There’s something behind that old adage “honesty is the best policy” — at least when it comes to managing your money. Lies — no matter how big or how small — have a lot of power over your finances.
Spin the wrong ones when managing your money, and you could be wasting dollar after dollar as you fib your way through life.
A frank account of the way you are managing your money is one of the only things you can do to avoid believing the falsehoods that may do your finances harm. If you’re ready to get the skinny on your worst financial untruths, take a look at this quick list and banish these lies from your vocabulary.
“I will repay my savings”
Life is full of temptations. For you, it may be the bakery next door to your office — close enough to smell when the latest batch of snickerdoodles come out of the oven. For others, the object of their desire is another sneaker to add to their mountain of shoes.
Takeout, clothes, new phones, and more — they’re all fun things you can buy. And when you don’t have enough money in your checking account to get that new iPhone XS or feed your daily baked goods habit, it’s okay to pull some cash from your savings.
You’ll pay yourself back next payday. Right? Not necessarily!
You have responsibilities that you need to cover with your next paycheck, so you may not have the extra cash to pay back what you took. You may also simply forget to fill up your savings account. After all, spending money is a lot easier than saving it.
A dedicated savings account is for a specific financial goal — whether it’s your retirement plans, an emergency fund, or a vacation. When you skim off the top of this account to pay for a frill, you’re setting back your savings plan considerably.
You may also get used to having more spending money in your pocket. If you don’t stop yourself, you can deplete your emergency fund completely.
With a zero in your savings account, you won’t be prepared when a medical bill or car repair costs more than you expected. Other cash-strapped people use personal loans to help cover these one-time emergencies. These options differ from traditional loans, and you can learn about your options online to see if they provide the solution you’re looking for.
Before you find yourself in that position, try to set clear limits on your spending, so you aren’t tempted to use up your savings on unnecessary things. You should also prioritize your savings to incorporate the things you like, so you can put money towards baked goods, shoes, or gadgets without endangering the rest of your finances.
“My credit rating doesn’t matter right now”
Essentially, your credit rating is your creditworthiness set to a numerical scale. The higher your score is, the better you look to potential banks, lenders, employers, and landlords.
With this basic understanding of your credit rating, it would be easy to think you only ever need to worry about it when you want to open a new bank account, take out a payday loan, get a new job, or rent a new apartment.
If you tell yourself your credit doesn’t matter outside of these situations, you could end up harming your chances of getting through a credit check successfully.
While it’s true, you’ll probably check your rating at these specific moments in your life, your credit rating isn’t something you can create or improve on the spot when the situation demands it. The number attached to your file can take a long time to build, mostly through passive credit building through the use of credit cards and other healthy loans.
If you don’t have a credit card or you rarely pay your card off on time, you won’t have a high rating. As a result, you may lose out on financial opportunities like a mortgage or a new job.
The bottom line? Be honest with yourself when managing your money
If you’ve lied about your savings or credit rating before, it’s time to come clean. Accept that you probably won’t repay your savings and that your credit is an ongoing concern. Once you kick these bad habits to the curb where they belong, you can get back on financial track and will be managing your money more effectively.