The Best Financial Advice Ever Given

My uncle recently passed away. This would not normally be something that I would share with others, but he also gave me the best financial advice I have ever received. This is advice I would like to share with you so that you can share it with your children. There is no question that he had a way with words that could deeply impact the mind of a 13 year old boy.

“Do you like money?” my uncle asked one day when we were by ourselves at a family reunion.

“Yes,” I replied with a grin on my face.

“Do you want to have money or be poor?” he questioned.

“I want to have money,” I stated with conviction.

“I will give you the secret, but you have t

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51 Responses to The Best Financial Advice Ever Given

  1. Christine says:

    This is the most pathetic finance article I have ever read. First, learn to use language that isn’t demeaning to women. All you had to write was “use a condom”

    Which leads me to the primary problem that no adult should ever talk with children about sex like that. Adults should teach children abstinence and abstinence only. They should make the children swear on the bible not to have sex until they are married. Then if the child does have sex after making this promise, any financial hardship is their punishment for breaking their promise.

  2. Renee says:

    This post is disgusting…maybe you can sit around and talk to your friends like this over beers but I don’t come to this site to read trash.

    That said, I don’t believe anyone should make their child swear on the bible that they will practice abstinence until marriage. It’s 2010, things aren’t so cut and dry anymore?

  3. stell34 says:

    Please! When did jock room foul mouth bantering become financial advice? Jocular and stupid sex education has nothing to do with money and has no place on this blog. I didn’t learn anything from this blog except that I will never let me brother talk to my kids about sex.

  4. cypher1 says:

    LOL, it’s called “keeping it real.” Vulgar, yes, but to the point (no pun intended).

  5. ironicone says:

    I agree… Not the type of article I want to read.

  6. Tara C says:

    Crass? Yes. But definitely a sound piece of financial advice. I have followed it (from the opposite perspective, as a woman) and always been grateful.

  7. benny says:

    This blog and the comments brings up an interesting point in my opinion. People reading it don’t like it because it isn’t politically correct, but the fact is that the “vulgar” advice worked in this situation. What is more important – teaching a valuable lesson in an unorthodox way that works, or teaching it conventionally even if it doesn’t work?

    Is the point of personal finance and sex education to say the right thing or teach kids to do the right thing? The OP friends that ended up getting their girlfriends pregnant in high school must have heard the same education talks that the OP did, but that education didn’t leave a lasting impression and they failed to follow through.

    Yes, the OP’s uncle was vulgar, but maybe that is what some teenage boys need to have a lasting impression and to learn the lesson. If that is what it takes to teach the kids, I would much rather have the vulgar than to have the kids end up with an unexpected child because no impression was made.

  8. Frugalapolis says:

    My stepdaughter just announced their 3rd pregnancy and of course they are totally broke. If she would only figure this out. It is so true. Kids or Money – thats your choice. Or at least if you’re going to have kids, get educated and a job or two and then pump them out a little later.

  9. Alicia says:

    Make your child swear abstinence on a bible? Seriously? Really? WOW.

  10. Diane says:

    I gave my ex-husband’s younger cousin the same advice when he came to live with us in New Orleans – but NOT in those words! Many years later he told me that he was grateful for the advice & that he’d taken it. I didn’t have to be vulgar to make the point – he got it!

  11. pen says:

    very blunt, but the advice has a point… although one can reproduce and still be finacialy sound, provided the child is planned for, parent(s) has/have a steady job and savings to cover medical bills… I would have prefered a less vulger post myself, however.

  12. J says:

    I think is the best financial advice I ever read – no one should have kids until they are sure they can afford them – from my observation, most poor people are that way because they didn’t follow this simple advice. I think the language used is irrelevant – if the point gets across, that’s all that’s important. I speak as a happily childless 50-year old woman who is now wealthy enough to retire – working with other 50ish people who cannot do so – largely because they are still supporting children.

  13. Teresa says:

    Some of the best advise an uncle can give, too bad more adults wouldn’t take the time to tell it like it is to more teenage boys and girls. The language might be a little vulgar but sometimes it takes a more harsh approach to get the point across, especially to teenage boys. And it took a lot of guts to write this advise on a financial blog, but I think everyone can be adults here an appreciate that the advise did work even if you don’t like it.

  14. shaabenanizer says:

    A colleague gave her daughter two choices: abstain through high school and she will be rewarded $3,000 at graduation; or the mom will spend the $3,000 to pay for birth controls for the daughter while she’s in high school. The daughter chose the former and last I heard she is in college and doing great.

