What’s the Best Advice That You Just Didn’t Take?

There’s plenty of great advice out there. The problem is that it’s a whole lot easier to pass that advice right on by without taking it — or even to go ahead and do exactly the opposite — than it is to take good advice to heart and act on it.

I’ve disregarded plenty of good advice myself, at least initially. Many times I came around after I’d gone ahead and messed things up pretty good, or after I finally got things in gear and got moving.

For me, I think the best financial advice that I didn’t take was to always save at least 10% of my income, no matter what. Or maybe that’s tied with “never borrow money” as the best advice I didn’t take. It’s hard to say.

In both cases though, what caused me to finally take the advice and get my act together was the realization that I could have been on track for financial independence long ago had I only taken that advice sooner. Better late than never I suppose!

So I’m wondering, what’s the best money or goal-related advice that you didn’t take when it was first offered?

And what did it take to change your mind, if anything?


  • More like delaying advice. I wanted things to be perfect when I set out to do them. I wasn’t willing to “Waste time with mistakes”.

    Big mistake. Only thing that happened? Wasted time.

    You pose a really good question in this post.

    • Moon, at least you did get moving :)

      I do think that is a typical mistake. We want stuff to be perfect, or are afraid that it won’t work out, and so delay and delay. Then when it DOES work out we wonder why we didn’t just go ahead and do it sooner…

  • ha! I did the not saving 10% of my income too…and then I got into a bind and wish that I had saved that money. But instead my parents had to bail me out. I got blessed and they just gave me the money (no loan). So now I save save and save.

  • Michael Crosby

    Hi Jackie. I’m not sure if this was a mistake or not.

    I was in the military and my parents said “Stay in”. That I would be able to retire and have a pension the rest of my life.

    They were right about the pension, (I would be well into many years of drawing on that pension), but I followed my own dreams. Now maybe following my own dreams was not practical, but I’m glad I did.

    I have no pension, but I love who I am and I love my life.

    And while I’m at it, I love you too.

    I’ve never met you before, but let’s get married. Ahh, you’re probably married anyway. I’m too. Maybe not such a good idea.

    Well, we could be friends;-)

    • Michael, it sounds like following your dreams was the right thing to do. (And I’m having a hard time coming up with a scenario where that would be the wrong thing to do.)

      Re: marriage, yup, I’m married. Friends it is.

  • I’ve missed Money Crush! Been having lots of stuffs going on so never got to check out this thought provoking blog, but here I am again :-)

    An advice I never really took (initially) is to invest in yourself. I’d been hearing or reading about investing money on yourself, but I never really did anything until the past few years (especially the past one year). Now that I realize it’s important to spend money on myself to buy books, attend courses/seminars, and now I live the motto of ‘investing in yourself’ every day.

    There’s only so much you can get from one piece of advice, but if you actively seek out ways to improve yourself, you’d be way ahead of the crowd when it comes to whatever you wanna learn, including financial advices.

    P.S. I found this great article on unsolicited advice, I think it ties in with your post pretty well: http://bly.com/blog/general/why-i-never-give-unsolicited-advice/. Basic idea is that you will never value an advice unless you seek it out yourself or if the advice has a price tag to it (like paying tax accountants or attorneys).

    • Ken, welcome back :)

      I agree, investing in yourself is important, both with money and with time. And you’re so right about not valuing advice unless you seek it our or you have to pay for it. Even then, I think sometimes it just has to come at the right time. Maybe it’s a matter of being ready for it.

  • So many things, I can’t even count. Thankfully, I have stopped taking advice and starting reading blogs and websites – I doing it by myself!

  • We all had our mistakes in the past, but by not learning from it is a great waste. I’ve had also my share of not listening to good advice like studying hard during my academic days, now I regret this error. Still, as what you have said, better late than never and so I’m investing myself on learning. :-)

  • My parents rolled their eyes when I mentioned using a CPA. This year, she raised her prices without telling us and cost $475. I hate it when my parents are right…

  • Francesca

    It wasn’t until I’d maxed out my credit cards and realised that I’d run up a significant amount of debt, that I finally took my Gran’s advice and started using cash to pay for everything.
    I used my debit card once a week to withdraw the total budget for that week and the rule was that once, it was gone, it was gone. I couldn’t believe what a difference it made to my spending habits. Seeing the pennies in my purse disappearing made me question each and every purchase.
    As a result I not only learnt to stick to my budget but I actually found ways of saving some of it each week. By using this method, I managed to pay off my credit cards in half the time.