After posting the last “5 Money Myths debunked” I was given a few more gems to consider so here goes!
1. Money isn’t discussed in front of the kids (or in polite society).
I’m not for a minute advocating that you lay out your entire financial position at the neighbours BBQ or for your 5 year old to digest, but if you don’t talk to your kids about money then how will they learn?
Letting them hear you talk about budgeting, bank accounts, mortgages, credit cards and tax means they
will grow up comfortable with money talk.
Financial literacy isn’t taught at school and kids need to learn it from somewhere. My way of thinking is that it’s best they get age appropriate information early and regularly in a balanced and thoughtful way.
If they ask a question and you don’t know the answer, look it up together. For once google and screen time can be a bonding activity!
2. “A rich man is either a scoundrel or the heir of a scoundrel”.
Or put simply, you can’t be honest and make money.
Rubbish. Just rubbish. Yes there are shysters out there that profit from preying on others but most people are inherently honest and trustworthy, and make their money honestly. They may just be better at managing their money than others.
I think the media would have us believe this one but then, they make money from sensationalism. There is no real story in the headline “mechanic does a correct grease and oil change and charges accordingly…”
I think the adage that if it seems to good to be true it probably is may be the more correct advice. If it doesn’t seem right, ask questions and if you don’t understand it, ask questions. But you don’t need to assume anyone with money is dishonest!
3. Money doesn’t grow on trees.
As a kid this made me laugh… Yes it does I thought… it’s made of paper!
This goes on from my point about talking money to kids. If money is tight then involve the kids in the budgeting discussion so they can help make decisions about what they prioritise versus what they can live without.
For example, instead of saying to your 10 year old they can’t do dance because you can’t afford it, or yelling that “money doesn’t grow on trees”, try having a discussion instead. Explain that you can’t always afford to everything but if dance is really important maybe they would be ok to give up netball or music or to have a smaller birthday party. This way they won’t see money as a stress but rather learn to prioritise how they use it.
4. Money makes a man or Money is power or some other variation…
I struggle to imagine that people actually think this.
The value of a person does not lie in their bank balance but rather in the type of person they are. Kindness, compassion, empathy, emotional strength, emotional intelligence, stoicism, humour, intelligence, wisdom, grace and wit makes a good person or a good leader. Nothing to do with money.
5. “Never marry for money but marry where money is”
A husband (or wife) is never a retirement plan and nor are you in-laws. That is shallow and frankly, not very classy! If you want money, hustle out and earn it, save it, invest it and manage it but NEVER marry for it.
To paraphrase Warren Buffett; when he was asked to define success he said it was “when the people you love actually love you back”. The worlds richest investor defined success as having nothing to do with money at all.