8 Misconceptions About Money from moneytalks.com
1. The more money I have, the happier I’ll be. Let’s ask Howard Hughes, Anna Nicole Smith, John Belushi, Chris Farley, Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, and Elvis about this one. OK, guys, show of hands… did fame and fortune make you happy? Happiness comes from liking yourself, something completely unrelated to money. Riches buys recognition, too often confused with validation. But respect, especially self-respect, isn’t for sale.
2. A big income will keep me out of debt. What’s the difference between someone who makes $50,000 a year with a $100,000 mortgage and someone who makes $500,000 a year with a $1 million mortgage? Answer: nothing. Unless they have money set aside for emergencies, they’re both a paycheck away from disaster. Debt often rises with income. What keeps you out of debt isn’t a high income or net worth. It’s not borrowing money.
3. Millionaires drive fancy cars, wear fancy clothes, and live in fancy houses. Not according to the folks who did a bunch of research and wrote The Millionaire Next Door. According to their studies, the average American millionaire drives an unexciting American car, lives in the same nondescript house they’ve owned for years, and avoids designer labels. That’s how they became millionaires.
4. The more money I have, the less worries I’ll have. Balderdash. Money doesn’t end anxiety. It gives you something else to be anxious about: losing your money. Granted, those without enough money to eat or keep a roof over their heads have lots to worry about. But once you have enough money for all your needs and a reasonable number of your desires, the excess will add to your concerns, not alleviate them.
5. Money will help me find love. With women, they’re not attracted to money. They are, however, attracted to ambition and intelligence, especially when it presents as humor. Everyone’s attracted to people who are self-confident, non-needy, and able to laugh at themselves. Like a peacock, wealthy people can easily attract attention. But attention isn’t the same as admiration or affection. And even if it works, do you really want to spend your life with someone so shallow and insecure they were attracted to your money?
6. I’ll have more fun if I have more money. When I was young, I didn’t have two nickels to rub together, but I had a ton of fun. Today I have lots of nickels – and am happy to report, still having a riot. There’s no doubt that money can furnish the elements of a good time. But if you need money to have fun, you’re boring. And should you become a billionaire, you’ll still be boring.
7. Money means security. When you boil it down, a primary purpose of money is to make life more predictable. It allows you to control your environment by being prepared for the unexpected. While that’s partly true, there’s not enough money in the world to completely control everything. I could have a heart attack and die before I finish writing this, and you could have one before you finish reading it. Accept that we’re all bobbing on a sea of uncertainty, no matter how much money we have.
8. Money will enable me to meet interesting people. You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting interesting people. But if I want to maximize my odds of meeting someone worth knowing, I won’t be heading to the nearest country club. I’ve met plenty of fun and interesting rich people – but I’ve also met rich people who were vain, myopic, pretentious, and judgmental. They weren’t that way because they were rich. They were that way because they were born rich and as a result never had to overcome adversity.