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Money for Life work in partnership with the Money Advice Service, an independent organisation set up by government. Money AdviceService provides free, unbiased money guidance across the UK to help people make the most of their money.  If you have a question or need help, you can chat to them here.

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6 money myths to let go of and become a money master

By Dr. Maria Nedeva is the creator of The Money Principle where she teaches people in financial trouble how to build sustainable wealth.

Money lessons that serve us well in life are hard to come by. I should know. My money management education boiled down to one sentence my mum uttered when I left home:

“Learn to control money, or it will control you.”

Thanks, mum!  What was I supposed to do with this?

It took me decades to comprehend its meaning and even longer to gather the knowledge and master the tools for money control and healthy money habits. Learning the lessons of money as early as possible will pay off in the long run, so let’s not waste time and get right into it…

Here are six money myths to let go of and become a money master:

#1. You ‘don’t need no education’ *Begins to air guitar to Pink Floyd*

On the day A-levels results come out, the internet is overflowing with articles about famous people who failed their exams. People like Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Branson, Prince Harry, and JK Rowling. The message is clear – you don’t need formal education to succeed in life.

However, what is left unsaid is that these are very special exceptions. As Jim Rohn said: “Formal education will make you a living. Self-education will make you a fortune.” He is right. You need education – both formal and informal to make it work for you. A combination of street-smart and book smart will go a long way. Always keep learning!

 

#2. You must buy a house young

Your dad bought a house when he was 24; I get it, but you don’t have to do the same. When your parents bought houses in their 20s, their lives and careers were more settled than they are these days.  Young people today are expected to change careers over ten times in their lives; research shows they change jobs much more often than that. These job changes often go hand in hand with geographic moves. What does this mean? It means you should pay less attention to studies suggesting buying a house is a great idea but genuinely think about why you’d want to buy a house (tangible reasons or societal pressure reasons?) and do the math of if it’s worth it. Renting a home is not a waste of money; it can be the smart thing to do until you settle down.

#3. You must get, and keep a job

When I was in my early 20s, my path was clear; I’ll finish my education, get a job, marry a great guy, and live happily ever after. I finished my education and, much later, married a great guy. Jobs turned out to be a bit trickier. I moved to the other side of Europe and got a job. Still, failure to win work, or research funding, would have meant losing my job. You were taught to expect a job, and this isn’t working too well. Don’t feel down but think of smart ways to make money when life’s a bit tough.

 

#4. You must become an expert

An expert knows ‘a lot about very little’. Industrial societies valued experts highly. Times have changed and, with them, the knowledge, skills, and competencies valued by industry and business have too. Expert knowledge and skills are automated. Computer algorithms select and trade stocks, build machines, predict song success and write novels. Become a maverick who knows ‘a lot about a lot’ and leave the expertise to robots.

 

#5. You should learn to save money

Did your mum teach you how to save money? Most parents believe their children must learn how to save.  I think instead of learning how to save, you should learn how to spend mindfully. When there is nothing left of your wage once you’ve paid your bills it’s hard to save. Instead, learn how to spend mindfully and potentially attend a money management workshop or two, to help you with your spending habits and spending mindfully.

#6. Money doesn’t grow on trees

‘Money doesn’t grow on trees.’ – my dad used to say. What did I learn? I learned making money is hard and opportunities can be scarce. But also, guess what? Money can grow on trees, and money-making opportunities are plentiful. It’s all about learning to spot and implement great ideas. You’d be surprised how many opportunities to make some money are out there. And if you decide to start some side freelancing, make sure to get financially rewarded for your work. Check out the Multi-Hyphen Method book by Emma Gannon or the Creative Rebels podcast if you need any inspiration!

Finally…

Now you know the money lessons it is time to put this knowledge to good work and practice. Here are seven money lessons to replace the outdated ones:

  • Learn something new every day; become slightly better at life and money every day.
  • Rent your home without feeling like a failure; you can still win the game of wealth.
  • Focus on work rather than jobs; you’ll get further and earn more.
  • Become a maverick and expend your competences and skills; all the time.
  • Learn how to spend money mindfully, and saving will take care of itself.
  • Opportunities are plenty; learn to spot them and act fast.

Congratulations on taking steps to become a money master!

 

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Money for Life work in partnership with the Money Advice Service, an independent organisation set up by government. Money AdviceService provides free, unbiased money guidance across the UK to help people make the most of their money.  If you have a question or need help, you can chat to them here.

Launch Chat

Chat to the Money Advice Service
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Saturday, 9am to 1pm.