Money Myths

Finances are such an important part of our everyday lives. We think about money while we're looking for groceries, when we're planning for the future and as we check the mail each day.

So we look for information about making more money, making what we have work for us and making it last as long as possible. The problem is that everyone has an opinion about what's best for you and your situation. There are lots of myths and strange ideas about finances. Let's take a look at a few of them.

1. Little savings here and there aren't worth it. Before I go to the grocery store, I take 10 or 15 minutes to go through both my coupon envelope and the store's weekly circular. I plan my meals around the sales and double up on savings by adding in the coupons for those sale items. There are also several sites and stores that will e-mail you coupons, too. (Just make sure your grocery store accepts them. In one week (and a few minutes of planning) I can save about $50 just by using coupons. A little can go a long way.

2. High price means high quality. We get this drummed into our heads by the manufacturers so that we'll spend money on their higher-priced products. Instead, think this way: does a less-expensive version still give me all the features I need? Will the generic pain killer still kill my pain or do I need to buy the more expensive name brand. Try it and if it doesn't work, you'll know better for next time.

3. I don't have time to be diligent in saving money. Do you have time to eat at home instead of going out? Do you have a few minutes once a week to clip some coupons? Do you have time to watch movies at home instead of going to the theater? There are so many tiny little ways to save tons of money that it's just an excuse to skip over them. Take a few moments every now and then to think, to clip and to save.

4. When I have ___ dollars in the bank, I'll be satisfied. Where do these numbers come from? Once you've figured out what it would take for you to comfortably retire or to achieve some purchasing goal, these numbers are fine. However, randomly picking an amount based on emotion can lead to discouragement. Satisfaction comes from trust in the Lord's supply for our needs and doing only what you can to save and prepare for the future.

5. Everyone should save 10% of their income. Everyone should also drive red cars, wear blue three days a week and own four cats. We are each individuals and have individual financial needs and goals. Instead of making broad sweeping generalizations about your finances, do your homework, a little math and a lot of praying. You can be a money whiz just by being intimately familiar with your own spending and saving needs.

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