Whether you are slightly uncomfortable with your financial situation, up to your eyeballs in money troubles or someplace between those situations, the problem may be what you believe about money, credit and debt. It’s almost a new year, and I can’t think of a better time to dump your money myths and replace them with a nice big dose of reality.
Myth 1: If I just had more money, all of my problems would go away.
Reality: Until you learn how to take care of the money you have already, more money never will be enough.
Myth 2: I can have it all. I work hard and make a decent living, and I deserve to have nice things.
Reality: You cannot have it all. But you can have enough.
Myth 3: Buying things on sale is a great way to save money.
Reality: Buying things on sale is a way to spend less money (unless you buy twice as much because it’s on sale), but unless you stop at the bank on the way home and deposit the difference between the regular price and the sale price, you’re not saving at all; you’re only spending.
Myth 4: Buying things on credit is a smart financial strategy because you are using someone else’s money.
Reality: Buying on credit isn’t a matter of using others’ money; it is a very expensive rental agreement.
Myth 5: If I don’t buy things on credit, I never will have anything.
Reality: If you don’t buy things on credit, you won’t have something, all right; you won’t have debt. If you want something badly enough, save for it first. Then buy it. It is a brilliant concept.
Myth 6: These days, it takes two incomes to keep up financially.
Reality: It is quite possible to live well on a single income, provided you are willing to learn how to stretch it twice as far.
Myth 7: If things get too bad, I can always file for bankruptcy and get a fresh start.
Reality: Bankruptcy is a very serious matter, not an easy way out. It will impact your life negatively for a very long time. Bankruptcy does not represent a clean slate, but rather a 10-year sentence.
Myth 8: I am a loser and a failure because I am in such terrible financial trouble. My situation is completely hopeless.
Reality: No situation is completely hopeless. There is a way out. If you will supply the commitment and determination, I’ll promise to provide you the inspiration, motivation and information you need to take back control of your finances and turn your money life around.
Mary Hunt is the founder of www.DebtProofLiving.com and author of 18 books, including her best-selling classic “Debt-Proof Living.” You can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to Everyday Cheapskate, P.O. Box 2135, Paramount, CA 90723.