There are several harmful money beliefs that keep you stuck in the same place. As we move into 2015, many people will make resolutions to improve their personal finances. But if you don't know much about money management or personal finances, you might make some mistakes. To get the new year off to a good start financially, you need to erase harmful money beliefs from your mind.
1. I'll Always Be in Debt
If you're serious about paying off your debt, this is one of several harmful money beliefs you need to let go. Debt controls your personal finances and keeps you stuck in the same place. If you owe money, it might be hard to move up in life, and most of your money might go to debt repayment. You have control over debt. It might take a while to pay down balances, but you can eradicate balances. Pay more than your minimums, negotiate lower rates and stop charging.
2. I'll Never Get Ahead
If you're constantly telling yourself that you'll never get ahead, you won't. Positive thinking can take you further in life. You are your biggest cheerleader. Don't wait for others to motivate and encourage you. If you want to get ahead, take actions and develop a plan that can move your finances forward.
3. I'm Too Old to Change
I'm a firm believer that we're never too old to change. Even if you're in your 40s or 50s and have always been bad with money, you can wipe the slate clean. Most of the time, money management is all about self education and making wiser choices. If your credit score is bad, or if you have a lot of debt, working with a personal financial advisor can get you on the right path. Or you can read personal finance blogs or get advice from a friend who's financially savvy.
4. I'm Powerless
You are more powerful than you think. So people feel they are powerless if they have few options. But even if your options are few, you can make the most of your limited choices. For example, if you want to build your savings account, you might not be able to deposit $400 or $500 a month, but if you scale back and deposit $100 a month, that's $1,200 you'll save in a year's time.
5. I Have Bad Luck with Money
Sometimes, circumstances beyond our control do happen. But if you feel you have bad luck, this can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Realize that unforeseen events happen to everyone. We all have financial setbacks, but if you stay on the course, you can overcome these hurdles and reach your financial goals.
6. I Don't Earn Enough to save
You don't have to be rich or have a lot of disposable income to save. Even if you're only able to say $500 or $1000, that's better than nothing. Each paycheck, pay yourself first. Ideally, you'll want to save 10% of every check and deposit this money into a savings account. But if you can only save $20 or $30 each pay period, you'll eventually accumulate a financial cushion.
7. I'm Too Young to Think about Retirement
This is a harmful money belief I wish would die. You don't have to be in your 30s or 40s to think about retirement. I'm a firm believer that the earlier we start planning, the better. As soon as you graduate high school or college and get a full-time job, ask your employer about a 401(k) plan, or open an individual retirement account with a financial planner.
There are many beliefs about money – some good and some terrible. If you learn to recognize harmful money beliefs, you'll have the power to change your financial future. What other beliefs should we ignore?