The abundance of financial knowledge on the Internet has brought a lot of knowledge to our society in general. But it comes with the caveat that not all information can be trusted. On top of this, when paired with traditional financial knowledge that either does not work anymore or does not give the entire picture, it makes it even tougher to discern the useful information from the disadvantageous.
Bringing a positive change into your lives, financially, is more than just a few words on the Internet. Ergo, we want to debunk all the myths and advice that no longer serves as a benefit. Often, knowing what is the obstacle is enough to set you on a different path that gives a person better rewards for the long term.
With that being said, here are 6 money myths that we need to stop believing.
Myth #1: Money won’t make you happy
In a way, yes, money won’t make you happy. But money can solve all your financial problems that may lead to unhappiness. Money can bring you contentment but it can make you a lot less unhappy.
For example, if you’re struggling to pay rent every month and this issue is always the core of an argument between you and your partner, money can definitely turn it around. On top of it, having money can relieve a lot more stress and pressure to make ends meet every month and allow you more time to work on the things that bring fulfilment to your life.
If you have a money problem, money will set you free. Just make sure the problem is money and nothing else.
Myth #2: A credit card is your emergency fund
Credit card payments
A credit card is NOT your emergency fund. I’ll repeat: “A CREDIT CARD IS NOT YOUR EMERGENCY FUND!” The money that you spent using your credit card turns into debt real quick if you don’t pay it back or don’t have the ability to.
Emergencies happen, you need to have that fund ready because this event is unpredictable. What you don’t need in this case is to have another debt that is weighing you down. Thus, you should not plan to go into debt for future emergencies that are bound to happen.
Instead, use cash. Save for this emergency fund and store it away from you so that you’re not tempted to use it.
Myth #3: Investing in a house is better than stocks
This is a tad more controversial but a house is not better than stocks.
Don’t get us wrong, a house is a great place to live, especially if you have kids or pets that appreciate the land. It is somewhere for you to feel safe until you repay the mortgage. But until then, you’ll be faced with a lot of problems that will require you to replace, fix and furnish. All of which will cost you even more money on top.
We’re not saying to never buy a house. But in terms of investing, a house does not produce any income for you. It may even cost you a lot of money in the beginning. Hence, perceive it as necessary spending instead of an income-generating investment.
Myth #4: Investing is only for the wealthy
In the olden days, yes. The cost of investing (brokers) is so great that if you’re investing small amounts, all of it will only go to your broker. But today, opening an account is literally free. And the commissions that you pay are not as significant as years ago because of the advancement of technologies.
As a matter of fact, every single working-class individual should start investing in rather discretionary funds. Survive first, then invest. That’s because the power of compound interests can bring the assets of an individual with a net worth of five figures to seven figures.
The compound interest formula tells us that if you can invest about RM500 every single month with an average return of 5% annually, you will cross that seven-figure milestone is 46 years.
Myth #5: Once you have an investing plan, you’re all set
Financial planning is not something that is fixed. Rather, it’s an ongoing commitment to financial freedom.
If you’re serious about reaching this goal and want to make improvements to it, it will require constant upkeeping and maintenance. The world is constantly changing, the economy is not guaranteed, bull and bear markets will have their turns, and we need to adapt to it. No investing strategy is going to work 100% of the time.
We strongly recommend checking your financial profile at least every three to six months to make sure that you’re on track. A lot can happen in this short period of time and you need to make sure that your plan is still accurate.
Myth #6: Any debt is bad debt
Not all debts are created equal. Some will give you an unexpected return or yield more than what your debt is worth. The big question is: Will this debt pay me back more than what I put in?
A few examples of this could be student loans, a mortgage, or even taking debt to consolidate your outstanding debts. The reasons for this is that you will be getting all your money back and then some. You have to know why taking on debt and evaluating whether it will give you a net positive outcome.
That’s how you take advantage of debts.
For more money tips and investment guides, please check out our articles:
- The 5-Step Guide To Rental Investing
- A Guide To The Private Retirement Scheme (PRS)
- 7 Investment Lessons You Should Learn From Successful Investors