“Stop Buying Avocado Toast” and 3 More Toxic Financial Advice
It’s time to get rid of these guilt financial trips.
the main points
- Toxic financial advice shames the listener rather than helps them.
- Other examples include buying a home rather than continuing to rent and sacrificing hobbies so you can work more.
- It’s best to ignore these so-called tips and find healthy ways to improve your finances.
In 2017, Australian millionaire Tim Journer blessed the Internet with tips that quickly went viral. He explained that when he started as a real estate investor, he wasn’t “buying mashed avocados for $19 and four cups of coffee at $4 each.”
It was your usual financial “advice” from a person born in third base who believed they would achieve success on their own land. Gorner talked about how he worked the clock and saved every penny. This was apparently the key to his success, not the $34,000 his grandfather gave him to buy property when he was 19.
This kind of financial shame disguised as advice is unfortunately common. It’s more about making people feel guilty than actually helping them. If you experience any of the following toxic thoughts about money, the best thing you can do is just ignore them.
1. Don’t buy a latte – or anything else that brings the slightest bit of joy
Before avocado toast, the latte was the typical example of overspending. We’ve all probably heard about how much money we can save if we make coffee and milk at home. But in fact, this advice is repeated with many examples of what you should not buy. Lattes, iPhones, and designer clothes are mentioned a lot, and the list goes on.
The annoying thing about this tip is how it suggests that spending money on yourself is wrong. This is far from the truth. One of the whole points of making money is having a good quality of life. The key is to spend what you can afford.
It is true that you do not want to overspend, but the solution is not to deprive yourself of everything. Instead, set aside a certain amount of disposable income each month to use as fun supplement and spend it on whatever you want. And if you want to buy something big, like a new phone or a vacation, save time so you don’t have to take on debt.
2. Get rid of fun habits to become a productivity machine
This is a favorite in the bro-hustle culture, where every moment should be devoted to increasing your productivity. Supposed Success gurus will explain how those two hours you spent watching Netflix is time you could have used to learn a new skill or work for a company.
Just as there should be no shame in how you spend your money, there should be no shame in how you spend your free time. There is nothing wrong with having a healthy work-life balance.
Working all the time isn’t the only way to move forward. You can still be successful while pursuing hobbies and other things that bring you joy. In fact, you’re less likely to get overwhelmed when you keep your interests outside of your business.
3. Stop spending money on rent and buy a house ASAP
Although this is the most Boomer tip ever, I’ve heard it from people of all ages. They explain how you pay your landlord’s mortgage and how you throw out money with rent. You can use the same amount of rent to pay a mortgage, and then build home ownership. Simple, isn’t it?
of course not. This tip eliminates the challenges of owning a home, like all the extra home ownership expenses. You are not simply exchanging rent for a mortgage. You pay property and maintenance taxes, and you are responsible for scheduling repairs any time something happens. It’s a big commitment, and there are plenty of horror stories about regretting buying a home for the first time.
This does not mean that buying a home is a bad idea. Homeownership and leasing have their advantages and disadvantages. It’s all about finding the right option for you and your current lifestyle.
Personal finance is not something that should make you feel guilty or embarrassed. All that is really important is that you save and invest regularly to build financial security. Everything else, from how you use your money to what you do in your spare time, is up to you.
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