We love the subject of personal finance here and will never stop speaking about it. Personal finance is of course a very complicated subject, arguably the most complex. We have to look at many things from multiple perspectives to get it right. Personal financial management is mostly habits and one habit which we see continually plagues people in their personal finances is lying to themselves. There are much destructive money lies that we tell ourselves. These have become normalised and we may not realise just how destructive they are to us. Here are 5 that you may be telling yourself.
More money will come
This one is probably the biggest money lie we tell ourselves. It’s not always a lie to be fair. Many of us have recurring income sources that are fully or somewhat predictable. So more money does come. However, if you look at the story of many people who have met financial difficulties they will recount how they could have used the money more wisely in the past. So more money may come but behaving like it is the problem. We must take care to utilise income in a manner that consistently feeds our long term and short term money goals. You only live once (YOLO) as the saying goes is fundamentally flawed; we live every day, you only die once.
I will start saving tomorrow
The second biggest money we tell ourselves is that we will start saving, investing, budgeting or some other financially responsible behaviour tomorrow. Tomorrow never comes. I’ve seen it many times. People say they will start doing the right thing with their next income but the time the next income comes they say they will do it with the next income. And so on. In the words of Tony Robbins “never leave the sight of a goal without taking action”. If this lie is one you regularly tell yourself my advice is to start today. Start with what you have. Just start now.
I can’t afford to save/invest
This isn’t exactly a lie or at least a intentional lie but more of a misunderstanding about how investment works. Yes investing comes with a (hopefully) large portfolio at the end of it but it doesn’t start necessarily start with one. Many people have built reasonable investment portfolios by consistently investing small amounts over long stretches of time. It is hard to reconcile a US$1 million portfolio with US$100 per month but it is possible. Look up the power of compounding. What I will say is this, if you say you don’t earn enough to save or invest then you certainly cannot afford not to invest! With all due respect, you need savings and investments more than anyone else.
I saved money on this purchase
This one can get kind of controversial so let’s set some things straight. If you bought something because you found it at a cheaper price this applies to you. If however, the expenditure was certain to occur then perhaps it doesn’t apply to you. Perhaps. Firstly when you buy something that is discounted the saving is only theoretical, you still spent money on it. And that money is gone forever. Secondly, the saving is only a saving if the saving is saved. What I mean is if the discount amount is not channelled to savings but instead to other expenditure, you have saved nothing.
That won’t happen so I don’t need insurance
That won’t happen isn’t a lie in itself but rather when used to explain the avoidance of insurance policies. I do understand that the insurance industry has not exactly draped itself in glory when it comes to their processing of claims and disputes in the past. However insurance is still critical in personal finance planning. So whether it’s life assurance, medical aid, burial plans or other forms of insurance the low likelihood of the event is not a valid reason to not insure. Insurance is built for circumstances just like that, the unexpected. Or in the case of life assurance, the expected that could not have a time of occurrence ascertained. Insurance protects what you have and while not every insurance product works for your needs you should do your best to find the one that is.
Are you telling yourself any of these lies? Perhaps you know some different money lies that people are telling themself which are hurting their personal finances? Tell us in the comments.