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6 Bad Financial Advice From Our Parents We Should Stop Listening To

Kendra Tan

Kendra Tan

Last updated 16 August, 2022

Our parents may have our best interests at heart, but that doesn’t mean their financial advice is right.

Our parents essentially serve as our first point of contact for all of our money-related queries growing up. However, older doesn’t mean wiser — as we grow more financially woke over the years, we realise that their money advice isn’t always right. 

While I’ve been fortunate to learn important financial tips from my parents, others haven’t been so lucky. Here are some of the worst pieces of financial advice you probably would’ve heard your parents dish out and why you should be ignoring them. 

Financial Advice From Our Parents We Should Stop Listening To In 2022

1. “Never use a credit card because you’ll end up in debt” 

We understand why parents will say this — the easy availability of credit tempts you to spend, while the option to keep rolling over your balance can make it easy to fall into a debt trap

However, that only happens if you don’t pay your bills. 

Using a credit card and paying it off in full at the end of the month will not only help you build your credit score, which is helpful when applying for a mortgage or other financial tools, but also earn cashback, rewards and miles for that sweet, free business class flight

2. “Your house is for living, not for investment purposes” 

Why not both? Several HDB BTO projects have recently seen the biggest rise in flat values, reaping over 80% profits. Million-dollar HDB flats have even made the news, so why can’t you take advantage of your BTO, sell it after the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) and upgrade to a condo?I mean, I would. 

3. “Investment is gambling” 

Yes, only if you buy meme stocks and stocks you don’t know much about. Investing involves risks, but these risks can be mitigated if you do your research. 

The older generation often thinks that the best, foolproof way of being financially stable is through saving money, which does not apply to the current times.

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4. “You are too young to start investing”

The best time to invest is yesterday, and today’s the next best time. 

Starting your investment journey at a young age of 20, versus starting at the age of 40 can lead to vastly different outcomes. At a younger age, time is on your side. You have decades ahead of you to ride out market volatility and allow your investments to compound year on year. It will also enable you to take on more risk and invest in asset classes that have the potential to reap higher returns, such as stocks, unit trusts, ETFs or even cryptocurrency

Investing has also been made far more accessible today than the generations before us. We have affordable brokerages to choose from and robo-advisors that can help us automate our investments based on our risk profile. 

Your future self will thank you for starting your investment journey young, especially when life catches up and there are other commitments to attend to, such as buying a home, bringing up kids and looking after ageing parents.

For more adulting topics, check these out:

5. “Insurance is a waste money”

Financial advisors (FAs) have a bad rep for being pushy and meeting up with you “just to catch up”. 

No matter how much you detest FAs, they might just be one of the most important people in your life.

They’re one of the first people you inform in an emergency, and they will see you through all your claims. 

That being said, basic health insurance is not a waste of money because you’ll never know what will happen tomorrow. Should anything happen to your health (touch wood), the amount of medical debt you’ll be in will take forever to pay off without insurance. 

Saving money by not buying health insurance is not worth the hundreds of thousand of dollars you will spend should you require emergency medical attention one day. 


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6. “Save all your money in the bank” 

OK, at least reaping up to 3% in interest rates in your bank account is better than keeping your cash in a Milo tin under the bed which earns no interest at all. 

Having your emergency savings stashed away in a high-interest saving account is the correct advice. Still, once you’ve accumulated enough to cover around six months to a year’s worth of expenses, you should be investing the rest. 

Typically, banks only offer a nominal base interest rate of 0.05% per annum if you decide to leave your savings there. That’s not even enough to beat inflation

You can only get up to 3% or 4% interest with your savings account if you fulfil specific requirements such as investing with the bank or taking up a loan our purchasing insurance products

Conclusion: What worked for our parents back then may not apply to us right now

Our parents only want the best for us and want to see us do better than them in the future. 

While they constantly dish (solicited and unsolicited) advice, we should always take it with a pinch of salt and do our due diligence before acting on it. 

Have your parents ever given you bad financial advice which has cost you in the long run? I would love to hear about it. 

Avid promo code hunter and haggler. Kendra doesn’t like paying full price for anything. She’s the best person to bring along if you’re travelling on a budget. Have an interesting story to tell? E-mail her at


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