I'm an engineer. And as such I love to nit-pick and correct the most minute details, even if that detail isn't that important. If you make a statement and it's not entirely accurate, I start getting antsy and have to fight the urge to blurt out 'well, that's not technically true... the answer is 42, not 41.' But with many years under my belt, I can now politely keep quiet and nod my head.
So in the spirit of accuracy and correctness, I'm going to tell you now that a majority of the questions I pose (and answer) on this blog... and actually in life, can be answered with "It depends." Is it better to buy a house or to rent? It depends. Should I save or pay off debt? It depends. Am I allowed to splurge on that ridiculously expensive thing I've been dying to get? It depends. How much should I save for retirement? It depends.
People will make all sorts of recommendations when it comes to managing your money, but there is rarely a simple recommendation or rule that will always apply to everyone (except the golden rule... although I can even think of exceptions to that!). They've made those recommendations based on a set of priorities that may not match your own. There are usually caveats, prerequisites and exceptions. Who knows, you might be the exception, not the rule.
The thing about money is that it's simply a means to an end (a post about this coming soon...). We all have different ends or goals, so it doesn't make sense for us to all follow the same path. Some of us may be in school, some of us working our first job or two out of school living under a ton of student loan debt, some of us may be in the thick of life with kids and some of us are close to retirement. Some of us love to go out and travel/shop/eat and some of us are homebodies who could enjoy staying in and playing games all day (me! me!). Some of abhor spreadsheets and budget tracking and some of us make spreadsheets for everything (me! me!).
So when we tackle different topics on this blog, I will attempt to clarify assumptions I'm making or cases when things don't apply. And if the answers or recommendations don't resonate with you, feel free to say 'guess this one's not for me!'. Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all way to manage your finances and in the end the most important question is - does it make sense for your priorities and your habits?