent past.
- Go into massive debt and buy real estate. There is one blogger that advocated this approach, and while it did work for him at that time, such an approach is reckless and location dependent. If I were to follow his advice, I would have lost a lot of money in the “Great Recession“. So the concept is poor advice because it only is beneficial for a select few that have access to a great location and a lot of good luck to boot.
- Default on your credit cards because that what the credit card companies really want to you do. I think this statement was really a tongue in cheek sentence, but I’m still not sure to this day. As a person that comes from a family background where owning businesses is common, the statement is incorrect. Nobody like to lose money, that’s why rich people get upset sometimes about small money amounts such as $10. This one still give me a good chuckle to this day.
- Buy old and used because it’s the more financial savvy move. To an extent this is true if the item is question is quality to begin with. If not, it could be a money pit, and perhaps not even safe to use. Why I don’t like buying brand new, I like to find the sweet spot for such purchases. To me, I want to maximize the value to me, not buy the cheapest option.
Okay, I think you get my point.
While initially, I read a blogger that was in the same car as I was, I think it might have been wiser for me to read more of a site that would be the “next phase” for me in my personal finance journey. After I outgrew the Frugal Dad blog, I went on to read the “Free Money Finance” blog. This blogger at FMF was similar to me, but a few pages ahead of me in my personal finance journey, and a good target for me to shoot for with my personal finance goals.
So in conclusion, I’d recommend reading sites that provide a lot of value and that give great advice. The FMF blogger seems to be successful in his real life, and blogs about his finances to share so others can follow such a path. I have to admit, I don’t read that FMF as much either, but it’s still a great site with a lot of great advice.