Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Six Lies We Tell Ourselves That Keep Us Financially Ignorant

This post is from Craig Ford at Money Help For Christians - personal finance articles from a Christian perspective.

Ignorance is simply something you do not yet know. Typically people are ignorant about topics that they place little value in knowing. Since there are so many benefits to a little financial knowledge, I wonder why so many people are content being financially ignorant. Financial ignorance results from at least six lies we tell ourselves.

Myths that lead to financial ignorance:

Myth #1 : “Life is more peaceful when I ignore my finances – ignorance is bliss”.

Fact: Eventually ignorance leads to stress, worry, and sleepless nights.

Those who live it up with their finances and spend because they think it is fun ultimately will not experience that easy going financial life for long. Ignorance will lead to debt, late payments, and eventually collection calls. Those collection calls will lead to unending and relentless interruptions to your life. These things produce frustration and stress. Ignorance is not bliss.

Myth #2: “I don’t need to know “x” because my financial advisor already knows all about that topic.”

Fact: Your lack of knowledge makes you susceptible to fraud, scams, and underperformance.

While there are a whole breed of individuals who are professionally educated about finances, investing, and other professional services there is not a group of individuals who are perfectly correct with their financial teachings. Each individual is responsible for weeding out the good from the bad. If you accept wholesale financial advice, in the process you will accept a lot of useless garbage.

Myth #3: “Financial topics are too complicated”.

Fact: Most financial topics have simple core lessons that can be learned with a little investment of time and energy.

Proper financial management does not require an increased IQ. It may require a few simple math equations and the ability to read and write, but it is not an elite science. Like any system there are patterns that result from causes and effects. By studying personal finances you can learn some simple lessons that will educate and motivate you.

Myth #4: “My time is better spent doing something else”.

Fact: Time invested in learning financial principals will bring solid returns.

I am a huge proponent of a balanced life. We need to be investing in our families, marriages, and churches. It is dangerous to overinvest in topics related to personal finances. Many, however, under invest their time, not overinvest. The false assumption is that God is more pleased and your personal life is better if you are financially ignorant. If you want a better family life, will it be better if you don’t budget or learn how money works? No, your family life will suffer because you did not invest time into learning financial principles. With finances, every small lesson you learn opens the door for a little more fiscal responsibility.

Myth #5: “I just don’t have the time”.

Fact: You have the time and your time is probably not being spent on better things.

It is interesting that many people devote four years to get a college degree, but cannot find 10 minutes a day to educate themselves about finances. If you don’t have the time to deal with your finances, take a piece of paper and record your activities for a week. Then ask if there is not an hour a week you could use to read, listen, or watch something to help improve your finances. True, you don’t need to know everything, but you should know something.

Myth #6: “If I can’t do it perfectly, I might as well just not do it”.

Fact: Knowing “more” and doing “better” is the goal - not perfection.

The goal is not perfection. In fact, in many ways perfection is an enemy of financial health. The goal instead is “better”. You might not know much about finances and you might know a lot, but there is still room for everyone to know more. Choosing to read an article once a week on a topic you know little about helps you know more.

The problem with ignorance is it is just so expensive! Today would be a great day to decide to learn more so you can do just a little better with your finances.

Seeking help with a personal financial plan... talk with Pastor Steve at WestlockNaz at gmail dot com

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please tell us what you think...