There’s no shortage of people doling out advice on the interwebs. In fact, there’s no shortage of advice on this very blog. While I’m long been a proponent of the fact that there’s nothing one-size-fits-all about personal finance, this is the first time I’m going to say something so explicitly. I hope you ignore me—and everyone else—from time to time. Truly, I do.
Everyone’s An Expert and No One Agrees
In this era, it’s all about branding. And since I have the market cornered on adorably loveable, frugally awkward weirdness, people have to branch out (understandably so, amirite?) If Twitter bios are to be believed, a lot of people are branching out into expert or guru status. That’s fine and well and may even be true, but I’m not sure how much it actually matters.
You’ll meet one money expert that touts the benefits of paying off your mortgage as fast as you can. There are huge benefits to that. Not only does it free up hundreds or thousands of dollars each month, but think of the mental win that it would be knowing that you own your home free and clear. After all, you know what
they I say: no debt is the only good debt around.
But wait. What about the money expert who says it is foolish to pay off your mortgage ahead of time? With mortgage interest rates three, four, or possibly even five percent lower than the stock market returns of late, your focus should be on getting the biggest bang for your buck through investments. Plus, there is the annual tax break that comes from all of that interest you’ve paid. Cha-ching!
So who do you believe? Which expert is right? The short answer is they both are. Even though the ideas are antithetical, they both hold water.
And this isn’t just true for mortgages. Side hustling? It’s fantastic, and it’s the ultimate time suck. Making your passion your work? A blessing and a fool’s errand. Pick virtually any topic in the personal finance world (or the world in general) and you’ll find experts with divergent views.
No One Knows You Like You
When it comes to your life, there’s only one real expert: you. The only person that knows your exact situation, that understands your true talents, that comprehends your biggest fears is you. As a result, one person’s expert advice may not work and that’s just fine. There’s no reason to spend countless time and energy square-peg-round-holing your days away. Even if it seems like the best advice in the world because it has unlocked success for so many other people, if it isn’t the right fit for you, tune it out.
If you’re not quite ready to la la la, I can’t hear you, feel free to take pieces of the advice and make it your own. Do what works for you. And to figure out what works for you, sometimes you have to tune out the experts and listen to yourself.
So Tell Me…What advice just doesn’t work for you?