My Best Financial Advice: Liz Pulliam Weston

The Consumerist asked personal finance “guru” Liz Pulliam Weston, billed as the Web’s most-read personal finance columnist, to give a short summary of her single best piece of financial advice. Here’s how she responded:

Remove the words ‘can’t,’ ‘won’t’ and ‘but…’ from your vocabulary, as in ‘I can’t do that,’ ‘That won’t work’ and ‘Yeah, but …’ Being willing to consider every possible solution, no matter how weird or radical it might seem at first, is the key to breaking yourself out of old habits and behaviors that aren’t serving you anymore. It’s true in life, and also true with money.

Liz expands on these thoughts in the provocatively titled “Money trouble? It’s your own fault.”



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  1. CreativeLinks says:

    Basically, she simply tells people in debt that, in most cases, is is their fault and grow up.

    Shame that best advice is never read by the people who need it the most.

  2. Leah says:

    @CreativeLinks: so true. I belong to some forums on LiveJournal (notably, one called poor_skills), and I can’t believe all the people who get up in arms about CC companies and the like. And then they all claim that they didn’t pile themselves into debt. I know some folk have debt problems due to medical issues or poor money education as a child, but most of the people I’ve seen in debt have an overabundance of stuff or experiences that account for most of that excess spending.

  3. shoegazer says:

    That global rich list she mentioned in the article is great. It basically tells you how well off you are compared to the other 6.499999999 billion people on the planet, then asks you for a handout.

  4. alicetheowl says:

    @CreativeLinks: That’s advice? Sounds like blame to me.

    While it can be helpful to learn that patterns one has fallen into are hurting one’s chances for recovery RIGHT NOW, placing blame doesn’t solve a goddamn thing.

  5. CreativeLinks says:

    @alicetheowl: She is not “placing blame” she is saying that being in debt, in most cases, is the debtor’s fault and that “placing blame” on outside factors such as Credit Card Companies, Banks, Parents, etc — is not going to get you out of debt.

    Did you read the article?

  6. alicetheowl says:

    It’s a thin line, and it goes a long way toward explaining why the people who need to hear it don’t. I could tell my friends that their going out to the movies, having no down payment for a house but buying it anyway, keeping their finances separate and buying all the newest game (and game systems!) the day they come out is what’s hurting them, but how long will they listen? How long before they decide I’m just a judgmental bitch who isn’t really their friend, and they don’t have to listen to me?

  7. tz says:

    The best advice I could give is “Short the US Stock Markets”. The second best is to get out ASAP.

    Japan’s Nikkei hit 39,000 in 1989. So, those Japanese invested “for the long term” would have how much today – in their far more controlled economy?

  8. Rusted says:

    @tz: Amen, went and did just that two years ago. My IRA is almost double now.