While growing up, you probably heard many of the same old wives’ tales I did: if you keep making that face, it will freeze that way. Coffee stunts your growth (or makes hair grow on your chest). You can’t go swimming for 30 minutes after eating, or you will get cramps and drown. We’ve all heard them, and some, you may still believe. I’d like to dispel a few common financial myths.
YOU SHOULDN’T TELL ANYONE IF YOU HAVE A FINANCIAL PROBLEM.
Unfortunately, just as some believe you should toughen up and never talk about mental health struggles, there are those who believe the same about financial issues. They tend to oversimplify the answer to complex issues. They still think all you need to do is make more money or stop spending. Perhaps you just don’t even think about your problems, and they will magically disappear.
These opinions are hurtful, and advice like this is very unwise. Problems like these must be brought into the light so they can be examined, and a solution can be found. I’m not recommending that you publicly air all your problems. However, I am suggesting that you seek help from someone qualified to assist you, such as a financial professional, accountant or perhaps even a friend or relative who is excellent at budgeting and money management.
Don’t seek advice from someone in the same circumstances you are. How can that person help you climb out of the same pit? Seeking help means you must be willing to discuss every area of you finances, good, bad or ugly. If you don’t, the advice you get will be faulty because it was based on inaccurate information.
YOU MUST HAVE A LOT OF MONEY TO INVEST.
I’ve discussed this myth before. If you don’t start putting away money when you have very little, you establish a pattern that is hard to break later. Building a mindset of “I don’t have enough, but I’ll start when I have more,” continues to expand. You make a little more and decide that is still “not enough” to start saving, or you reward yourself for making more money and buy that item you really “need” or “want.” It’s a never-ending cycle. Break the cycle, whatever your financial condition. Start putting away something now, even it’s one dollar. Over time, those dollars add up.
THE MORE MONEY YOU HAVE, THE HAPPIER YOU WILL BE.
Have you watched the news lately? How many “rich” people have you seen on TV or read about recently with lots of money who still suffer broken relationships and lives? Yes, having money can make life easier. However, money is not the answer to your problems, nor does it assure happiness.
One lesson the past few years should have taught us is that building our hopes and dreams on how much money we have is a recipe for disaster. Find a foundation that is unchanging, one you can build upon and in which you can find strength, no matter the season of life. For me, through all the good and bad times, my faith in Jesus Christ has sustained me. What foundation do you build upon?
While I have only listed a few financial myths, the list is virtually endless. I encourage you to examine your relationship with money. If you take the time to do so, I believe some myths may be exposed. Once that happens, you must decide what to do about them. Will you continue making your kids wait 30 minutes before swimming, or let them jump right in? Gather your courage, be brave and let go of all those financial myths to embrace what could be a bright financial future.