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The Financial Lies We Tell Ourselves

Are you honest with yourself about money?  Have you ever told yourself a white lie to justify spending money when you know you shouldn’t?  Lying to yourself hurts your chances of success with financial wellness.  While your finances may not be where you want them to be, the best way to get on track is to face the truth and stop lying and justifying bad habits.

Here are some common lies we tend to tell ourselves:

*I don’t make enough money to budget.

Then what better reason to have a budget?  A budget is about keeping track of your money and knowing what you have coming in and going out.

*I’ll be happier when I have X amount of money.

Don’t delay your happiness; find joy in the present.  Don’t give your happiness a monetary value.

*More money means more financial security.

If you don’t manage your money well, the amount you bring in has nothing to do with financial security.  Even those with a high income, when combined with excessive spending habits, do not have a pretty financial picture.

*I’m young, I don’t need life insurance.

There’s a 100% chance you are going to die, and as of now, no one has a crystal ball to give you the exact date.  You also do not know when your health may change.  Young people can often find affordable term life policies for less than your monthly fast-food budget.

*I can afford it, the monthly payment is not that much.  

Have you crunched the numbers to see just how much this item will end up costing you after you pay all of those payments?  Does THAT number sound affordable?

*I don’t need a budget, I have strong willpower.

Don’t rely on willpower to guide you in your financial decisions.  Create a budget category for impulse buys.

*I’ll never be rich. I don’t make a lot of money.

While income is essential to wealth creation, it’s not the only factor to be considered.  Lifestyle, investing, and spending habits also influence your ability to create wealth.

*I don’t need to save for retirement, I’ve paid into Social Security for years.

With the future of Social Security so uncertain, do not count on Social Security for your sole income source in retirement. 

*I’ll be getting an inheritance. I don’t need to save now.

Nothing is certain.  While you may have a nice inheritance coming your way, don’t rely on that as a means of income right now.  Medical bills, job layoffs, just about anything, can cut into that inheritance.  Figure out what to do with that money when you get it, not before.

*I’ll just cut up my credit cards to keep from overspending.

It’s not the payment method that is leading to overspending. It’s habits.  While cutting up credit cards can help avoid temptation, it’s best to budget and allow yourself some fun money.

*I don’t need a budget, I have money left over at the end of the month.

A budget is more than making sure that you have money left over at the end of the month.  A budget is a guide for you to be in control of your money.

*I’ll never get out of debt, so there is no sense in trying.

Getting out of debt is possible for anyone.  With the ability to earn additional income from various side hustles, there is no reason for anyone to give up and not budget to attempt to get rid of debt.

*I’m never going to buy a house, so I don’t need to worry about my credit score.

Having a good credit score is not just about purchasing a house or car.  Credit scores can influence interest rates on credit cards and your ability to get a loan of any sort. It is one of a few factors in determining what you pay for car insurance.

*I’ll have the money for this when I get paid, so I’ll just put it on my credit card now.

Don’t get into this habit.  Life happens, expenses come up.  You don’t know what can happen between now and when the payment is due.  Buy when you have the money in the bank.

*I don’t need health insurance, I’m careful.

Hospitals are full of careful people.  Full of people who were healthy yesterday.  Insurance is a financial safety net to protect you from large medical expenses.  Protect yourself.

*I don’t work, I don’t need to be involved with the family finances.

Non-working partners absolutely need to be involved in finances.  Your situation can change in the blink of an eye.  Know what is going on in your financial household.  Know where the accounts are, know how much debt there is, know what sort of life insurance your partner has.

*It’s been a rough year, my family deserves this splurge.

Going through rough times does not mean you are entitled to anything.  Budget to make sure you have money to spend on your family for wants vs. needs.

*YOLO You only live once.

So true, but that isn’t an excuse for spending recklessly.  If you are a YOLO type of person, have a budget category for impulse buys.

*I can’t afford to save for retirement.

Find a way to designate money for retirement.  Remember, retirement is being laid off forever.  As much as you may want to work forever, there are times that your body may not allow that.

*I saved so much money, it was a great deal.

The amount you saved is meaningless unless your purchase was something you needed to begin with.

*I saved money by opening up a store credit card.

Just don’t do it.  This is how stores earn more money from you.

*I deserve it.

Don’t give everything a monetary reward.  There’s nothing wrong with spending money on wants vs. needs, but make sure your purchase aligns with your budget.

*Not spending money on daily lattes will change my financial situation.

No, foregoing lattes is not going to change your financial situation. Still, it’s a good habit to keep in check if you frequently find yourself running out of money.  If this pleases you, find a way to work it into your budget and enjoy without guilt.

If any of these statements sound familiar, you may want to rethink your money mindset.  Whatever your current financial situation may be, telling yourself these financial lies may be holding you back from your ultimate goal of financial wellness.  Take the time to think through these and see if you recognize them as something you’ve told yourself.