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The WORST Pieces of Financial Advice Parents Give Their Children

Mother knows best, except, perhaps, when it comes to your wallet. One person took to the internet to admit that although they mean well, not every parent has had sage financial advice. People responded with the worst financial advice they’ve received from their parents. 

Note: Some quotes in this piece have been lightly edited for grammar.

1: Set Up for Failure 

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The original poster points to two not-so-helpful pieces of advice they received from their parents. One was to pay off student loan debt as quickly as possible, even if it meant letting credit card debt grow. The second was to take 20% of their gross paychecks. “They must have been teaching me to budget responsibly,” ponders the child. The truth was anything but that from their experience.

2: Nothing Better Than Something 

Confused traveler.
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

One commenter was left in the dark altogether finance-wise. “My parents never gave me any advice. Not even good ones. I guess they didn’t know any better; they were poor and uneducated. Maybe that was a good thing?” 

3: Could Be Worse 

A person adding to a stack of coins.
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One commenter admits that while the “worst” advice they got was nowhere near as bad as their peers, it wasn’t very savvy. They heard to “save your money in a savings account. Don’t invest in the market or real estate (beyond your home) and pay off your mortgage as fast as possible, even if you have a low interest rate.”

4: Don’t Hit the Books 

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“Girls don’t need an education,” one commenter heard from her parents. “Just get a job until you get married.” Yikes. 

5: Happens to Everyone 

Woman holding a credit card.
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One commenter heard from their mother that going into credit card debt is normal. “My mom still every year says she’s finally paid off her CC [credit card]. So she continues to go into debt somehow every year.”

6: Risks Pay Off 

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“Get a job after graduation and stay put for life” was the terrible advice one user heard from their parents. “Nope, I quit several jobs when I peaked each time and moved onto better-paying jobs each time, or full career changes.” 

7: Working Overtime 

Clock in sand.
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One commenter says the worst advice they heard was to focus on school instead of saving up for college and avoid taking out student loans. “This combo led to difficulties finding work and the need to work several jobs during university.”

8: Missed Opportunities 

Man with empty pockets.
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Another commenter says their parent’s advice to avoid student loans has cost them more in the long run. “If I applied earlier, I would have qualified for more FREE grants.”

9: All That Work for Nothing 

Toy house sitting on top of coins.
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

One commenter’s parents said to pay off the mortgage first and invest afterward. “So wrong, especially when interest rates were low. It would have been nearly two decades of lost compounding.” The second worst advice they heard? “Stay loyal to your first employer and strictly do what your boss says no matter what.”

9: Kids Aren’t the Answer 

Surprised student.
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After following their parent’s advice of having kids young, one commenter spent their 20s “destitute with three kids.” They went to university and doubled what they previously made. “I shouldn’t have listened, but it was a weird culty upbringing, and I’m pretty sure I was brainwashed.”

10: Farm for Cash 

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One person was advised by their parents that farming is a viable career. “Coming from a lady who calculated that she was effectively earning $0.15/hr in one particular year.”

11: Learning From Mistakes 

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“The worst advice? Nothing. My parents never talked to me about money at all,” one commenter says. “Luckily for my kids, I learned from their mistakes, and I talk to mine about every little detail.”

12: Avoid Building Credit 

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One person said their parents advised them only to check their credit report if making a big purchase, like a home or a car. Going one step further, they said to stay away from credit cards altogether. 

13: Driving Me Crazy 

Frustrated woman.
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“My mom tried to convince me to pay cash for my car when the finance option was 0%,” said one commenter, who ran into trouble at the dealership. “She said life isn’t good when you have payments for things.” 

14: Cooking a Disaster 

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A chef offered one person an apprenticeship at 17, and they were encouraged by their dad to take the job. The caveat? They’d have to drop out of high school. “He was shocked a company would invest in me and didn’t want me to miss out. Logic is flawed for sure, but I know where it came from. Thankfully, I didn’t listen to him.”

15: Leave It to the Universe 

Big bang.
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One commenter was kicked out of their house at 18 and said their mom told them the universe would provide. “I’m glad I didn’t take her advice. But it took a long time to become stable – I truly believed that I wasn’t worthy of work that paid well and settled for less for a long time.”

Source: Reddit

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