You name it, I'll bet you've heard or read it.
Turn on the TV, read a magazine
, talk to a friend, watch the news, or read social media and there it is.
Advice about money.
Everyone has an answer or opinion on how much you should have and save, what's the appropriate amount to spend and on what, whether to use credit cards or not, and of course, the magical amount you MUST have stashed away to retire.
The advice and opinions run the gamut -- from basic and simple to complex and elaborate.
Much of it conflicts with the other. What one expert says is often dispelled by another. You're told this is the best way to handle your money but then, change the channel and another expert says, the opposite.
So, who do you listen to? Who do you follow?
You want me to do what with my money?
Life can turn on a dime. One minute all is going along swimmingly, the next, you wonder what happened.
You thought you had saved enough. You thought you were spending wisely. And, yet, you wonder, where the money went? How is it possible you don't have enough to cover your lifestyle and basic needs?
You swear you did everything right, by the book -- Or, as close to the book as you were able.
But, here's the hauntingly difficult question to ask -- were you reading and following the right book? Not the one meant for EVERYONE, the one meant just for you?
My husband and I know this one first hand. We funded our 401(k) regularly. Lived within our means. We did not use credit -- we found out how toxic it was for us and stopped using it altogether. We saved. We bought a house. Our net worth was growing nicely.
We even downsized into a more efficient
home, a townhouse with less maintenance. We cut our mortgage in half, and ended up with a beautiful view of the river out our back door. Who needs the cost of a pool when you can breathe in the magnificence of a large expanse of water for free?
All was going well, as I mentioned above, swimmingly! (no pun intended) UNTIL... my husband lost his job.