There are numerous financial rules and beliefs pushed on us by society. And to be frank, I am over it. Don’t get me wrong, the financial community has provided a lot of insight into living your best, and optimizing your income, etc. However, there is this slippery slope that people tend to go down, and for some reason they like to encourage others to do the same. That is the phenomenon that I do not understand or appreciate.
Below are three financial instances and scenarios that cause unnecessary pressure, judgement, and sometimes ridicule. However, this is for the wrong reasons. oftentimes, this ridicule comes from going against the majority. Meaning, if you do not behave financially similar to your peers, you are either ostracized, or pressured into conforming. Here are three financial behaviors that I hate, and why.
Financial rule #1: Abusing debt for immediate gratification.
According to the credit card statistics of 2020 “61% of American consumers have at least one credit card, and the average person has four.” I’m sure everyone has a different reason for using credit, or owning credit cards. As far as i’m concerned, Your financial business is your choice. So why can’t I have my own financial beliefs? Why am I met with weird looks when It comes out that I only have one credit card and use it for one bill? It’s insane to me that having no debt makes others uncomfortable enough to “reprimand” you about being responsible.
One example is when I was at a friends house, and we were discussing our financial goals for the year. This friend asks me and my fiance when we are getting married, to which we said “once our student loans have been paid in full.” Can you guess what her response was? She responded with a scoff and said “Well not all debt is bad debt.” Okay? where did that come from? I personally refrain from using debt for instant gratification because I know that it will feel great once I no longer owe anyone anything. Honestly, some people just don’t want to pile it on, and that is okay.
Financial rule #2: The “starter home.”
Buying a house is still seen as the american dream. A dream that I hope one day to achieve as well. However, the process is truly a frustrating one. Where I live, you need a huge down payment for a better chance at your offer being accepted and not outbid. Because of this, I plan to save and invest for a hefty downpayment for a house to grow old in. Not a bad idea right?
So why is the idea of saving for one house such a controversial thing? When I used to be more forthcoming about my financial goals, I would be told that I do not need to stay in my starter home forever. A starter home is “a compact flat or house marketed by price and size specifications to suit the requirements of first-time home buyers”, according to dictionary.com. Why do we have to start with a smaller home? Is that really the best way to utilize cash while saving for your forever home? Personally, I want to put all of my down payment into one home that can fit a family of 4, and I am fine living in an apartment until then.
Financial rule #3: You only live once.
The financial belief that I hate the most is the “you only live once” belief. I’m referring to those people who combat your dedication to a goal with “your money won’t hold you at night. Or “you might as well use it up while you’re alive.” I cannot stand this mindset for a few reasons:
It’s a bit selfish – How do you know what someone’s financial goals are? For all you know, they could be saving for family, or medical reasons. It’s just tactless to tell people not to save money.
- The suggestion is weird – why are you so concerned with how much money someone has left over? Why do you need someone to use up all their money before they die? What do you get from that?
I personally save for the future children that I plan to have. I am not doing this just for me. The idea is to establish some sort of comfort for future generations, just like a lot of other americans do. What my children and grandchildren choose to do with the wealth is up to them.
These three scenarios drive me insane on a periodic basis. I wouldn’t normally have an opinion regarding others finances or beliefs. However, as stated above, these are three things that I receive criticism for lacking very often. And for what?
So tell me what you think. Do you agree with any of the above unspoken financial rules? And if not, which ones do you subscribe to? I’m curious to see other perspectives, and hear why other people are going against the financial grain as well. As always, thank you all for reading, and check out my other posts for similar content.