Financial Advice I Will Never Follow

Not all of you will agree with my list. Some of you, in fact, follow the advice below. I think it all comes down to what works for you and what doesn’t.

I’ve been given the advice below by my friends, co-workers, financial bloggers, and even strangers. I listen, absorb and I never argue because I believe that everyone is entitled to the life they choose to live.

Travel When You Retire

I’ve been told numerous times that we spend too much money on travel. I tend to agree.

We, probably, are delaying our retirement because we choose to travel instead.

We prefer to travel while we are young and can do activities that we, most likely, would not be able to enjoy when we are in our sixties or seventies (assuming we make it to that age.) We choose to travel while we can enjoy our trips fully.

Also, bare in mind that travel should not be expensive. You can take a road trip. You can go camping in one of so many national parks that the U.S. has to offer. You can take a cheap cruise and chill. Options for travel are unlimited, and as long as you are still saving and not financing your travel with credit cards, why refuse yourself something that you might not be able to experience later in life?

Get Rid of Cable 

I don’t watch TV much but when I do watch it, I enjoy it. I don’t think that TV rots our brains and takes away our valuable time. I don’t snack (most of the time) when I watch TV, so it doesn’t make me overweight. Of course how TV affects your life depends on how much of it you do watch.

Our cable bill is $17 a month. Is it breaking our bank account? No. There are other things that do the damage.

We don’t have HBO, Showtime or Starz. We could try to be frugal (and miserable) and install a good over-the-air antenna, trying to get my favorite AMC channel. I, probably, would end up crying because my Sunday nights would be Mad Men-less. Don Draper alone is worth so much more than $17!

Buy In Bulk 

“The more you buy, the more you save.”

Ever heard this marketing pitch? I have heard it numerous times, and I hate it. Why not to be honest and just say:

“The more you buy, the more you spend, the more you get what you don’t need.”

Same principle applies to the big warehouse clubs (Costco, Sam’s, and etc.) Beaker and I stopped shopping in Costco a long time ago. A family of two does not need much. We definitely do not need a case of 24-bottles of ketchup. Honestly, I don’t know anyone who does need it. Even if we (for some psychotic reason) do need a case of 24-bottles of ketchup, where in the world we would be storing it? Our small condo is not equipped with a great amount of storage space.

Make Your Own Gifts 

I am not a crafty person. I am not a do-it-yourself person. I don’t do the following:

  • knit
  • sew
  • draw
  • cook
  • bake

I am useless in DIY department. But most importantly, I would not enjoy any of these activities. Although you might save some money by making gifts yourself, you still need to spend to get what you need to make a gift.

Cut Your Own Hair

This advice always blows me away. Really? Do you cut your own hair? When was the last time you looked in a mirror?

I know people who cut their own hair. They don’t look good. They look like they cut their own hair. I have yet to see a person who cuts their own hair and looks good. If you think you are the one, email me your picture.

57 thoughts on “Financial Advice I Will Never Follow”

  1. I totally agree about travelling when we’re in a good state to enjoy it. Travelling at age 65 is not a like-for-like exchange for travelling at 25 – and I plan to be a sprightly 65! Life experiences are one of the few things that are definitely worth the expenditure. You only get to go on the ride once.

    1. You would be surprised about how many people I know who think the complete opposite. It never stops to amaze me. I don’t want to climb the Great Wall when I am 65. I want to take a five hour hike on the Wall well before I hit 45. 🙂

  2. I tried cutting my own hair before. It’s just not the same. I can’t do layers.

    Also my parents almost cut cable but I was like, why would you cut the one form of entertainment my dad uses? He uses it to relax after work each day. He doesn’t go on the computer or anything. It’s not breaking their bank and they work so hard, shouldn’t they be entitled to keep cable? My mom must have heard the same advice from someone, but she didn’t consider all the areas where they cut costs.

    1. TV is good for relaxing. When I need to empty my head, I just watch TV. I sleep like a rock after that!

  3. I love your list!

    I agree with you on all of them. Buying in bulk when we live in an apartment is not an option. Cutting my own hair? Are you kidding? No way. Cable is needed in my home. Besides the awsomeness of Don Draper, I need Nickelodeon for my daughter. She can watch a show while I clean up the kitchen.

    And vacations…they are a need. It’s easy to get burnt out doing the financial thing. Sometimes, you really do need to get away!

    1. Yes, vacation is a nice break from reality. We all need something to look forward to. Don Draper included! 😉

  4. Funny… And I agree with you on virtually all of these. Except the hair-cutting one of course, because my wife cuts my hair (but I am a guy, cutting my hair is easy).

    1. I would not cut Beaker’s hair. His barber does such a great job. I could never compete. 🙂

    1. Travel keeps me saving money! When I have a trip planned, I am unstoppable. I even pass on shopping. Can you believe it?

