March 3, 2014
Some of the most problematic myths about money are the emotional ones. Things like: I don’t understand money; I’m just no good with money; money is boring; money is scary; I don’t earn enough to be in control of my financial future.
Like anything in life, the more we feel comfortable with something, the more we are able to make the most of it.
Emotional Money Myth One: I don’t understand money.
This is a really common myth and it’s largely been exacerbated by the finance industry’s use of jargon on top of jargon on top of jargon. Obviously some of the more complex money issues take a considerable amount of experience and learning, but in terms of personal money management and investing, we all have the ability to understand how to make our money work best for our goals.
The problem with this myth is that it absolutely limits what we can do with our money right from the start. It is kind of like throwing your hands up and saying ‘I quit’ before you even start.
To bust this myth, there are three simple things you can do: (1) write down a list of all the things you know about money – you’ll surprise yourself, (2) write a list of the things you want to know about money and how it can help you reach your goals – then get some advice, jump online and do some reading, and (3) write a list of the key reasons you need to know more about money and what it means for your life – this will give you the much needed context to take some action.
Emotional Money Myth Two: I’m just no good with money.
Sure, some people are naturally more equipped at dealing with money and making it a priority. They have a solid handle on where their finances are at all times and ferret out good opportunities and plans to make sure they reach their goals. We’re not all blessed with a natural inclination to ‘be good with money’, but that’s not to say we can’t be. Just like anything we want or in this case need to be good at, it just takes a little attention. You might not have been awesome at Zumba or some other class at the gym when starting, but that all changes once you get into the rhythm.
Emotional Money Myths Three and Four: Money is boring and scary.
It’s easy to think of money as numbers on a page, spread sheets and long complicated articles full of jargon. Boring right? Sure, you’ll get no argument from us there. But thinking about money like this is missing the big picture. Your money ultimately helps you have the life you want – that can’t be boring. To bust the money is boring myth, every time you sigh at the thought of going through your statement or reorganising your plans, remind yourself of what you’re doing it for – You.
Money is scary – well yes it can be scary checking the bank balance, especially if you know the Spend Devil has gotten the best of you or you haven’t had a look for a while. But in truth, money is only scary when we don’t know what we’re doing with it. Once you have control over what you want it to do for you and a good amount of knowledge about how to get there, you’ll surprise yourself with just how in control and comfortable you feel about your options. Transparency is key: the more you know about where you are and where you’re going, the less scary it is.
Emotional Money Myth Five: I don’t earn enough to be in control of my financial future.
Just about every financial adviser you’ll come across will tell you that often people who earn less, build a more stable and prosperous financial future than those who earn more. In many cases it’s a needs-must story. People on bigger incomes might be less inclined to keep track of their spending and money plans. On the other hand, those on lower incomes have to be more conscious about what is coming in and going out and as a result, become a bit more savvy with their money choices and options.
To bust this myth, consider this statement: It’s not what you earn, but how proactive you choose to be with your money.