'If you think gas is too expensive, just buy an electric car.'
People have all sorts of advice on saving, and when doling it out, money experts often overlook those living paycheck to paycheck. I saw one of these experts on television recently saying people should have three separate savings accounts for their home expenses—one each for appliances, furniture and home repairs. These in addition to your emergency savings fund and likely your regular savings account. The advice, while acceptable for some, is comical for the rest of us. For even more hilarious money advice, people on Reddit came up with some doozies.
Reddit user u/Salazard260 posed the question "What's the most comically out of touch 'advice' you've been given by someone wealthier?" Most of the responses were eyebrow-raising, and if you've ever been poor—whether it be working poor or below poverty line poor—the advice was hilarious. User blezmalfoy said they were told, "That I need to buy several apartments and rent them out. Unfortunately, he did not tell me where to get money to buy several apartments." You do have to wonder, where does one simply get money to buy multiple apartments? Maybe the money tree our parents told us didn't exist is actually in a forest of other money trees and we just don't know it.
Remember the controversy several years ago when a financial advisor told millennials to stop buying coffees and avocado toast in order to afford purchasing a home? This approach may work for some people who might save a couple hundred dollars by the end of the year, but it's hardly enough to make a downpayment on a new house. It makes you wonder how much this person thinks lattes cost.
Screenshot from Reddit
The Lending Club reported that in June 2022, 61% of Americans were living paycheck to paycheck, and the Census Bureau states that 11.4% of Americans were living in poverty in 2020. People in these two categories don't have any room to save for a rainy day when they're focused on surviving until payday, so the advice given from people far removed from the poverty line can seem a little tone deaf.
In the Reddit thread, a commenter explained advice given to them when they complained of gas prices. "If you think gas is too expensive, just buy an electric car." They lamented, "If I'm unable to pay $50 for a tank of gas, I'm certainly not going to be able to buy a new car, whether it's electric or not."
Another user was told, "Start putting money away for retirement now asap!!" To which the commenter responded, "my brother in christ i cant even put money away for Christmas presents."
Screenshot from Reddit
The one that takes the cake is a commenter who revealed his college roommate said, “When your parents send you your allowance each month, just set a thousand aside each time.” I bet this commenter never thought to do that. Also, how much are wealthy people sending their kids to college with? The way prices are right now, my children will be sent off to college with a box of ramen and a crisp $5 bill.
The thread is full of real-life experience and responses that will make you chuckle, especially if you grew up less wealthy or are currently poor. Starting a business and buying rental property costs money, as does paying off all of your debt to free up money to save. It would seem that most people understand that concept and yet it appears to be lost if you're reading the encounters on Reddit.
Just know, if you truly want to save money, quit your job and take a six-month sabbatical to wait for the perfect idea to come to you. I'm kidding. Don't do that.