82 Personal Finance Myths Debunked

Grad Money Matters debunks 82 of the head games we play with ourself that keep us from handling our money the way we should.

We like this one, under the “Attitudes” category: “Myth: “I don’t make enough money, so I can’t save””

If you are a victim of the circumstances, strive hard to get above them – instead of feeling sad for your situation or blaming someone for your problems, strive to get out by looking for opportunities or creating them for yourself.

The items are presented in gloss on the front page. Be sure to hit “detailed article” under each subsection for the full explanation. Oftentimes our biggest personal finance problems are “cognitive thinking” and prodding from a list like this can help get your mind right.

Campaign Against Financial Myths: 82 Myths Busted! [Grad Money Matters]
(Photo: Getty)


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  1. CoffeeAddict says:

    Good Tips. A little wordy but good all the same. Most were things I already knew but there were a few new things so that was nice. Thank you.

  2. RvLeshrac says:

    The most frequent holders of the above POV are those who have never been in a situation where they “needed” to think like that.

    It is easy to say “think positive and work hard,” but far more difficult to do it, especially when you’re beaten down everywhere you turn. Some individuals find it impossible to get into a traditional school, for example, and the current crop of ‘vocational/technical’ schools are far more expensive. Of course, another big one is the “you need experience to get a job, but you need the job to get the experience” catch-22.

    If life was as simple as catch-phrases and syllogisms (A lazy,good-for-nothing loser doesn’t have money. You don’t have money. You are, therefore, a lazy, good-for-nothing loser), we’d all be much happier.

  3. humphrmi says:

    @RvLeshrac: It’s more than just “think positive and work hard”. It’s about putting yourself in charge of your future, not others, and stopping the blame game that just enables a spiral of losing.

    We all get beaten every once in a while, even those people you see as the “holders of the above POV”. And you’re absolutely, positively 100% incorrect that we have never been in a situation where they needed to think like that.

    I came from a dirt poor background. My family was also addicted to being a victim. I broke out from that mind-set. It’s difficult, but in every situation I now ask myself “What could *I* have done to make that turn out better for myself?” And if I answer very very very honestly, next time I won’t be a victim.

  4. humphrmi says:

    @RvLeshrac: BTW have you tried community college? Oh yeah, only losers go there. That’s what I thought twelve years ago. Good thing I didn’t let that victim thinking stand in my way, or I wouldn’t be in a job that makes me one of those people who have “that POV”.

  5. MercuryPDX says:

    “It is OK to loan money to friends/relatives.”
    “I can help my friend in debt by co-signing a loan for him.”
    The Judge Judy school of finance also strongly disagrees. Give it with the expectation of not getting it paid back, or don’t. NEVER Co-sign on a loan with someone who’s got bad credit, even if it’s Friends/Family. You will get stuck with it and dragged down with them.

    “I need to enroll in the mortgage company’s bi-weekly payment program to shave a few years off my mortgage.”
    They say don’t, and I partially disagree. You can set them to deduct more than half your payment biweekly (I round up $484 to $500) in addition to the extra full payment they get every year. The savings and convenience in the long run make it worth it for lazy people like me.

  6. @humphrmi: “BTW have you tried community college?”

    I teach at a CC part-time, and many of our programs are so over-subscribed they have 3+ year waiting lists. It’s excruciatingly frustrating for people, including friends of mine, who are TRYING to pull themselves out of a bad life situation and are spending year after year after year on the waiting list.

    (I’m in a more rural area, so our CC serves 8 counties and there’s no other nearby options for vocational or technical or associates certs except expensive proprietary places.)

  7. Rusted says:

    Hmmm. Listing things again? Spend less then one makes and realizing that steady income is now a thing of the past and planning accordingly is what I go by.

    1. Happiness is even harder without money.
    3. Toys is toys, but sometimes it’s nice once in a great while to play. Just don’t do it often.
    4. Go one better….NEVER loan money, outright gift if really hurting.
    5. Everyone has to budget and invest now. Where did they dig up that old chestnut?
    6. Rich is a perspective. Nothing more. There are people who make a lot more then me and are still in trouble. I make little and don’t have to worry….much.
    14. Excel works just fine and my version is seven years old. Open Office has nice spreadsheet that’s free.
    17. May not make one rich but at least you know where you are.
    22. Fixed rate still better…..read the news lately?
    30. Worse to keep an unused credit card. Kill it.
    42. Agree but research and self education will go a long way to finding some good funds.
    44. My VHGEX and VTRIX and my 410K are beating it it pretty well. Study, young Padowan…..
    61. I have no debt so I disagree completely.
    74. There was the one that talked me into a variable rate annuity….

  8. Basic needs such as food, shelter and health expenditure do not take up a whole lot of what we make.

    Oh really? Who is this “we” they speak of?

  9. Mary says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: Yeah, I’d like to know where they live. I’ve never had the luxury of being able to speak that sentence without laughter.

  10. RvLeshrac says:


    No one who writes these things is living check-to-check. That’s why they’re always filled with cute aphorisms, and rarely filled with real solutions.

    It is quite a bit like the people who say that the answer to reducing greenhouse gasses is to “cut emissions,” and the people who suggest to the morbidly obese that to lose weight you need merely to “not eat as much.”

  11. Rusted says:

    @RvLeshrac: Ah. Less beans.