Sometimes, being an adult means tiptoeing the line between honesty and deceit. You may prefer to spin white lies about the look of your friend’s unusual haircut, and you may read about Trump’s elaborate untruths in the news.
Every day, you’re surrounded by lies, but that doesn’t give fiction power over your entire life — especially when it comes to the money in your pocket. The lies you tell yourself about your finances can have a negative impact on your future, preventing you from leading the life that you deserve.
Let’s put a spotlight on three lies you’ve probably told yourself in the past and expose them for what they are — big mistakes!
1. A budget is only for broke people
A budget leaves a bad taste in many people’s mouths. These are usually the same people who equate a budget with austere cutbacks or sacrifices. They may even see it as a tool used only by the chronically broke, or those who would use online loans when they’re surprised by an unexpected bill.
It’s time these people see the budget for what it truly is — a valuable tool for anyone, regardless of how much money they have.
Whether you’re scrimping to pay the bills or splurging to have fun, a budget helps you keep track of your money. But it’s more than a tally of your financial comings and goings. By listing all your expenses, you can pick out patterns in your spending habits that may prevent you from tackling your next big goal. Whether that’s to reduce your reliance on payday loans or to go on a beach vacation, it works the same way.
If you’ve never created a budget before, you can use a money management app to help you get started. Apps like Mint and YNAB automate much of the work that goes into tabling a budget, so you won’t have to invest tons of time into your newfound financial plan.
They’ll even help identify your worst spending habits. Once you see how much you spend on ATM fees, takeout, or parking fines, you’ll want to put an end to these unnecessary costs. You can start withdrawing from the bank, eating at home, and parking in a designated spot to put more cash towards your savings.
2. The little things don’t matter in the grand scheme of things
You swing by Dunkin Donuts before work for a coffee.
You see Widows on opening night.
You treat yourself to takeout after a long week at work.
These are just a few examples of the small ways you may spend your money. We all do it, excusing these purchases because they’re so small. And at less than $20 each, none of these purchases can make or break a budget on their own. However, if you make a habit of buying coffee every day or going to see every big blockbuster in the theater, their combined cost could have a big impact on your finances.
Though they pale in comparison to what you pay in rent, utilities, or online loan repayments, don’t underestimate the true cost of these small things. Eventually, these purchases add up and can take a big bite out of your budget. This lifestyle may end up leaving you unprepared when an unexpected bill comes your way.
If this happens, you’ll need to find a quick solution to your financial emergency that the bank can’t deliver. An online lender like MoneyKey offers a fast alternative to conventional borrowing. In some cases, you’ll receive the cash you need after one business day. To find out more about these online loans work, click here. You may be able to use them when you find yourself in a tight spot.
Although these loans are a viable solution, preventative action — like minimizing these small purchases — is an easier way to greet the unexpected with confidence.
3. I’ll get to it later
Although you may recognize the need to make changes to your finances, the financial procrastinator always finds a way to shirk their duties. You may hear the echo of this kind of lie in every corner of your life as you drag your feet on every chore or opportunity.
There’s always a reason why: you’re overworked, you’re too tired, or you’re not ready to make a big change in your life. Whatever your excuse, it makes you promise you’ll get to it “later”.
Like the ambiguous goal of saving more and spending less, “doing it later” is bound to fail. It’s too vague. It could mean anything from later in the afternoon to later in the year.
Postponing the start date to many of the typical financial goals — things like investments and retirement planning — can be reckless, as they rely on long-term engagement. The earlier you start to invest or plan for your future, the better prepared you’ll be.
The time is now for introspection
Did any of these three lies sound familiar? If you find these fibs fall off your lips, it’s time to put a stop to all your lying.
Recognizing your habit of telling lies is only the first step. Next, you’ll have to stop believing these excuses. The only way you can take control of your finances is if you handle your cash with a lot more honesty. So be honest the next time you look at your bank account; to be candid is to be kind.