I see there's another current meta question about the recent car buying questions, but I have a specific point I felt needed to be addressed. Here's the current question that triggered me into asking this:
We regularly get questions asking if something (usually a specific purchase or budget decision) is a "good idea" or not. To me, these questions are inherently opinion based and hence off topic, unless the asker gives some qualifications over what counts as "good" from their perspective.
Or, we get questions where someone is asking how to do something (get a specific loan, make a specific purchase) but the answers take on a tone of discussing whether or not that thing is worth doing, instead of addressing the actual question of how to accomplish a specific goal.
I think the problem stems from the fact that budgeting is inherently personal, and things that one person feels important (buying a car, making certain investment or savings choices, and so on) might seem like a "waste of money" to other people.
At best, people get answers to these questions that contain good thought points for the OP to consider as they make their decision. At worst, these questions sometimes seem to draw frame-challenge "no, don't do that" answers that are justified by the answerer's own opinions about their own budgeting decisions as if they were uncontested truths, without addressing the subjective nature of answering such questions.
So - I basically have two related questions:
As a community, how do we make sure we understand the asker's criteria, or how do we handle opinion based questions with no criteria? Or, if they asker clearly has different critera than we do, how do we still write an answer that's in their context?
Secondly, how do we handle balancing two things that sometimes compete: directly answering a question, versus giving advice on why it may or may not be a "good" idea to do the thing that's being asked about?