COMMENTARY | I love to watch personal finance television shows, but I rarely follow the expert's advice. I view so-called financial experts as entertainers whether the person is someone as highly esteemed as Suze Orman and Dave Ramsey or everyday personal finance bloggers on the Internet.
It's interesting to hear about other people's money problems. The problem is we all have different values and priorities when it comes to money. What may work for one person might clash with my values. Perhaps there is a reason they call personal finance "personal."
Taking longer to pay off mortgage debt
I was watching one personal finance show the other day and a man called in who wanted to know how he was doing financially. The financial expert recommended he refinance his mortgage at a lower interest rate and take longer to pay off his mortgage debt. The extra money would be invested.
I personally want to pay my mortgage off as quickly as possible even though I have a fairly low interest rate of 4.6 percent. Having a mortgage is a major financial burden that I'll be happier without. As far as investment returns, I don't think anyone has a crystal ball that can predict that one.
Telling a spouse to stop spending
Some financial experts on television like to doll out marriage advice while at the same time advising people on money matters. If my husband wants to spend money on his hobbies, I'm not going to tell him to be more financially responsible. We can usually come to some kind of compromise. Some experts act as though it's not a big deal to threaten divorce just because one spouse is more of a spender.
Using your intuition for money matters
While I don't think there is anything wrong with gut checking a financial decision, I also think it's wise to depend on a calculator. I heard a financial expert recently tell viewers to listen to their gut when it comes to financial matters. If I always went with my emotions or what my gut was telling me, I'd probably be broke and living in a shack on the beach. My "intuition" has told me to purchase shares in certain stocks that plummeted. I know people who purchased gold just before it crashed because they had a "feeling" it would be a good investment.
Paying off my mortgage with a credit card
I recently heard about how a personal finance blogger used his credit cards to pay off a mortgage balance. I've also read articles by newspaper finance columnists suggesting the same approach. The idea is to take a credit card offer you receive in the mail. Use a balance transfer check with your available credit. I find the idea completely absurd. Even if I started with 0 interest, the rate would probably rise to 14 to 20 percent after six months. I wouldn't be able to sleep the entire time I had a major balance on my credit card even with an equal amount of money in savings.
I love to read articles or watch television shows about how people got out of debt or overcame a shopping addiction. However, when it comes to taking expert advice, I'm always leery. Sometimes common sense isn't what the common person would do, but what rings true for me in the moment.
*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.
More from this contributor: