Money myths are false beliefs that you have towards money. These false beliefs have been taught to us or instilled by either family or friends who hold certain opinions about money. A lot of us carry around these untruths society has taught us about money to our own detriment. These myths about money limit our potential of becoming financially literate or achieving your financial goals and freedom. If you have ever looked at what people say about money and made important financial decisions out of those myths, you are hurting your chances of financial success. While most of us do not have the faintest idea what these money myths are, some of us choose to ignore these financial red flags. Being financially educated and debunking these financial money myths is important if you want to have a better relationship with money.
Here are the top 15 money myths you need to know today:
In this article
1. Money is the root of all evil
This is a common money myth that usually goes unnoticed to the unsuspecting eye. I cannot begin to count the number of times I’ve heard people misquote the original text from the Bible which says “….. for the LOVE of money is the root of all evil.” 1 Timothy 6:10. Money in itself cannot cause evil. It’s insentient. However when you love money too much to the point of greed, you can do despicable things to get it. You may decide to rob a bank or murder someone for money. Now this is what’s evil. Moreover if you are innately a bad person, you will use money to further your evil plans. Thinking that money is the root of all evil because of how bad people use it for their own actions is unfair and limiting to anyone who wants to build wealth. If you hear this money myth, just shrug it off and keep building your empire.
2. Money cannot buy happiness
I must say, it is quite encouraging to see that many of us are slowly debunking this money myth. We are wrong to think that money cannot buy us happiness. It is a myth. Here’s why: Happiness is an emotion/feeling arising from a consciousness of well-being or enjoying good of any kind, such as comfort. You know what buys comfort? MMoney. So money can buy happiness. Money gets you in high spirits with temporary moments of bliss that happiness is all about. If you can afford that expensive vacation or finally buy your dream house or car, then you are happy. However, if you want an innate feeling of satisfaction and contentment within yourself ( what is called joy) then you need to work towards it yourself. Saying money cannot buy you happiness is a money myth you should debunk today.
3. Money changes people
This money myth is only half true. When you get money, you can improve your living standards to one that is more comfortable and be able to afford clothes that make you look good. However, oftentimes when people say this, it is usually with a negative connotation to it. They say that when you finally come into a lot of money, you change your personality. This is a money myth. Money only enhances who you are. Say you are a philanthropist at heart, money will help you to give back to society how you deem best. If you are a corrupt person, you will use the money for corrupt schemes. Money will only make your real self more noticeable. You need to debunk this myth that money changes people if you want to make any progress in your financial life.
4. Money is scarce
The money myth majorly stems from the scarcity mindset we have towards money. We don’t want to spend money because we don’t know if we are going to have enough to sustain our needs the next time. So what we do instead is stack up lots of cash for fear that we won’t have any left when we spend it. If this sounds like you, you need to stop worrying about money. One way to do this is by being financially literate and adopting financial habits that drive you towards financial success. Start budgeting, saving, investing, open a business so that you can earn income both actively and passively. Don’t just sit and whine about how hard money is to come by when you are doing nothing about changing this situation. There is no limited supply of money if you invest in the right assets or adopt an abundant money mindset.
5. Money causes conflict
I learnt in an early age that the more money you get, the more problems. This money myth was instilled in me one time when I asked about why people always have to argue about money. You find that couples, government officials and even families want to fight about money. Is money that bad? If you ever find yourself in a conflict about money, you have to carefully consider the values and priorities either party involved holds dear. For example, your partner wants to splurge on an expensive vacation and you want to wait and save well before you travel. You need to evaluate your priorities and make informed decisions in order to avoid this conflict. Saying that money causes conflict is a myth that needs to be debunked.
6. All rich people are in the illuminati
I believe we have all heard the word illuminati being thrown around quite too often when talking about how someone became wealthier. The illuminati is a secret society of elitists who take part in evil, wrongful actions and other-world schemes to get rich. Even with these speculations, it is utterly wrong to assume that all rich people are in the illuminati. There are many rich people who have worked extremely hard to build their empire and putting them in this “box” is an insult. Do not let this label scare you away from wanting to make more money and get richer. There are many legal and moral ways to get money that you should look into today.
