We’ve heard them all before: the cold hard “facts” about money that people believe are golden truths. In actuality, many of these “truths” are just plain wrong, while others are more nuanced. So let’s myth bust 5 “facts” about money that aren’t as true as people think.
1. Don’t worry about retirement-saving until you’re halfway there.
Many people believe you don’t need to start saving for retirement until you’re in your thirties or forties. These people are sorely mistaken. You should start saving as soon as you’re financially able: the earlier, the better. That’s the actual golden rule for retirement savings. Some of us may not be able to start as early as others, but you really should try to begin in your twenties. Starting to save in your thirties might be OK too, but waiting for your forties might not give you the time necessary to ensure a comfortable retirement.
2. It’s pointless saving small amounts.
This idea is also wrong. Consistently saving any amount is a good thing. Of course, it’s better to save more than to save a little, but the important thing is to save. To up your savings, look at your budget to determine where you can cut back on unnecessary things. The money you save from nixing those nonessentials can be added to an emergency savings fund. Just remember, even if you start small, it’s better than not saving at all.
3. Stay away from credit cards.
On the contrary! Credit cards can do a whole lot of good if used wisely. They can build your credit score, allow you to pay for larger purchases, and also help in times of emergency. Of course, credit cards are only beneficial if you use them wisely, pay them off quickly, and keep a positive balance. On the other hand, if used irresponsibly, they can financially cripple you. Many people have multiple credit cards with high balances, store debt, and personal loans; when debt gets out of hand like this, it can cause severe financial strain.
4. Renting a house is throwing away your money.
This is not always true. Many times renting is preferable to buying. For instance, when you’re young, just starting work, and haven’t saved for a deposit, it’s better to rent. Many people stretch their budgets too far trying to buy a house and become financially overwhelmed. Wait until you’re on steady financial ground and have saved a solid down payment before you buy. Until then, there’s nothing wrong with renting.
5. Don’t ask for more money, or you’ll seem pushy.
This commonly believed myth has probably held thousands of people back from asking for the salary they deserve. There is nothing pushy or rude about asking for a higher salary when you know you’ve earned it. On the contrary, employers will likely respect your tenacity and sense of self-worth. Remember, managers and HODs have a responsibility to keep department costs down. So they’re not always going to invite you to request an increase. If you’re putting in the work, though, you should ask, and, hopefully, you’ll get it.
While most advice about money is tried and tested, some so-called “facts” haven’t stood the test of time or are just plain wrong. Always use your discretion and common sense, and always do your research.