These common lies and myths are hammered into most of us as we grow up. Some are just outdated beliefs that no longer work. Others are misconceptions from those with a limited perspective on life and money. Some may be the result of billions of dollars in marketing and programming. It is good to be aware of them and reprogram yourself to harness empowering beliefs that can deliver on what you really want.
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6 Lies We’re Told About Money Growing Up
1. Money can’t buy happiness.
Simply having more money in your bank account may not make you happier—at least, not after a certain point. However, anyone who has both been broke and has enjoyed an abundance of money can tell you it’s a lot better to have it than not.
Money does provide a gateway to more experiences in life. It allows you to solve more problems quickly and easily. Imagine you have a relative who gets sick. If you have the funds, you may be able to pay for whatever surgery they need. Conversely, if you’re broke, you may be powerless to help them. No amount of money is better than your health or your family’s health, but having some can empower you to provide resources in times of need.
Money can also buy you freedom. It can give you security and reduce stress, as well as allow you to focus on things you really care about and want to do, whether that is traveling or giving your kids all the advantages to live their passions.
2. Wealthy people are thieves.
There are both broke and rich people who seem to believe they can only win, get rich, and feel good if they take from others. Still, to say all wealthy people are thieves and must have gotten there by ripping others off is far from the truth. In fact, those who share and give the most value to the most people are able to gain the most wealth and keep it long-term. This myth is just something told by those without money as a way to justify why they don’t have it.
3. Money is the root of all evil.
Money—just like political titles, big houses, and fancy cars—is not inherently good or bad in and of itself. This quote has been twisted from what it originally stated, which is “the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.”
If you are only chasing the money to get rich at all costs and don’t care about anything else, then yes, at some point it is probably going to get you into trouble. At least you’ll probably make a few enemies on the way.
Money is just a tool. It can be used for incredible good. There are lots of problems out there, from famine to lack of clean drinking water and sickness, that can be cured with money. It’s all about the priority it has in your life compared to your other values—and what you do with it.
4. Save, save, save.
Some of us with smart and hard-working parents or grandparents were told all our young lives to “save, save, save.” That was supposed to be the key to success.
It just doesn’t work. You can’t save enough, quickly enough to get ahead or stay ahead. The average retirement account balance right now is only around $100k. That includes those who have been working a lifetime to accumulate that and maybe even some who inherited money. You might need several million to get through retirement. The numbers just don’t add up.
A new report from CNBC reveals that it now takes an average of 36 years for someone living in San Jose to save up just a 20% down payment on a house! If prices rise and your rent goes up in the meantime, then you might never be able to save that much in your life by just working a 9-5.
If you want to keep up or get ahead, your mantra should be “invest, invest, invest” or “earn, earn earn” instead. That’s what will help you supersize savings, enjoy more free income, and be able to retire.
5 . Money doesn’t grow on trees.
This is a scarcity mindset. If you always think and act out of scarcity, that’s what you get. So many people have gotten into real estate investing and have woken up to just how much money is out there and freely available. Some people dream their whole lives of winning a million dollars. They think that if they hit that golden number, they’ll be set forever. In reality, you can blow through a million bucks pretty fast. There are cars that sell for over $1M. In many cities, the average house starts at $1M. As Grant Cardone puts it, “Millionaire is the new middle class.”
There is definitely enough in the world for everyone to have abundance. It’s about logistics and bridging the gap from where you are now to where you want to be. Increasing the cash flow in your own life is about investing and finding more ways to serve more people.
6. Go to college.
They tell you to go to college to get an education that will land you a good job that pays well, so you can ride it out until retirement. That strategy might have worked a few decades ago, but it doesn’t anymore. Chances are it will just make you even more broke with lots of student loan debt.
Learning is good. It is important. But many may be better off learning real financial skills and how to invest and make money work for them, instead of trading their lives for just enough to get by.
If you’ve heard these things, I urge you to consider who told them to you. They may have been shared out of good intentions, but that doesn’t mean they’ll work. How wealthy have these beliefs made those who perpetuate them? Learn from those who are living how you want to live. Do what they are doing instead.
What myths would you add to this list?