Sometimes we can get truly great wisdom from others. People with real life experience can share their secrets of success, or their lessons learned from missteps, and we can reap the benefits. Simply keeping our ears open, and truly listening to what they have to say, can be a nice way to help us learn and shape our own decisions.
On the other hand, sometimes we hear things that make us pause, do a double-take, and ask ourselves: “Did I just hear that??”.
I was recently thinking about some of the crazy things people have said to me regarding money over the years. Or, at least I can say that they were things that didn’t quite follow my way of looking at things.
Anyway, here are 6 odd money quotes that I have heard, among many others:
1) “You bought a USED house?”
At one point a few years back, somebody a generation older than me was asking me a few questions about the last home I bought. In the conversation, I made a comment about the work the previous owner had done. At that point, the person with whom I was talking practically turned up his nose, looked at me as if he was grossed out, and said: “you bought a used house?”
Ummm….yeah. I bought a “used” house, otherwise known as an existing home, or even as a previously owned home. That’s quite normal in many parts of the country, actually! This person clearly must view things differently than me, when it comes to the trade-offs involved with homes and school districts.
2) “The best thing about guys are the free dinners you get”
This quote came from a girl back in college. She apparently “liked me”, from what I heard. But that didn’t stop her from telling me a story about someone in her sorority who got asked out a lot. The other girl apparently wrangled quite a few dinners out of different guys. So, the girl I knew told me how she thought that was so cool, and that she should have done more of that. Then she dropped the line that basically said guys are great mostly due to free dinners they buy you.
Hmmm….did she think that would endear me to her? I lost any lukewarm interest at that point. She point blank asked me a few weeks later how I felt about her, and I tried to nicely tell her that I wasn’t interested in dating her. Clearly that wasn’t what she wanted to hear. Just as I didn’t want to hear about how the best thing about guys is that they spend money on you!
3) “If we can’t pay for it all now, we’ll just make more money later and pay for it later”.
This, much like the first quote above, was from a person a generation older than me. She was talking about a big household furnishings purchase, and I commented about how it was quite the cash outlay. She then bristled, and chuckled (nervously and defiantly), before talking about how credit cards were great because you could take your time paying. That way, you could “just make more money later and pay for it later”.
Now, this wasn’t a loan for an affordable home, or education. Heck, it wasn’t even for a car. This was for furnishings that one shouldn’t be financing. The way she said this was as if it was perfectly normal.
4) “Hey, while you’re paying for college, I’m making $7.50 an hour!”.
Yes, this was a guy who was year older than me, who left high school and didn’t go to college. At least, not right away. I saw him a year later, after I was in college and he had been out of high school for a couple of years. He was telling me about how it was great to not take classes, and to be able to be free to make money and have a good time. I told him that college was fun too (very).
That’s when the guy smirked, looked at me as if I was a fool, and told me that while I was paying for more schooling, he was already making money.
Whatever. As long as you’re not taking on excessive loans at an overpriced school for a useless major, you’re likely better off with an education. I’ve written about education and net worth before, so you probably know what I thought of that guy’s comments even then.
5) “I’d rather just stick money in CDs”.
This was a friend of mine who is quite smart, and made a decent salary when younger, but didn’t believe in putting money in the stock market. He just thought it was pure speculation, and that his money was safer in more risk-averse investments. Well, most of us know that over the long-term, the rate of return in stocks exceeds that of putting money in certificates of deposit!
Happily for him, he changed his ways after a number of years, and is now doing very well for himself. But early on, not so much wisdom.
6) “I invested EVERYTHING in the company’s stock, and recommend that you do the same”.
This was a guy who was having a retirement party at work some years ago, at a former employer. He was talking about how spending his whole career with the same organization worked out well for him, and that this could be seen with how it directly impacted his investment success. He was loyal to the company, believed in it, and invested everything he had in it.
Basically, he suggested putting all his eggs in one basket, which doesn’t exactly fit into a good set of investing success tips. Shockingly, he got a standing ovation after making his proud recommendation to put everything into the company stock. I stayed seated, as did another coworker who was shaking her head in disagreement along with me 🙂
My Questions for You:
Which of these 6 quotes is the most unusual to you?
What crazy money-related comments, or bad financial advice, have you heard over the years?