    Yeah, a tad unorthodox and I have no idea if this would work on the majority. But I give kudos to my colleague for creativity.

  15. Mike Lowell says:

    I’ve never been to this site before (I frequent consumerismcommentary.com), but I have to tell you that I will be here every day from now on because of this hilarious post! How refreshing to not be another stuffy money blog, but to actually have the balls to say what you want. The icing on the cake was the first two girls to leave comments! HAHAHAHAHA! Beat it if you can’t handle adult language while talking about an adult subject: WEALTH!

  16. Jaime says:

    lol … I’m not prudish and I’m a fan of rough language actually but I have to admit I had to re-read the opening sentence of the Uncle’s advice. haha. Woke me up. ;)

    To each their own, but I prefer a plain way of speaking about sex and sexually transmitted diseases. It’s also refreshing to see some frank talk about the ongoing financial implications of unplanned pregnancies and/or disease. That said, I would also like to point out that having unplanned babies can also negatively impact the mother’s financials – not just the father. More so most times unless she gives the baby up for adoption.

    Anyway, funny and surprising.

  17. Renee says:

    Oh, chuckle chuckle. Let’s make fun of the few girls left in America that find crass language to be unnecessary.

    There are so many ways to get financial advice across but, really? I wouldn’t expect a financial advisor to say this to a cilent. So why do I have to read it when some schmuck posts it on an internet forum?

  18. cm says:

    Oh, come on. The uncle’s language is actually kind of cute.

  19. Mike Lowell says:

    Renee. I’m not trying to keep picking on you personally…but of course your PFA wouldn’t say this because they are getting paid by you, the customer. This site gives you free financial advise. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to read it.

  20. Hudson says:

    @Christine: Abstinence does not work. More to the point, it’s downright draconian to suppress natural urges by claiming some holy book has the power to help you, and if you fail in this task, it’s your own fault. Christianity. All about ensuring the failure of the human race ;)

    @Renee: The guy’s name is “Beer Guy”. Not sure what you were hoping to get out of him. However there’s truth to his advice, regardless of how crass you believe he got his point across.

    @stell34: If you didn’t learn anything I’d guess it’s because you’re too focused on being easily offended and not paying attention to the moral of the story.

    @ironicone: Welcome to the internet. Full of articles that you may not want to read. You just have to stop reading when you get offended and all your problems are solved. You’re not some child doing a homework assignment. Things in life will likely offend you. Don’t read them.

    @Renee Version2: You don’t have to read it when some schmuck posts it on an internet forum. Because you have the freedom to choose what you do and don’t read. Don’t like it? Don’t read it. It really is that simple. Just because you feel something should be censored doesn’t make your opinion correct. Many things lose their meaning under censorship. Let people decide for themselves how they want to take it.

  21. Sam the Man says:

    How about all you women keep off this website if you can’t handle this article?

  22. Frugal says:

    Loved it, Great Post! Sound financial advice for young people of both genders. I’ve worked with teens for years and sometimes the “vulgar” language gets across faster then the genteel language. And frankly not everyone believes in abstinence, religion or marriage.

    I was an 80’s teen and chose to use condoms in the era of AIDS as I was a sexually active woman who wanted sex but neither baby nor sexually transmitted infections. I have been “unmarried” with my partner for 18 years now and we used condoms until we desired a child 6 years ago.

    Can I add: for those teens or others who have a super tight budget and it’s choice of food/movie/transport or condoms – there are lots of places you can pick them up for free. General health clinics, sexual health clinics, AIDS Councils, Youth Drop in Centres just to name a few.

  23. Shaun says:

    I’m having my 16 year old nephew around in a couple of weeks for the night, after reading this I will be having the exact same conversation with him.

  24. Scanner says:

    Hey, I thought his language was purposeful as the writer was saying his uncle drove home the point.

    I actually remember hearing the same thing from my Dad and Mom.

    They warned me if I got a woman pregnant early I would never be able to go to college and be eternally poor raising a child with a needy woman.

    A fear of being eternally poor is one fear that can override an immense libido that a guy has at 17 years old.

  25. Tom says:

    Haha! Excellent advice; to those who complain about the language, I think you have to use a little foul language to get to the younger minds. I don’t mind it at all!

