Tired man rubbing his eyes and sitting at his desk at work.

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It’s time to kick those financial guilt to the curb.

Key Point

  • Toxic financial advice humiliates rather than helps listeners.
  • Other examples include buying a home instead of continuing to rent, or sacrificing hobbies to be able to work more.
  • We encourage you to ignore these so-called tips and find healthier ways to improve your finances.

In 2017, Australian billionaire Tim Garner blessed the internet by posting advice that quickly went viral. He explained that when he started out as a real estate investor, he didn’t “buy a smashed avocado for $19 and four coffees for $4 for him each.”

It was the typical unrealistic financial “advice” from someone born on third base who thought he could hit a home run. We talked about how we saved money. That seems to have been the key to his success, not his $34,000 given by his grandfather to buy the property when he was 19 years old.

This kind of financial shaming disguised as advice is sadly all too common. Making people feel guilty is more important than actually helping people. When you come across the following toxic thoughts about money, the best thing you can do is ignore them.

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1. Don’t buy lattes and other little pleasures

Before avocado toast, lattes were the classic example of overspending. You’ve probably heard how much money you can save by making your own coffee or latte at home. But in fact, this tip has been tediously repeated with many examples of what not to buy: lattes, iPhones, and designer wear are frequently mentioned, and the list goes on and on.

The trouble with this advice is that it implies that spending money on yourself is wrong. It couldn’t be further from the truth.One of the points of making money is living a quality life. The key is to use what you can afford.

It’s true that you don’t want to spend too much money, but the solution is not to take everything away from yourself. Instead, set aside a fixed amount of disposable income each month and use it as fun money to spend on things you love. Also, if you want to buy something big, like a new cell phone or vacation, take the time to save up so you don’t have to go into debt.

2. Quit Fun Habits and Become a Productivity Machine

This is popular in the hustle and bustle culture where every moment must be devoted to maximizing productivity. You would describe it as time that you could have used to do business.

Just like you shouldn’t be ashamed of how you spend your money, you shouldn’t be ashamed of how you spend your free time. There is nothing wrong with achieving a healthy work-life balance.

Working all the time is not the only way forward. You can have hobbies and other things that bring you happiness and still be successful. In fact, if you keep yourself interested in things outside of work, you’re less likely to burn out.

3. Stop Wasting Rent and Buy a Home ASAP

This is the most boomer advice ever, but I’ve heard it from people of all ages. You can build home equity by using the same rent to pay your mortgage. Simple, isn’t it?

Absolutely not. This advice details the challenges of owning a home, including extra home ownership costs. We are not simply exchanging rent for a mortgage. You pay property taxes and upkeep and are responsible for scheduling repairs whenever something breaks. It’s a big commitment, and there are many horror stories of people regretting their first home purchase.

I’m not saying that buying a home is bad. Owning and renting each have their own advantages and disadvantages. It’s all about finding the best option for you and your current lifestyle.

Personal finance should not make you feel guilty or ashamed. What really matters is to save and invest regularly to build financial security. From how you spend your money to how you spend your free time, it’s all up to you.

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