The Carr Report: What’s the worst financial advice you ever received?

by Damon Carr, For New Pittsburgh Courier

You can learn from personal experiences or you can learn from other’s experiences. When it comes to making mistakes, I’m a proponent of learning from other’s experiences.  I have a cousin who survived a gunshot. He tells me it feels like hot fire piercing your body. I told him, I’ll take your word for it. When it comes to making money mistakes, it’s not only cheaper, it’s less stressful, and you will not personally experience the hot fire burning a hole in your wallet. I ask my Facebook Followers to share what was some of the worst advice they’d received about money. They offered up some personal experiences. I’ll add some insight. But don’t take my word for it, be mindful of what they had to say.

Buy new cars to avoid costly repairs. Luckily I never took that bad advice since cars depreciate on day one.

~ Tracy

 Damon says: Smart woman! What happens to a new car the moment you drive it off of the lot? It becomes a used car. New cars depreciate 30-50 percent within the first 3-years.  Costly repairs? Have you calculated the amount you pay in car payments on a new car over one year alone? Let’s just say, it’s more than likely more expensive than what people pay in car repairs over the same time period. Purchasing a slightly used certified pre owned car is the optimal way to purchase a car. 

**********You don’t have to worry about anything, baby. I got it.

~ Cicely



Damon says: She’s saying this in regards to a previous relationship. He promised a lot. He delivered very little. Leaving her with a mess to clean up on her own. When it comes to money, everybody can be funny. You can never trust everything will work itself out because he or she promised it will. You have to trust but verify.


To let my former spouse be in charge of the finances and financial decisions.


 Damon says: When you’re married, you are one economic unit. Both spouses should have some autonomy where they can spend money without getting the other’s permission. It’s important to set a dollar amount that you will not go over without the other spouse knowing about it. I recommend any spending over $300 should be agreed upon amongst both spouses. Spending under $300 should be discretionary unless one is deceitfully making several purchases under $300 to avoid having the money discussion with their spouse.  As to the $300 spending cap, an exception is warranted if it’s a gift for one another. Even then, the amount spent on a gift has to be within reason. It’s also important that both spouses have experience in paying bills as well as having a voice and opinions on all money matters within the household.


As a 19 yr old International Student I fell into the American system with Credit Cards. Credit Card companies came to our campus to offer students credit cards. My American “friend” at the time told me credit cards were free money. With zero knowledge of what I was signing up for I ended up with 5 credit cards within the first month of being in the US, I was in debt.

~ Choice

Worst money advice: Take the credit cards offered to me while in college with no job.

~ Nicole

Damon says: In America, NOTHING is free. If any company is offering something for free, you’re the product they’re selling by way of your profile to other companies. Giving a broke college student with no job with several needs, wants and desires a credit card is a license to go on a shopping spree. How are they to pay it back with no stable income? Sounds like a catalyst to rack up both debt and bad credit.


The worst piece I was given was none! My mother NEVER told/showed me HOW to save money. She just told me to do it. I didn’t really learn until about 12 years ago

~ C. Linda

No financial advice is my worst advice! I started out well enough on my own but without further knowledge it all went haywire and now I’m playing catch up with retirement investments.

~ Irene

Not getting any advice was the worst. I had to figure out budgeting, credit cards, bank fees, etc. on my own.

~ Nafeesa

 Damon says: Three people stated not ceiving no advice is the worst advice of all. We’re taught algebra, geometry and trigonometry but not budgeting, saving or investing. And we wonder why most people are financially illiterate.  When it comes to money, ignorance isn’t bliss, what you don’t know can bankrupt you. It’s incumbent upon you to seek out information and help from trusted advisers that will help you get a grip on your money. Call me.


I am my own worst enemy when it comes to money. Advising me to put my money in the drawer is the worst financial advice I’ve received. That mess doesn’t work. 

~ Tonya


Damon says: We can blame the system and our parents for not properly teaching us how to manage money as the reason for our lack of progress. That would be childish. But as adults at some point we have to realize if it is to be, it’s up to we. Not only do we need to seek out information and counsel that will help us make good financial decisions. We have to control that person in the mirror that spends money on things we don’t need or purchase things we knowingly can’t realistically afford. We are the drivers to our individual financial success and our individual financial ruin.


To wait for a husband to buy a house. I bought my first home at age 26. I’m now 46 and have never been married. I would’ve been wasting so much money for 20 years if I WAITED for a husband to purchase a home (FOOLISHNESS)

~ Janeen

 Damon says:  I think one should get their financial house in order first before seeking homeownership. Waiting to get your love life in order before you seek homeownership comes with one caveat: NEVER buy a house with a significant other unless you’re married.  A person unwilling to commit to marriage yet willing to commit to a 30-year mortgage sounds iffy to me. If you’re financially able to own a home on your own before you get married, go for it!

Damon Carr, Money Coach can be reached We 412-216-1013 or visit his website at




From the Web