When it comes to managing your money, there’s no shortage of rules to follow. From saving a certain percentage of your income to not racking up debt, to diversifying your investments, it’s easy to find guidelines that are meant to steer you toward a life of financial security.
Yet there are times when well-meaning financial advice isn’t so great. Perhaps the person sharing his or her wisdom is out of touch with current financial realities, like a well-meaning but misguided parent. Or maybe an otherwise sensible rule of thumb doesn’t apply in a certain situation. Unfortunately, if you always follow the conventional money wisdom, you may end making some big financial mistakes.
Here are five money rules that it’s sometimes OK to break.
1. Never take a pay cut
A better version of this rule might be “never take a pay cut without a good reason.” While you don’t want to sell yourself short, the reality is that careers don’t often move in a totally straight line. To get to where you want to be, you may need to take a few detours along the way, which might include settling for a slightly lower salary.
If you’re switching careers, in desperate need of a job, or moving to an area with a lower cost of living, a pay cut may be inevitable. Or you may decide the growth potential, benefits, or more collegial or less stressful working environment at a new job is worth the lower salary. While a smaller pay check is never fun, it could help you get ahead in the end.