#My2Cents: 3 Financial Myths People Believe

If you've ever had these thoughts...
  1. Having money will make you happier than you are now. 
  2. If you just had a little bit more money, life would be easier.
  3. If you buy the item on sale, you're saving money.
Then you need to keep reading!

Money will make you happier than you are now. This is one of the biggest myths out there. The tragic deaths of Marilyn Monroe, Robin Williams, and Michael Jackson are proof that this is a myth. Money cannot buy happiness. It can buy experiences - which can make you happy for a moment, and it can buy comforts - like a large house or a fast car, and it can even buy so-called friends; but when the house is empty and the car is no longer new and the "friends" move on to the next loaded pockets, you will still be left with an emptiness that no amount of money can fill. I have personally met happy paupers with (literally) one chair to their name, and miserable folks who have everything money can buy. Don't subscribe to the idea that having money would make you happy. Happiness comes from within, and it is my belief that true happiness can only come from God.     

If you just had a little bit more, life would be easier. This is oh so easy to believe when you are on the lower end of the pay scale. Having been on the lower end (while working with humanitarian organizations overseas), and now on the very comfortable side, I can truly call this one out as a myth. What I have found is that when you have less, you watch where every penny goes, because every penny counts. When you have more, you pay less attention to where it's going, and before you know it, you're wondering, "How come my bank account is still empty?" Having more money has the potential to make your life easier, but it also requires the same amount - or more - of self-control. Without self-control, you'll quickly find yourself in the same situation: wondering where the money went!

If you buy the item on sale, you're saving money. January clearance specials are everywhere, when everything that you wanted before Christmas is now marked down 50, 60, even 75% off. I know as well as anyone how dazzling clearance stickers can be, but before you fill a cart - virtual or otherwise - step back and take a look at the original price tag. If you have a smart phone, do some quick comparison shopping online. In many cases you'll find that the clearance price really isn't any better than the pre-Christmas sales, or the original price is so jacked up (because no one ever pays full price these days), that even 60% off is more than the item is worth. Unless it's a quality item (e.g. I usually purchase clearance cashmere sweaters in January from a high end store), or something that won't be out of date by next Christmas, you're probably not saving much - if anything. Don't buy into the myth that you need to "spend to save" - money leaving your pocket is still money.

What money myths would you add?


  1. Great post! I have a couple of friends who declare themselves coupon and sale queens - their houses are filled with so much unnecessary stuff just because it was a great price.

    I have been known to hit up the clearance rack in children's stores and secondhand stores because I don't like to spend more then $3-5 per shirt for my kids. Because I know they will grow, I do buy clearance clothes a season or two ahead of time. They don't take up too much space and it does save me a bundle.

    1. Karen - the only time I make an exception for this rule is when I'm shopping for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes throughout the year. If I find a good deal on clothes (as you said for your kids - that makes TOTAL sense to me, I can't imagine paying $25 for a kid's shirt they will quickly stain and/or outgrow!) or small toys or stuffed animals, I grab it. But I also know it's not staying in my house - it's leaving within a year. :)

      I tried couponing for a while a few years back, but I realized I was only finding coupons for junk food or items I don't use, so in the end, I was still wasting money. That Extreme Couponing show leaves me with my jaw hanging open. Why would I want an inventory of 100 shampoos... AND CONTINUE TO BUY THEM??

  2. True, true, and true! You are so right on the mark.

    My addition to the myth list is: To be happy you have to feel happy. That is so not true. Emotions are fickle and you can be experiencing some blue days and still be happy. I realize happy (dependent on circumstances) and joy (an attitude of the heart) are not the same thing. Happy is still part of the whole experience though and sometimes we need to examine if we are really unhappy (more money will help it) or a disappointed (what can I do to productively change my attitude). I have no psychology training so maybe there is no substance to what I think.


A reminder: there are more than 400,000 words in the English language, please use them wisely.


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