More Opinions, Please!

My boyfriend brought up a great point the other day. I was telling him about my blog (he hadn’t read it yet) and he asked, “But did you insert your opinion?? Did you add ‘the Nicole DiVito’ flavor to what you’ve learned?” (Funny man). I told him yes, although admittedly, I’ve held back a little… (Don’t want to be so opinionated that I push away readers!)

But his question got me thinking – So many financial experts/blogs/articles spew out cold hard facts without ever giving their own, unbiased opinions. “You should do this. You should do that.” In truth, there’s nothing I’d love to know more than the unbiased personal opinion of someone with a finance or accounting degree! Don’t tell me what I should be doing. Tell me what you’re doing, and why. What percentage of your salary do you save? How do you invest for short-term goals?

Unfortunately, I do not have a financial degree. But I do have passion and the desire to weed out the bad advice and promote the good!

So to circle back to my previous post about spending 5% of your salary on clothing… it’s fine if you want and can do this, but I think it’s terrible advice to follow any of the wardrobe recommendations in this article, such as spending $100 on a pair of sandals and $85 on a satin skirt if you make $30,000 a year. (Really?) I know several people who make more than that and find incredible deals for less.

What other terrible financial advice have you seen?


4 thoughts on “More Opinions, Please!

  1. KQ

    1. I do my own taxes so I see what and how is being taken out.
    2. Don’t recognize raises…put the raise into a 401k. This avoids lifestyle creep.
    3. Take advantage of tax shelters when saving (401k..Roth IRA…health saving account)
    4. Dollar cost average when entering into a new investing position.


  2. Right on again! Thanks for sharing your expertise. I love the phrase “lifestyle creep.” Might have to do a blog post just on that in the near future! For #1, I’m not sure most of us are up for the challenge of doing our own taxes, but it’s probably wise advice. #4 you will have to explain to me in more detail. Totally agree with #2 and 3. Particularly when it comes to Roth IRAs. Some have argued it’s a good place to house emergency savings – thoughts on doing that?


  3. L7

    re #1: Free filing, easy Q&A format to follow, and unless a person has a home/condo (i.e., is itemizing deductions), it doesn’t make sense to pay a tax professional.
    re #2: Unfortunately the cost of living increases each year, so unless a person is truly an outstanding performer, raises will likely be near such increase. As a result, putting such amounts into a a 401k would result in a year-over-year deficit.
    Addt’l thoughts: The interest rates on mortgages are at historical lows. Most lenders would only require a 3% down payment if a home buyer has a decent debt:income ratio and a steady job; as a result, any renters who may be in the market to buy in the next 2-4 years should make reasonable best efforts to accelerate that time period to 6-12 months, as even an increase of .5% point of interest could result in tens of thousands of dollars paid in the long run (and hundreds of dollars paid per month).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed. I think #2 is great advice for people who receive 15, 20, or 30% (or more) raises. I think those are the kind KQ was referencing in his comment earlier. (I don’t actually consider “annual raises” or “merit raises” – usually of 2-6% – as a raise. It’s certainly nice to receive and helpful, but you’re right – it just adjusts for inflation.

      The topic of down payments for mortgages is certainly interesting right now. For anyone out of the loop, two government-backed mortgage giants, Fannie and Freddie, just announced last week (on Dec. 8) that they would accept 3% down payments. Which is huge (and potentially terrific) news for worthy lenders with little savings yet. But I have to look into this more carefully. I’m sure there are some unattractive terms associated with this, such as a higher monthly mortgage rates and/or higher interest rates. Great points though!


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