  5. Very good! Yes, the problem with waiting until retirement to do much traveling is health and well being just might interfere. While fun, traveling can also be demanding, physically and mentally. Retirees may find that they’re not so keen on traveling the world at age 70 as they thought they would be when age 30!

  6. Hilarious! I went to Costco for the first time this weekend and I have to say, I spent a LOT of money. But I also bought the right things and won’t have to see the grocery store for at least a week, if not two!

          1. I think Costco’s meats have pretty good quality. I love to get their frozen fish filets, and their hamburger patties, like Whole Food’s, doesn’t use “pink slime” or “boneless lean finely textured beef/beef trimmings” in their burgers.

            And because the meats are frozen, you can keep them in the freezer for a long time. And the fish filets aren’t THAT much in quanity. We are also a family of two and I usually go through a package of salmon or cod in 2 weeks if we eat fish periodically through the week.

  7. Dannielle @ Odd Cents

    I agree with the travelling while you’re young. I’m crafty, so making my own gifts is something that I love to do. 🙂

  8. hey now! I cut my own hair and I am awesome at it!

    But my hair is elbow-length and very thick, so I would have to do some serious damage before anyone notices I made a mistake.

    Probably not going to have hair like this in my 60’s…

    1. Long and thick hair? It might be possible to cut it… I guess. 🙂 I have short hair and I need layers for volume. No way I would cut my hair myself. 🙂

  9. I definitely am not waiting till I retire to travel. What if I get hit by a car when I’m 30 and never get to see Europe? What if I get Alzheimers, or some other debilitating disease?

    I could live without pay TV but the boy insists. And now that Game of Thrones is back, I’m inclined to agree.

    I trim my own fringe, but I definitely wouldn’t cut my own hair.

    1. I can see fringe, but no hair. Maybe if I’d have long, long hair, Beaker would be able just to trim it. Still, what about layers? 🙂 Travel is big for us. Huge!

  10. I don’t know, you could also travel in retirement. Just because you enjoy traveling now, don’t write-off traveling when you’re older as well. Some things and places obviously work a bit better when young, but other things work just fine when your an old man or woman going down the museum hallway with your walker. 🙂

    1. Oh, I am planning on travelling when I retire. I just will choose to see and do different, less energetic places I guess. 🙂

  11. Totally agree about the timing of travel.
    The other thing about DIYs is that sometimes buying your own stuff to make things can be more expensive than just buying the gift yourself. And now you’ve gotta add the extra expense of your time.
    I used to cut my own hair. The first time it looked really good. Long and layered. Got lots of compliments on it. The next time….not so much. So I started going back to salons haha.

  12. I’m with Daisy here–I couldn’t fathom cutting my own hair!

    I also travel any chance I get, so that’s never going to be something I eliminate from the budget. My rule is to pre-pay everything including spending money. No debt and tons of vacays…just my style…haha!

  13. Cutting your own hair could be a step too far! :/
    There is a great deal to be said for being in the enviable position of having the stability of employment and a regular income, with the security that this brings. Sometimes though it can still seem hard to make that cash stretch.
    It could be worth considering whether you could ‘juggle’ what you already have with a part time job of your choosing.
    For example, are you able to complete DIY tasks such as painting and decorating to a high standard? Do you have a qualification in hairdressing or beauty treatments? Can you make birthday cakes?
    From driving a cab if there is a local firm with availability for non owner drivers, to cutting lawns. It does not have to be a second career, but just a few hours a week, and this may be a help during these tough economic times.
    Those are just a few examples to test the water. You can check out your area to see what may be a useful service to others and see if you can offer something that could effectively be of financial benefit to you by using any talents you have to help your cash flow.

  14. Good Cents Savings

    Ha, ha – your take on these items cracked me up, especially the cut your own hair part. If you get any photos please share! 🙂

    I think of the buying in bulk more as saving time than money. A few of the things I get at Costco are significantly cheaper, but many others are about the same, and our savings don’t amount to big money. It does save me lots of trips to the grocery store though, and that is valuable to me. But, like you said it only works if you have the space to store everything and you use everything you buy. (Sometimes we split produce with another family if it’s a good deal and we can’t use say, 8 ripe avocados before they’ll go bad.)

    Also – I love the new site design!

    1. I love my new design. So me! 🙂 Thank you!

      If we’d have someone to split produce, we probably would look into it. But it is just two of us and we don’t need much.

  15. I’m on your side here Aloysa. I think it’s all pretty crappy advice.

    Saving anything for retirement is ridiculous simply because one never knows if there will even be a tomorrow, and if there is there are no guarantees that you will physically be able to do the things you want but put off.

    For me, I cut cable not to save money out of necessity but because I didn’t watch most of the channels I got and in actuality, my tv managed to decode the HD signals for several stations with just basic service.

    And the DIY hair cuts? Come on! That’s just going way overboard, unless you shave your head.

