I got a comment last week in response to my New Grad’s Advice saying that my advice was ok, but blatantly obvious. I don’t disagree that what I wrote was pretty much “common sense” however, stating that advice is obvious financial advice or other, is a naive view of the world.
A few great examples of advice (financial and other) that seems obvious that just isn’t followed even by ‘smart’ people:
- Don’t smoke it’s bad for your health and it is expensive. Seems obvious, yet the tobacco industry continues to make very good profits and people continue to die of lung cancer, yet the advice is patently obvious.
- Don’t carry balances month to month on your credit card, the interest rates are ridiculous. This seems to me a “no brainer” given how cheap you can get lines of credit for, if you need to carry debt, yet the credit card industry continues to thrive on this financial folly.
- Don’t spend money you do not have. Again, to an 8 year old this is painfully obvious, because they can’t but as soon as we are old enough to have a credit card, this obvious statement, no longer seems so obvious.
- If you want more money, spend less or earn more. I think I have stated this a few thousand times (I espouse the spend less side of things more), yet people continue to get into debt and money issues because they don’t follow this simple credo.
- Don’t pay ridiculously high bank charges on your accounts, find the cheapest bank to deal with. I have heard people say that is too hard so they simply stick with the bank they are with (I then ask if they wouldn’t mind giving me $20 a month for doing nothing, since they are effectively doing the same with their bank).
- You can always trust a man who tucks his shirt in his underpants. Surprisingly another piece of advice most folks just don’t see as obvious.
- The only people who win when you buy lottery tickets is the lottery commission. Seems obvious financial advice to me, yet money is still being made in Ontario (although I was surprised to see that the Super 7 Lottery is ending in September).
One person’s obvious is another person’s blind spot, I’ll continue to point out the obvious, if readers wish to comment that I am being far too obvious, I have no trouble with that, I’d hate to think I am becoming obtuse in my old age.