They say money can’t buy you happiness—and to a certain extent, that’s true. But poverty doesn’t bring happiness either, does it?
Let’s face it, there are a ton of money myths out there parading around as truth. But the real truth is that most of these myths are keeping hardworking people broke!
The Internet can be filled with financial “tips” that are more myth than fact. You must validate financial tips you find on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Reddit, or Facebook by doing your own research and speaking to a professional.
But don’t worry, to get you started, we’ve compiled a list below to call out “truths” as myths.
1) I can start saving later.
Savings is only for the rich, right? Well, not if you want to stop living paycheck to paycheck. Nearly one-quarter of Americans fail to save money every month.
However, the key to saving is to save the right thing. The rate of inflation reduces the purchasing power of your money but also increases the value of your assets, such as real estate or stocks. Rather than saving for the sake of saving, invest your hard-earned cash in assets that will pay you and keep pace with inflation.
2) All debt is bad debt.
This is one of the biggest myths of all. Having an outstanding balance on your credit card or a high-interest loan can cost significantly more than the sum you originally borrowed. However, not all debt is the same.
It is possible to acquire “good debt”—debt with a low-interest rate that builds wealth over time. Good debt will provide future value, like a mortgage or student loans.
But you must avoid overextending yourself, even with good debt: It can become a problem if you cannot afford the payments. The amount of debt you have will play a significant role in determining your credit score, which is used by lenders to assess your credit risk. The higher the score, the better the terms, which saves you money on interest.
3) You’re throwing away money by renting.
A house can be a good investment as equity will be built over time. However, becoming a homeowner is not always financially feasible because it requires you to pay the mortgage, property taxes, homeowners insurance, maintenance, and repairs—not to mention the upfront costs of buying a home.
If you are only planning on living in an area for a few years, renting could make more sense financially. It can also be a great way to save a lot of cash if you live below your means.
4) Credit cards should be avoided.
Credit cards are convenient, but they can easily become a burden if you’re not careful. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have one.
As long as you pay off your card balance in full each month to avoid interest, making purchases with credit can be worthwhile. In addition to being a great way to redeem points for cash, travel, electronics, or investing, it can also help increase your credit score, making it easier to buy a car or house in the future, with a lower interest rate.
5) You’ll spend less money during retirement.
Many people make the mistake of assuming they have plenty of time to save for retirement. In reality, it approaches faster than you think. And for some, their retirement lifestyle could be even more expensive than their working years.
Retirement looks different for everyone. For some, it may be a time for leisure and traveling. For others, it offers the chance to pursue a second career they’ve always dreamed of. Maybe you just want to leave a legacy for future generations of your family. No matter what it is, you can do it!