In my previous post, Money Lies (We Tell Ourselves) Part 1, we discussed 4 money lies we often believe. Here are 3 more that we sometimes tell ourselves:
#5 - I HAVE PLENTY OF TIME TO PLAN FOR MY FINANCIAL FUTURE (& I DON'T NEED TO THINK ABOUT IT YET).
The future can seem really far away when we're looking 10, 20, or even more years out. When we feel like we have a lot of room between now and then, it's easy to make excuses to not plan or save for it.
This money lie is an excuse for procrastination.¹
It's the rationale we use when we have a hard time managing our negative feelings or uncertainties about our financial futures. And it makes us turn a blind eye to the years of interest that we lose out on when we don't have a plan.
Benjamin Franklin may have spoken best about the truth behind this money lie when he wisely said, "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail."
#6 - THERE IS GOOD AND BAD DEBT
We tend to assign moral value to debt, thinking of mortgages and student loans as "good" debt and considering credit card debt as "bad."
This money lie gets us to think the wrong way about debt. All debt comes with some cost, and it's critical to understand how every loan affects our current and future selves.
Instead of focusing on whether debt is "good" or "bad," concentrate on the total cost of the interest over time (it's often higher than you think) and on deciding whether the loan is really helping you achieve your goals.
About half of us seem to already be on track with that thinking, saying that we expect to be out of debt within 1 to 5 years.²
#7 - WANTING MORE IS BAD.
While I think we can all agree that obsessive greed is wrong, it's not a bad thing to want more for you and your loved ones.
When we tell ourselves we shouldn't want more than we have, we agree to settle for less. And we may be tricking ourselves into thinking it's OK that we're not doing something (or enough) to improve our financial situation.
This money lie holds us back and can make it hard to improve our financial behaviors.
When we frame wanting more as a positive motivator, it can be easier to take the chances or do the work needed to get to that next financial level we may want.
How many of these lies sound like something you’ve told yourself?
At some point, I think we’ve all tricked ourselves with at least one of them.
Maybe we were rationalizing a decision, or we were trying to make ourselves feel better about what we wanted to do with our money. And we probably didn’t make the best financial choices as a result.
Here’s the truth. Honesty goes a long way with finances. What we tell ourselves, and what we believe about money influences our financial behaviors. If we’re not telling ourselves the truth, our money lies won’t just drain our wallets. They can affect our financial awareness and inflate our confidence. And they get in the way of maintaining or growing wealth.³
When we recognize the money lies that we believe, we can reset our thinking, change our mindset, and start taking action. And that sets us up to make better choices and make more progress toward our big financial goals.
As a financial professional, I help people get perspective and take an honest look at their finances, their choices, and their long-term goals. I know it’s not always easy to recognize the misconceptions we hold onto about finances.
I also know how to help people see the truth beyond the common money lies, while helping them find opportunities to improve their money mindsets and their financial behaviors.
Wherever your finances stand, I’d be happy to help you discover opportunities to make more progress to your financial goals.