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11 Myths About Money That Make Succeeding Harder

11 Myths About Money That Make Succeeding Harder

Everyone says they want more money. But you’ll never get more money if you keep believing the lies you’ve been told about it. Let’s bash 11 common money myths that make succeeding harder.

1. “Wanting more money is evil.”

Let’s start with the premise that in all likelihood, you are an honest, ethical person who wants to do good in the world and have fun along the way. All of that requires money. But if you believe that only evil, bad or dishonest people get money, you sabotage your ability to make it. Why would you do something that is evil? If you don’t think this is true, remember that most of your thoughts are happening in your subconscious mind. You don’t even realize it’s happening.

2. “I have to be lucky.”

Luck is great in the short term, but long-term sustained wealth requires hard work, discipline and letting yourself make plenty of mistakes. Successful people say luck is only a small part of it. In order to actually experience luck, you have to do stuff all the time. The more you do, the more chance you’ll have of luck happening.

3. “Money will change me.”

Money doesn’t make you good, bad or anything in between. It just amplifies what you already are. If you are intent on doing bad things, it allows you to do more bad things. If you are intent on doing good things, money lets you do more of those good things. Since you’re probably a good person, make more money so you can do more good things.

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4. “Money is a thing.”

Money is not a real thing; it’s a concept. It’s something we humans have designated as a standard representation of value. When you get money, it’s because you provided some value. Maybe you helped someone with their taxes, worked for them for 8 hours or gave them a coffee cup that doesn’t tip over in their car. You did something that helped someone—something of value. Money is just a representation of that value you created. It’s not a thing.

5. “If I’m really cheap, I’ll get ahead.”

Pinching pennies does not make you rich. Pinching pennies makes you a gal with a bunch of pennies. Making money requires thinking with a big goal in mind. You’ll get whatever you think about. If you think about pennies, you’ll get pennies. If you think about millions, you’ll get millions.

“You have to think anyway, so why not think big?”

—Donald Trump

6. “Rich people aren’t like me.”

Rich people are not smarter than you. They’ve probably been knocked on their bottom a few times—probably a few hundred. They don’t have any mysterious quality that allows them to have more money than you. The difference is that they believe they can achieve success. When you think you are different, inferior or superior to rich people, you block yourself from success. It’s that subconscious thing from #1 again. You believe that only a certain type of person can be rich. If you are not that type of person, how can you have money?

7. “It won’t make me happy, so why bother?”

Beyond your basic needs of food, clothing, shelter, etc, money will not make you any happier. When you tie money to happiness, you create an expectation that it’s going to provide something it will never provide. You then believe that money (or lack of) is preventing you from being happy. Now you resent it. You’re pissed at money and you’re pissed at people who have it. Not a great mindset (that subconscious thing from #1 again) to be in when you’re trying to make money.

8. “There’s not enough of it.”

Money is a plentiful resource. Since it’s just a representation of value, there is as much of it as there is value. When more people spend money, it moves around more. More people are giving and receiving value and getting the things they need and want. There is always more value, so there’s always more money.

9. “I have to save money to get rich.”

When you believe that money is a scarce resource that you must hoard, you aren’t willing to take the risks required for success. You believe that sitting on money like an egg you’re trying to hatch will make you rich. That doesn’t work because it prevents you from thinking big and using the money you have to acquire the resources you need to make more.

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10. “Making money sucks and it’s hard.”

Making money doesn’t have to suck. The most successful people say that if you want to get rich you’d better be doing something you love. Doing something you enjoy sucks much less than doing something you don’t like. It also gives you the motivation to push through the boring and mundane tasks.

“Don’t do it if you don’t enjoy it.”

—Richard Branson

11. “If I make money somebody else can’t pay their rent.”

Monopoly is a fun game, but it taught you a terrible lesson: somebody wins and somebody loses. That’s true in Monopoly, but life wasn’t invented by Hasbro. This is the worst and most limiting money myth. It goes back to the premise that you are a good person who doesn’t want bad things for anyone except the guy who dinged your car door and didn’t leave his contact information—your subconscious (there’s #1 again) simply won’t let you do it.

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When you get money, it doesn’t mean someone else lost. Don’t believe that if you get money for a product or service you provided, someone else can’t pay their rent or buy food because you took that money from them. The opposite is true. Money moves from person to person when value moves from person to person. In other words, when people help each other, money flows. Everyone gets what they need and everyone gets money. Making money helps everyone.

Quit believing these 11 myths about money. Go make some.

Featured photo credit: Tax Credits via photopin via flickr.com

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Published on September 17, 2018

How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

Achieving financial success is not something that just happens. Maybe if you win the lottery or something, but for the average person like you or me, it comes from a series of small steps you take over a long period of time.

With each step, you form a new smart money habit. And with each smart money habit, you build towards financial independence.

So what sort of habits can you form to get on that path? Let’s take a look at smart money habits you can start today to get you closer to a financially independent future.

1. Avoid being “penny wise but pound foolish”

It’s tempting to try saving a couple cents here and there when buying small items. However, that’s not where the real money is saved. You’re putting in extra effort for something that doesn’t move the needle.

