Ignoring my ex’s financial advice was my best financial decision
- In my early twenties, I had a boyfriend who was a financial advisor and he was trying to give me financial advice.
- I was careful, but found that he was giving me general advice that didn’t take into account my financial goals or risk tolerance.
- He told me to focus on investing in a brokerage account instead of building an emergency fund or saving for retirement, and I’m so glad I ignored him.
- SmartAsset’s free tool can find a financial planner to help you take control of your money ”
When I was in my twenties, I had a boyfriend who was trying to tell me what to do with my money. I’ve had just started saving money of a series of post-graduation jobs and I wasn’t sure what to do with the money. This boyfriend was a financial advisor, so when he offered me advice, I listened very carefully. However, for some reason there was a ping in my stomach telling me not to listen to it. Our relationship was short lived which also meant that I never had time to fully implement his advice and instead decided to ignore what he told me to do.
Years later, I find myself rethinking his financial strategy for me and being so grateful that I didn’t follow through on his plan. Ignoring his advice was by far one of the smartest financial decisions I have ever made.
His goal was to invest first
I wasn’t making a lot of money in my early twenties. The little money I was trying to save usually ended up paying unexpected credit card bills that I had racked up because I was struggling stick to a firm budget. So when my boyfriend at the time told me not to worry about putting extra money in a savings account and instead putting it in stocks, bonds and mutual funds (in an effort to potentially grow the money over time), I couldn’t bring myself to do so.
I figured I needed to put myself in a stable position to cut spending and increase my savings before I put money into a brokerage account. I wanted to have money on hand in case I needed it. I ignored his advice and instead set a goal of saving at least $ 5,000 in my savings account and following a budget of at least six months before even thinking of investing my money anywhere.
He told me not to create an emergency fund
Back when my ex-boyfriend was giving me this financial advice, I heard friends talking about save for their emergency funds. Curious if I should do the same, I asked my ex-boyfriend, but he steered me away from pursuing this strategy, saying it was a waste of time if I had a job full time and a stable income.
Because I was working for a start-up (and there were frequent rotations and layoffs) and I also had heaps of my own bills to pay, I felt like putting money in an emergency fund would be a smart plan in case something happened and I needed to access that stash of money.
Even though I didn’t have much to put aside, I opened a second savings account and started building my emergency fund in addition to expanding my general savings account. I created two separate accounts so that I wouldn’t be tempted to dip into the emergency fund, but that I could dip into my savings if I needed to.
He told me not to worry about saving for retirement
The last piece of advice from my ex-boyfriend that I ignored was to wait until I was in my mid-30s to save for retirement. He preached that by then I would be making more money and better able to put more money into a retirement fund. While it took me years to open a 401 (k) and start contributing to my retirement, it wasn’t because I was following his advice. I only waited until the end of my 20s – not my 30s – to start saving because I wanted to focus on building up my savings and deleveraging first.
I’m glad I followed my own gut and did my own research, and not listened to bad advice from an ex-boyfriend that would have ruined my finances more than I could imagine. Today I have tens of thousands of dollars in savings and I regularly invest more in a taxable brokerage account and a pension fund. I made a lot of money mistakes in my 20s, but learned and prepared in my 30s for a strong financial future.
When it comes to your finances, always get a second or third opinion. The more research you do, the more you’ll understand your options. Which is important because finances are not universal like my ex-boyfriend tried to convince me many years ago.