5 Stupid Beliefs About Money Even Smart People Cling To

Some people are clever enough to cure rare diseases, solve a Rubik’s Cube in 3 seconds or invent thousands of ingenious excuses to get out of work, yet are totally clueless when it comes to money. If at least one of the above sounds like you, read on to find out if you’re guilty of subscribing to these stupid beliefs about money.

1. Credit Card Debt is Normal

If you think that, like death, credit card debt is inevitable and unavoidable, you’re selling yourself short. Remaining in credit card debt when you have a fighting chance of getting out of it is one of the worst financial decisions you can make. And guess what? It never goes away. In fact, it becomes exponentially worse with compounding interest.

Just because credit card debt in Singapore is rising doesn’t make it any more acceptable. If you want to get an idea of what good debt is, check out what we have to say in this article.

 2. Spending Money will Make Me Happier

While finally having enough money to lift yourself out of poverty will probably raise your happiness levels for a time, emulating Kim Kardashian in embracing the consumerist lifestyle is not going make everything right in the world. Every time a new shopping mall opens in Singapore, Singaporeans slide a few notches down in one of those global happiness polls.

However, that’s not to say that you should curb ALL expenditure and live like a hermit (by the way, investing in a Playstation 4 will go some way to helping with that, in case you were wondering). In fact, there are even books on this, such as Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spending. The trick here is not so much thinking that spending will make you happier, but being happy when you are spending money.

That comes from understanding your financial goals and budgets, and being able to work within its confines. Remember: eyes on the prize!

 3. I’ll Never be Rich Enough

If, like most Singaporeans, you’re worried that you’ll never have enough money, it’s time to be a bit more specific in your complaints—enough money for what? Enough to buy a flat, buy a yacht or send your kids to a kindergarten that teaches them to trade stocks?

If you articulate your fears, you often find that they’re not that scary and mostly overly pessimistic. If, however, you’re having an issue with investing, this is where we can help:

  • Scared of investing? – Here’s a quick guide on how to wipe out your fear of investing.
  • Not sure why you should start? – Here’s why the smart money’s on investors, not savers.
  • For a comprehensive overview of the basics of investing and how to start, head on over to our Investing section in the MoneySmart Learning Centre and get started on your investing journey today!

 4. I’m Doomed if I Don’t Get a High Paying Job

You know what’s scary? You’re probably most likely to hear this from university students. Yeah, the guys who are studying in an “institution for higher learning”. Well, so much for that.

Just because someone is swimming in banknotes on payday necessarily doesn’t mean they’re still doing so at the end of the month, and just because you aren’t doesn’t mean you have to learn how to photosynthesise in order to survive.  The truth is, your income is only part of the equation when it comes to determining your financial situation.

The other half is how much you spend, and you have a great degree of control over that, and this translates to every aspect of your financial life. Someone earning $2,000 a month who spends only $500 isn’t necessarily worse off than someone earning $5,000 but who spends $4,000.

If you’re finding it tough to stick to a budget, we completely understand, which is why you shouldfollow us on Facebook as we look at hacks that will help you to stay on the straight and narrow to building long term wealth.

 5. I’m Too Young to Think About Retirement

It seems counterproductive to start thinking about retirement when you’ve barely started work. But the truth is, once you’ve earned your first cent, it’s time to start thinking about the day you can stop working, even if you love your job so much you’re determined to work until you breathe your last breath.

When you start saving is just as important as how much you save. Saving a small amount 50 years before retirement might, through savvy investing, yield greater gains than saving large amounts 10 years before you decide to call it a day. 

And as we have found out before, the majority of people almost never have a good grip on how much they’ll actually need for retirement. Even rich people can’t figure it out! So start today, and I can guarantee you won’t regret it.