    But I suspect that the real reason these women are bitching about the language, is because they really don’t like the advice itself: let’s face the truth here for a moment, there are LOTS of women out there whose only career plan is to get knocked up and take one (or more) man to the cleaners for so-called “child support”. Child support can easily be more than 1/2 a man’s income, and it is TAX FREE. For upper-middle class men, “child support” is enough to “raise” one welfare queen, her loser boyfriend, the kid for whom the child support is intended, plus the kids of the loser boyfriend :)

    And let’s not forget that there are many women (I know a few personally) who “accidentally” get pregnant to force their bf into marriage. Unfortunately, said bf generally ends up divorced a few years later, and finds himself without house, kids or wife, but saddled with debts and afore-mentioned child support as well as alimony payments. If only he has listened to this advice…

    This advice is not only financial gold, but it can also save a man’s life (I know several men who nearly committed suicide after being completely destroyed by our so-called “family courts”). Of course it frees and empowers men, and cuts the little slave-trade that some women are practicing with the full assistance of the “family court” system… of course they don’t want men to hear this advice!

  26. Charlie says:

    Being “not young” and having had life kick the living expletive out of me for some time I can say without a doubt that this is sound advice.

    An anecdotal reference to explain said advice and inject humor in delivery is not something that should be frowned upon.

  27. Jerry says:

    Besides being vulgar, demeaning, and idiotic, I think it’s also bad advice. My brother told me to “have lots of kids” so that I’d be forced to work harder, smarter, and learn to be frugal. If it was just me, I’d probably do enough to buy video games and pizza and leave it at that. A family gives you responsibilities you can’t ignore. This is where you learn to be a man.

  28. Billy says:

    I’m a 19 year old semi-liberal male. I have nothing wrong with this article because it makes sense. I read it. Digested the information and yes, wear a condom during sexual activity; or else. Why is this comment box full of people bigoted opinions and ranting?

  29. Randy says:

    Jerry, you must be the second stupidest person in the world — second only to your brother who gave you that “advice.” You are going to force children under your wing for the sole purpose of making yourself work harder to support them? Well, hell, why not just start adopting every child you can while you’re at it? Go ahead and take in pets from your local animal shelter, too. Maybe you ought to just be a slave to everyone around you and have no life of your own? Then you’ll be even MORE of a man. That’s the only logical outcome, since your logic indicates that doing more unnecessary work = being more of a man.

  30. efb says:

    Jerry, if you need a family to learn responsibility or “how to be a man,” you’re probably an idiot. Losing some freedoms does not necessarily mean that you become more mature or responsible.

    Christine, reality tells us that swearing on holy books means nothing. Sure, make abstinence the goal, but ignoring the reality that kids make mistakes is pragmatic. History is littered with examples of what happen when we ignore pragmatism and reality for idealism.

  31. Jason says:

    Loosen up people! I was told this same thing as a child almost verbatim. Because I was given that advice in such a blunt way I have always worn a condom, I am blessed to say that I have never contracted an STD. I have no children and help run a successful business.

  32. James says:

    Good advice. Essentially, don’t have sex if you can’t afford to deal with the possible consequences (STDs, children).
    The language used was fine. Got the point across.

    @Jerry: You’re an idiot.

    Becoming a parent when you can’t afford to be does NOT teach you responsibilities, it teaches you that you made a huge mistake and now you, the mother and the child are going to have ruined lives because of it.

  33. Greggo says:

    Wow. I cannot believe all of the hate for this post. You are offended by the word “dick”? Get a life.

    Haters, you have yet to respond to one fact: this may well be the best financial advice you could give anyone. Don’t have kids. Avoid Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Win.

    Let me be the first one to say this: welcome to the internet. It is a scary place, but I think you will be alright.

    Greggo

  34. Ugly American says:

    @Christine
    “make the children swear on the bible”

    States dominated by backwards religious cults have the highest teen pregnancy and the highest VD rates.

    Why do religious cultists want children to suffer?

  35. kn33ch41 says:

    This is a great article. Don’t be perturbed by the uptight dimwits posting about being politically correct and religious. Their lives are condemned to tedium and isolation.

  36. matt says:

    c’mon pfa, this post was out of line.

  37. Lovekraft says:

    If society accepted elder male advice to young males, then this type of post wouldn’t raise a ripple. But we are so far down the feminist rabbit-hole, that simply talking about advising the youth to avoid emotional and lustful pitfalls brings out a storm.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Typical no-class American… this is what America has come to! TRASH!!!!

