Most people would agree it’s important to have a financial counselor even if all is going well and according to plan. A financial counselor might help you create a budget or debt repayment plan. A financial counselor can even help in weighing tough decisions regarding purchases.
Less obvious financial counselors
There may be less obvious counselors or influencers who you often refer to for financial advice which you should use caution before acting on their counsel. These counselors increase your spending and can help you acquire more debt. They don’t necessarily always have your best interest in mind. And sometimes, they don’t even realize it. Who are they?
Uncle Sam as a financial counselor
While the United States government wants to provide incentives to stimulate our economy, they don’t always think about the impacts to the national debt and to you as a wise money manager. Stimulus packages, such as those for cars and houses may very well help the economy and business perform better, but they may not be the right decisions for you personally. Always keep your objectives in focus, and carefully weigh the incentive and the impacts on your personal situation before taking action.
Quick tip: If the incentive is leading you into debt, put the brakes on and reconsider.
Sales clerks and advertisers as financial counselors
Advertisers (and sometimes sales clerks) can be entertaining, but are focused on counseling you to spend money. It’s their job to find every reason in the world why you need their product. The more advertising (or selling opportunities) you allow into your life, the greater the chance you have of purchasing something. Guard well what you take in from media as well as what environments or situations you put yourself in that could cause you to spend money.
Quick tip: Does the purchase add value, or is it a need? If not, put the brakes on and reconsider.
Friends as financial counselors
Everyone and their brother wants to tell you about their new purchase and counsel you as to why they got a great deal and how you can too.
I’ve been wanting a big screen TV for years and I finally found a great deal at the local electronics mega store. Go check it out!
How often do you hear the following conversation take place in your neighborhood? Unfortunately, it’s probably not often.
My wife and I have started living on a spending plan and we’ve found we can save an extra $200 per month and apply it to our debt reduction plan.
While some friends are wise counselors, be careful of the advice or counsel you decide to adhere to when managing your finances.
Quick tip: Ask yourself if the conversations always lean towards spending vs. saving or giving. If the former, put the brakes on and reconsider.
Family as financial counselors
Unfortunately, some family members haven’t always made the wisest of money choices in the past and may have continued on an unstable track into the present. While some parents can be wonderful counselors, I caution you to not repeat the history of any money making mistakes of your family.
Quick tip: Use good judgement. It’s often known when family members are spending happy and accumulating debt. As is the advice with friends, determine if the conversation is spending or saving oriented.
I’m sure there are plenty of other counselors that don’t exactly lead us down the best of paths even though they may mean well. I think the key is to pay attention and make wise decisions based on your plan and what is best for you. Again, even if you’re not confronting a financial obstacle, it may be wise to visit with a counselor a few times a year and review your spending plan to establish some accountability.
Can you think of other financial counselors in which you should use caution before acting on their guidance? If so, please comment about them.
Personal Finance Round Up
I’m pleased to announce my article, The Cone of Uncertainty and How it Impacts Your Personal Spending Plan, was included in The Carnival of Personal Finance #221 – Labour Day Edition this week hosted by Financial Highway.
A few of the articles I enjoyed reading around the personal finance blogosphere this week
- 42 Ways to Radically Simplify Your Financial Life @ Man vs Debt
- Frugal Living Isn’t Always About Trade Offs @ MoneyNing
- Buy More to Save More? You’re Doing it Wrong @ Borrow From None
- Gone Phishing How to Avoid Being Caught by Scammers @ Get Rich Slowly
Did you read other articles you liked and would like to share? If so, please comment about them.
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