In “The Personal Finance Industry is a Scam,” a writer for GQ discusses her thoughts on why “Suze Orman’s rant against coffee is the latest in cable-news advice that puts the blame for an increasingly unequal financial system on individuals.”
The writer recalled meeting Orman years earlier as an unpaid intern saddled with heavy law school debt. Orman told her not to worry about the student loan did since it didn’t affect her credit score. The writer found this advice to be disappointing, as she was hoping to hear something that would help her get on firmer financial footing. Paying off student loans affects an individual’s purchasing power and when many individuals have a lot of student loan debt, it affects the economy because those people cannot spend the money they must dedicate to student loans.
An investment strategist who writes for MarketWatch riffed on the GQ article, adding the kind of advice that the writer of the original article might have found useful was a young person starting out: “Buy all the coffee and avocado toast you want — but skimp on your house and car.” Instead of promoting the idea that the small luxuries add up, the writer thinks that you should spend on small things that make you happy in the moment but economize on big-ticket items. Rather than trying to keep up with appearances with a big house or car, you could spend modestly in those areas and leave room in your budget for the slightly expensive haircuts that make your feel your best every day or the avocado toast you really enjoy.
Some of these same principles can be found in Happy Money, a book that Clarity Financial Planning recommends; the book focuses on how to spend money on yourself and your family in ways that make you happier.
The Market Watch article includes a list of questions to help you assess your financial stability because if your needs are being adequately met, it is okay to consider how to spend you make yourself happier as opposed to doing just what all the experts say.
Remember that a Fee-Only financial planner is an expert who works directly with you so they don’t have to give one-size-fits-all advice.