    Sometimes people just think that what works for them should apply to everyone in general and that’s just not the case. Especially when it comes to frugality, many people think anything you spend money on that they don is a waste. It’s similar to the anti-credit people; they got in trouble with credit so no one should every use it either.

  16. I agree 100% with this list. I would never cut my own hair or let my wife anywhere near it, even though it’s a fairly simple buzz with clippers of two different lengths. I can see myself traveling during retirement though but we definitely try to do our fair share now, especially with kids that we know will start forming memories of family trips and such.

    On a side note, I’m very jealous of the number of comments you get on your site. Way to go!

    1. I can see myselft travelling in retirement as well. Don’t get me wrong. I just believe that we get a better travel experience while we are younger. 🙂
      On a side note: no need to be jealous. You have one great blog! I love reading it. Totally can relate.

  17. I would never cut my own hair but my fiance cuts his (and his friends’ hair). All he does is take a pair of trimmers and buzz it to a desired length and 9 times out of 10 it looks fine. Obviously male hairstyles are way more simplistic. It does save him a lot of money a year since he usually trims his hair every other month.

    1. Yeah, I can see man’s harcuts being easier to do but still… There should be some style unless it is a buzz haircut. I have a friend who gets his buzz haircut for $20. I asked him once why he doesn’t do it himself, and he said he loves going to his barber because of the social factor. He is a very social person. 🙂

  18. I agree with you on just about all of these! I’ve bought in bulk before, but I tend to get burned, so I’ve more or less stopped with the exception of a very limited number of items. My husband and I haven’t traveled extensively – we’ll probably be the late in life travelers of whom you speak – but I totally see your points about why it’s great to travel when you’re young, not old.

    1. Why don’t you travel now? I am not saying go and see the world, but even short road trips are fun.

  19. What cable company do you use to have a bill for only $17 a month?

    We have att and it is super expensive. They lure you in with promotions and then jack up prices after six months. They have also slowed down the speed of our internet and still charge us for max. We are moving out in a month, so no point in switching right now.

    I would rather travel now and enjoy it while I am young. My in laws are older late fifties and early 60s, and don’t really have a desire to travel. They think its too much hassle.

    I also spent money on a one year Costco membership. Went twice. Bad purchase.
    And I do not cut my own hair. No way.

    1. We have DirecTV. Since we live in a condo, and the whole bulding is signed up with them, I think we got a good deal. We used to have Comcast and I hated it. They changed prices what seemed like every six months.

  20. I looked over your list expecting to disagree with a lot of it, but I didn’t.

    In fact, the thing I agree most about is the traveling aspect. True, it may cost a lot to travel, but the experience is worth much more than the cost. Especially if you have kids.

    Traveling after retirement just doesn’t compare.

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  22. I’d risk cutting my hair because my hair is locked. It’s not as complicated as other people’s hair. However, I remember going to school with a girl who cut her bangs, and it was so obvious. I could even tell what technique she used to cut her own hair.

    As for cable, I refuse to pay for it. But that doesn’t stop me from watching television. My friends tell me all the time, “For someone who doesn’t have cable, you sure watch a lot of TV.” I really love the shows I watch. Without cable, I can’t channel surf. I’m able to watch the shows I like on demand, with minimal or no commercial interruption, and save money at the same time. And cable where I live is waaaay more than $17 a month.

    I totally agree with you on travel. Do it while you can. Who knows what state your health or existence will be in when you’re an old woman?

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  24. These made me laugh, especially the cut your own hair one. I cut my own (very long, almost non-existent) bangs though, does that count? Mostly because I hate having my hair cut.

  25. Cut my own hair? I suppose I could, if I had to. A pair of clippers set to number 2. But I don’t have to, so I don’t.
    Airfares are bloody expensive. I’m still reeling from the sticker shock of four round-trip airfares to Europe.

    1. Airfare is extraordinary expensive. I cannot afford one ticket. Good for you for buying four! 🙂

  26. Getting rid of cable is a no-brainer. It’s not that hard to do. I gave mine up in 2008 and have saved about $5,000 in the last 5 years. I put together a page here that shows the type of setup that I have: My total investment for all the hardware was about 3 months worth of satellite TV service. But, now that I’ve got it all set up I’ll never have a cable or satellite TV bill again. A nice side benefit is that it freed up about 10 hours a week that I spend on other things. Believe me you won’t miss your TV bill one bit. It’s one of the best things that I’ve ever done.

  27. Ha ha! I cut my own hair, but I’m a male. I don’t think it would be all that easy for a female. Nobody ever said I had a bad haircut. I’ve been cutting my own hair since I was in the Marines. Maybe people are just afraid to tell a former jar head that his hair looks bad.

  28. Having read this I thought it was very enlightening.
    I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this short article together.
    I once again find myself personally spending a significant amount of time both reading and posting comments.
    But so what, it was still worth it!

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