Maybe you lie to yourself. Or perhaps, you’ve heard these lies told to other people one too many times. We all have our reasons. We can justify most purchases and our financial situations without even blinking. However, if we think long and hard enough, we’ll often find that many of those justifications are just silly excuses that keep us from achieving our financial goals.
So you want to be rich, have a fully funded emergency account, and be able to go on a two-week long vacation. Oh and let’s not forget the house. All of this stuff comes with a price tag attached and if you’re telling yourself some of these money lies, you’ll find yourself waiting longer than necessary to achieve these and many other life goals.
The first money lie you need to lay back on this year is none other than…
“I’ll pay myself back when I get paid.”
First of all, why are you borrowing from yourself in the first place? Let’s think about this for a second. Are your savings priorities messed up (saving for a new pair of shoes when you need to be saving for your insurance premium)? Do you lack self-control and go straight for Michael Kors as soon as you enter a department store? Are your bills higher than your income? (Please note: I’m talking to my old self, more so than anyone else.)
It’s essential to get to the root of the reason you’re borrowing money from yourself. You shouldn’t have to rob your car maintenance fund to make home repairs. Your clothing fund shouldn’t be raided for groceries. See what I’m saying? If your plan for your money is going to work, you need to figure out exactly how much you spend on things, cut back on stuff you don’t need, and cover your needs effortlessly. If you want something, plan accordingly — just don’t rob Peter to pay Paul. Or rob yourself, for that matter.
The second money lie you need to deal with is…
“I’ll save more when I get paid more.”
Let’s address this common misconception. You know how most lottery winners are broke within a few years of collecting their winnings? Well, they are broke because they didn’t know how to manage money in the first place. Receiving lottery winnings is just like putting a band-aid over an open fracture without performing surgery to repair the break. You haven’t done anything to correct the behavior and the extra commas in your bank account is not going to fix all of your woes.
If you didn’t save before you cashed out, chances are slim you’ll plan to save when you get paid more. Not only is this true for those lottery winners, it’s true for us regular folks grinding the 9 to 5 too. In the bible, Luke 16:10 says, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 11 So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? 12 And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?” Basically, the Word is saying, “if it ain’t working with a little, don’t expect much more with a lot.”
Moving along to the third money lie to stop telling yourself…
No you’re not broke, but your spending priorities are broken. Mr. Biden said, “Don’t tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.” What he said couldn’t be more true. Do you prioritize catching a good sale to “save money” over your actual savings goals? Let me break it down a little more. Do you care more about saving $248.39 off of your Kohl’s or Target purchase more than you care about putting that $248.39 into a savings account?
It’s easy to get caught up in the thrill of saving almost $250 on an item you may only sort of need. I mean everyone needs a winter coat if they live in cold temperatures, but if you already have a good coat in the coat closet — you aren’t actually saving a thing if you’re purchasing a new one on sale. You are spending! The spending priority is broken, not you. Fortunately, your spending priorities can be fixed.
“Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver. –Ayn Rand
Once you’ve stopped telling yourself those money lies, try telling yourself these things instead:
- I choose financial freedom
- I choose to become debt free
- I choose to end generational poverty in my family
- I choose to be less of a consumer and more of a saver
- I choose to think of myself as a whole (not broken) individual, capable of making smart money decisions.
I’ve left these lies behind and I encourage you to do the same. Are there any other money lies folks should stop telling themselves? Are you guilty of telling yourself any of these lies? Don’t be afraid to share, it’s a no judgment zone here!