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MANILA, Philippines – Your 20s are going to be guided by your thoughts and, subsequently, your emotions and your actions.
Sometimes, though, in an attempt to protect yourself, you lie and try to fool yourself even though you know better:
“I’m not that fat yet. Why should I exercise? There’s Adobe Photoshop to rescue me.”
“He tells me he still loves me even though he cheated 25-and-a-half times. We are going to be together forever!”
“I could quit right now if I wanted to. I just pity my boss that’s why I’m staying in this job.”
“Hey, my voice isn’t bad. It’s just coincidence that our neighbor threw tomatoes at us while I was singing. If you close your eyes, you may even mistake me for Regine Velasquez.”
Sounds familiar? Have you ever told yourself any of these lies before? I have (except for the second one!).
Well, money is no exception to this scenario. In the case of your finances, you do the same thing.
What you don’t realize is that how you think about money affects what you do with it.
What’s the best way to stop lying to yourself? Be objective. Develop self-awareness.
Start by knowing these famous money lies:
1. I can’t save money yet; my income isn’t even enough for my needs.
This number one item takes the cake. It seems like we always forget the fact that we have variable expenses that we can adjust in order to have an amount for our savings.
Stop lying to yourself – you can always adjust, if you’re really willing to do so.
Save a part of your income and do this regularly. The amount doesn’t matter. Start by saving up P100 a month if that’s the best that you can do.
(I’ve asked the banks and they told me that you can even deposit a minimum of P1 – there’s no charges!)
The important thing is that you make this a habit. Save your money. One day, your money will save you.
2. Retirement is years away so I’m too young to even think about it.
Granted, retirement is 30 to 40 years away. But this doesn’t mean you should put it off while you’re still young.
In the case of retirement planning, time can be your ultimate frenemy – start investing early and it can be your best friend; invest late and it can be your worst enemy.
You can definitely start planning about retirement right now. Investment companies are now very innovative so you can invest based on your budget.
Financial planning blogs are now prominent so you can learn. Personal finance coaches are now accessible so you can ask for help.
3. Don’t judge me. I need this item for work.
That expensive dress, that pair of designer shoes, that branded suit – these items are often rationalized as work essentials.
In a way, it’s understandable as personal development experts tell you to dress for success and to dress for the work you’d like to have.
But, if you tell this to yourself every time you shop weekly, every time you get your paycheck and every time you go to department stores, this can be considered a lie.
You don’t have to invest in a work item regularly. Buying once every 6 months is already enough.
Your boss, if he’s an excellent one, would prefer a competent colleague wearing decent work clothes instead of an ineffective employee wearing designer shoes.
There are only a few things you can buy with money – class and professionalism are not one of them.
4. No cash? No problem! I have my trusty credit card to help me save the day.
Your credit card will only be your hero if you can manage to pay it on full and on time consistently. You’ll get freebies and gifts if you’re accountable enough.
If you can’t, it will be the villain in your life. You’ll get annoying phone calls and collection agent visitations.
Most of the time, you’ll also get to practice the ninja art of concealing yourself because you’re hiding from them.
Don’t be a fool. Pay your balance in full.
5. I’m sure my money will work itself out in the end.
Yes, it will, if you’re actively doing something to manage it. Making your own saving-and-spending plan or even reading personal finance books are some of the things that you can start doing.
On the other hand, it won’t, if you’re just relaxing and doing nothing. If Harry just relaxed, he wouldn’t have defeated Voldemort. If Naruto did nothing, he wouldn’t have controlled the 9-tailed fox.
If Percy just let things happen, he wouldn’t have beaten Kronos.
Your money is your car but in the end, you’re still the driver.
Do something, and you’ll get somewhere. Do nothing and you’ll get nowhere.
Protect yourself by seeking knowledge rather than ignorance.
Money management aims to give you freedom to control your life.
Don’t let these lies limit you. – Rappler.com
Photo of young woman thinking about the future from Shutterstock
Lianne Martha M. Laroya believes in better days. She founded The Wise Living to educate fellow 20-somethings on self-development and money management without boring them to girly tears. Connect with her on Twitter @MsLianneLaroya