7. It is better to be poor and happy than rich and miserable
I think we can all agree that there is no joy in suffering. If you can pay for a little comfort and convenience here and there, you should definitely do it. Poverty is a curse. When you can’t afford the things you need, you will be more depressed than happy. While rich people also go through tough times, it becomes more manageable when you can, say, be able to pay for a therapist or go for a massage to calm your nerves. Anyone who praises poverty is promoting a myth about money that needs to be demystified.
8. Money isn’t everything
Ask yourself: can we survive without money? Short answer, no. We need money to get by. But is money really everything? Money helps us to get the basic necessities for survival. Whether it is food, clothes, shelter, education, etc. you need money to get these things. However, there are certain aspects in our lives that money can’t buy. For example spending honest quality time with family and friends and being loved by them. Money cannot buy that. Therefore we can say that the money myth that money isn’t everything is only half true.
9. Lottery money doesn’t last
There’s been way too many coincidences of people squandering away lottery money to not believe this money myth might be true. How many stories have you heard of people who have won lottery cash or betting/gambling money and went broke almost immediately? Whereas something about not actively working hard for this cash explains why people want to waste it, lottery money will not last if you do not practice financial discipline. You can win the lottery today and choose to invest in assets like real estate which will build you wealth in the long term. The belief that lottery money does not last is a myth that needs to be debunked.
10. A woman shouldn’t make more money than their partner
Even as society keeps on progressing with equality and women empowerment, this is sadly a reality in most families/relationships. Whether or not a woman should earn more than their partner still breeds conflict and creates a rift between couples who want to make important financial decisions. A woman making more money than the man doesn’t mean she disrespects or is trying to take away anything the man contributes to the table. Society has passed down this narrative down to many generations and it is just utterly unreasonable. If either of you can make more money and get you to a more comfortable financial lifestyle, you need to be accepting of that. Holding on to this money myth only goes to show how backward and non-progressive you are in your financial literacy journey.
11. You can’t talk about money
If I nonchalantly ask you today, how much money you make in a month, is it something that you will comfortably share without giving it much thought? No? You are not alone. A lot of us can’t just chat about money. We are too careful holding these conversations and would rather not be asked about money. Talking about money is some sort of taboo in other communities. If you want to get ahead and make financial progress, you have to be open to having candid discussions about money. This is how you will exchange ideas and strategies that will help you most with your financial goals. It is a myth to think that you cannot talk about money, albeit casually.
12. It takes money to make money
This money myth is only half true. You do not always need to actively invest your money in something in order to earn income. There are many “free” ways you can make money. For example, if you have a passion for writing or influencing, you can tap into these skills and get paid for them. However, if you want to, say, start a business, then you must be ready and willing to invest money into your new venture to make money. Thinking that you must have money to make money is a myth that needs to be debunked.
13. Student loans are good debt
Student loans are said to be good debt because they have low interest fees and positive tax benefits. This is a myth. Having debt is frustrating and detrimental to your financial success. When you get yourself into debt, you spend most of your time paying it off instead of investing in assets which will generate income both in the short and long term. If you are a student and you can survive through campus without taking out student loans, don’t fall into this trend. Oftentimes students want to spend this money on parties and splurge without thinking about the financial consequences.
14. How you spend money matters more than what you earn
We crave lots of money, but the irony is that the more we earn, the more we spend. But does how you spend your money matter more than what you earn? Both of these matter. You have to practice financial discipline on how you spend your money and also evaluate your earnings to meet your lifestyle. If today you make twice the amount of your current salary, the only way you can make financial progress is to adapt to the same lifestyle you are living now. The truth is, how much money you earn is equally important to how you spend it.
15. Money doesn’t matter
Money matters. We cannot survive without money. We need it to buy basic necessities, pay for our travels, our education, etc. Many people who propagate this money myth often say this because they do not want to come off as people who think or talk about money too much. We sleep late nights everyday or wake up in the wee hours of the morning because we want to earn income. There is absolutely nothing wrong with money being the biggest motivator of why you put in lots of effort in building your business.
While some of these money myths are too obvious to ignore, a lot of us still make these statements in passing without thinking about the damage it does to people who are out looking for financial empowerment and freedom. If you hold a certain opinion about money, you should also be ready to back it up with solid facts so that it is not discarded as another money myth. Money myths have done a lot more harm in our journey of financial literacy than good. Do not let what your friends or society teach you about money be the only standard by which you choose to approach your financial life. Some of their teachings are false and very limiting to your financial ambitions and goals. It is important to know and debunk these money myths so that you can become more confident with money.