You get the most bang when you’re able to cut down on your bigger bills. For example, finding a lower interest rate for your mortgage could save you $50+ per month. And cutting your transportation bill by purchasing a cheaper car or taking public transportation can provide large gains as well.

So, look at your recurring expenses such as housing, transportation, and insurance, and see where there’s wiggle room. It’s a much better use of your time than trying to pinch pennies here and there on smaller purchases.

2. When you want something big, wait

Impulsivity can get you in trouble in most aspects of life. Finances are no different.

It’s human nature to see something and want it right then and there. It starts as a kid in the checkout line at the grocery store, and it continues on through adulthood.

We get an idea in our head of something we want, and it’s hard not to go out and get it right then.

A good example is wanting a new car. Perhaps you’ve had your car for several years. It’s crossed the 100k mile mark. Maybe maintenance is due, and you’re annoyed that you need to replace the timing belt or purchase new tires.

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So, you get the itch.

You start digging around online, and you realize you could trade in your current car for something newer and more exciting… all for a few hundred bucks a month. Then you get obsessed.

Here’s where you have to take a step back.

Your newfound obsession is clouding your judgement. Rather than giving into the impulse, wait it out.

Set a timeframe for yourself. Maybe you come back to the decision three months down the road. See if the obsession lasts.

It might, but often, a funny thing happens. Often, you forget about it. And often, you find that the new car wasn’t a need at all.

The impulse faded. And you just saved yourself a ton of money.

3. Live smaller than you can afford

You finally get that big raise. And you want to celebrate – and why not?

You’ve been looking forward to this forever. And after all, it was all due to your hard work.

That’s fine, splurge a little. However, make it a one-time deal and be done.

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Don’t get caught in the trap that just because you’re now making more money, you should spend more.

Too often, people get more money and feel like they that gives them the means to buy a bigger house, a bigger car… you know the drill. Resist.

The fact is that living smaller than what you can afford is one of the fastest ways to build savings.

But if you constantly upgrade as you begin to make more, then you’ll never get ahead. You’ll just build up more debt along the way and have just as little wiggle room as before.

4. Practice smart grocery shopping

Food… it’s one of the biggest portions of any budget. And if you’re not careful, it can be one of the biggest drains on your wallet.

But luckily, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you stay smart with your money when buying groceries.

Create a grocery budget

Set a strict weekly grocery budget. When you know how much you can spend on groceries, you can then plan your weekly menu around it.

Once you know what all you need, you can go shopping and keep a running tally as you shop to ensure you’re on track.

I tend to do this in my head, rounding for each item. However, writing it down as you go would probably work best for most people.

Make a list… and never deviate

Never go to the grocery store without a list. If you go to the store with a ballpark idea in mind, you don’t have a true ide of what you need.

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You’re not well-researched. You don’t know what the sales are. As a result, you’re going to make decisions on the fly.

These impulse decisions will lead to overspending, which will derail your grocery budget.

Eat before going grocery shopping

It’s also important to eat prior to going to the grocery store. Hunger is a powerful force.

If you’re shopping on an empty stomach, everything is going to look good. In particular, you may find a lot of ready-made, processed snacks will look enticing.

After all, you’re hungry now and that food is easily available. So subconsciously, you may lean towards those items.

Unfortunately, not only are those items typically less healthy, but they’re likely more expensive. You pay for convenience.

However, when you eat prior to shopping, then you’ll shop with a clear mind. Your hunger won’t cloud your judgement, influencing you to make poor decisions like a cartoon devil resting on your shoulder whispering in your ear.

This makes it much easier to stick to your grocery plan.

5. Cancel your gym membership

Now that you’re all set on your food, it’s time to get smart about managing your budget in terms of physical fitness. And let’s begin by avoiding the gym. The gym bill, that is.

The average gym membership costs around $60 per month. That’s $720 a year.

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Yet, two out of three gym memberships go unused. That means two-thirds of people who have a gym membership are literally giving away almost a thousand bucks a year. It’s crazy!

I recommend seeking an alternative. One good alternative is to look into fitness streaming services.

Streaming services allow you to stream hundreds of workouts like Insanity and p90x, right in your own home for around $10-20 a month. That’s $40-50 less a month than the average gym membership.

Of course, then there’s the free option. The internet is full of free workouts that you can do on your own with minimal or no equipment.

For example, there’s the Couch to 5K program, that I personally used a decade ago to ease myself from couch potato to running my first 5K race. If I could do it, anyone could.

Then there are free resources like reddit that have limitless information on workouts. The Fitness subreddit has done all the research for you, populating workout tips and detailed workout routines for anyone to use in their wiki.

There are several routines that require no equipment. And you can join in on the subreddit to become part of the community, making it easier for those seeking comraderie and encouragement in their fitness goals. All for free.

It’s baby steps… And baby steps can start now!

I’ve never met anyone that can’t stand to be a bit smarter with their money. And on the flip side, anyone can get smarter with their money. But remember, it doesn’t happen all at once.

Begin by fighting your impulses. Prepare for the week and be smart at the store. And cut monthly expenses like gym memberships that are overpriced and you probably aren’t getting your money’s worth out of anyway.

The devil is in the details. And the details can change your lifestyle and prep you for a financially independent future.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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