  39. Cyde Weys says:

    I’m so sorry for all of the inane responses you’re getting to this post. It’s good advice, and the way it was phrased didn’t even make me bat an eye. Anyone offended by it is either seeking an excuse to get offended or has lived a very sheltered life. The “abstinence only” advice is incredibly unrealistic (and proven not to work), so it’s funny to see someone recommending that over sensible advice to use protection that actually does work.

  40. shaabenanizer says:

    Tom, you personally know *several* men who nearly committed suicide over paying (or not paying) child support? Sheesh, it’s their own damn fault for not keeping their own sperm from making that flying leap of stupidity.

    And I never understood why older men like Jesse Jackson don’t just get a V-job to ensure they don’t bring yet another lovechild into the world.

  41. Broken Arrow says:

    Haha, hilarious! Regardless of the colorful language, your uncle was wise indeed. I too shall raise a glass for him.

  42. I agree says:

    So wait, some of you are saying that the advice that kept this guy from impregnating a teenager, and kept him free of STDs is somehow bad?

    The advice that helped him build a savings account and not live off the system because his family couldn’t pay the bills is somehow bad?

    I say GOOD FOR YOU BEER GUY!

  43. I agree says:

    Also, I have a son, and if my Uncle told him this, with the same results, I would be thrilled. Beyond thrilled.
    I will try and teach my son common sense and right from wrong, but nothing sticks in your head better than some hilarious real world advice. I bet anyone who read this article will remember what the Uncle told Beer Guy for a long time to come. As you should…

  44. Isabelle says:

    Good advice. I told my daughter something very similar. I shall not tell you what I said as I don’t want the might of the American religious right chucking their bibles at me!

    As a lawyer I had a client who had a ‘one night stand’ with a girl and got her pregnant. The difficulties this gives him and his now wife are WAY beyond the financial drain. He is a father, should he abandon his child, created by him in a drunken night out and now rightly paid for for eighteen years – or should he take moral responsibility and be a father?

    And the girl? Sex for her is lasting twenty years as she raises this child alone or with maybe resentful boyfriends/husband. Bet she wishes a condom had left her able to make her first baby with a man she loves, who will support the family.

  45. Chris says:

    Not only good advice but funny too! I did not get my X wife pregnant, thank God, but just being married to her for three years cost me a quarter of a million dollars. Live and learn…

  46. ownpersonalopinion says:

    Well..my stepdaughter just popped out her third illegitimate baby on welfare living in a section 8 apartmentc omplete with a salt water pool on foodstamps eating better than I am and calling everyone with her free welfare cell phone and collects WIC and TANF and free utility check and OHHhhh and the free day care. Now, where is the baby daddy? Who knows. The whole situation is digusting. So this advise about wearing condoms is not as vulgar AND DISGUSTING AS WELFARE QUEENS SUCH AS MY STEPDAUGHTER AND MANY MANY OF HER FRIENDS SPITTING OUT ALL TIS KIDS.

  47. Anonymous says:

    @Christine

    LOL. Trolling is a art, my good woman, and you are Michelangelo.

  48. Gail says:

    As someone that most people who know me would consider a prude and also a religious woman, I sit here wondering how the original post demeaned women. If the Beer Guy was posting his uncles coments verbatim, it was obviously sound advice both for family planning, health issues and financial savings for Beer Guy.

    Teens need to hear advice given them in language they can comprehend and respond to. I learned this lesson as a student nurse when an unwed teen mother was laboring to get her baby out. She did not understand any of the nurse’s ways of telling her to push until the nurse used said push like you are taking a S**t. The light dawned and the girl started pushing. We can not hold our own moral principles so tight that we can not communicate our message.

  49. hanneng says:

    I cannot agree more with his uncle’s advice.

    It is still a good advice, just using with un-appropriate words.

  50. mom says:

    Say it crass and the message will last.
    Say it boring and the kids are snoring.

    90% of what we say to teens comes out sounding like the adults in Peanut Cartoons. There’s a lot to be said for shock value and this uncle knew it.

    This advice has been copied, pasted, and delivered to my 17 year old son. Hopefully it will cut through the static of wahwahwahwahwah’s.

    I was a mom at 18. I’ve worked very hard to support myself and my child with no support from his father or the state. Let the record show, I didn’t ask for the support. We are now doing fine. But the truth is I’ll never have the financial security I would have had if I’d waited to have him. No regrets, but had someone given me this colorful advice instead of “don’t have sex” perhaps I would have made some smarter choices. Choices that would have allowed more financial freedom for myself and more financial support for my child. Kids are great but the cold hard truth is they’re freaking expensive!

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