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There are many ideas floating around out there about money. So many of them are off base by just enough to cost you money. Here are a few of the most common money myths that aren’t always correct.
1. The savings account myth.
Having a savings account doesn’t really mean that you are saving money. It is a great place to have your emergency money, and it is earning you a slight amount of interest. However, if you have high debts with large interest rates, you are losing money by putting it in a low-interest savings account. You should be paying off your debts first. Plus, if the account is earning very little, inflation could actually be higher than the interest you are earning. In the long run, the investment really isn’t working for you, it is costing you.
2. The big sale myth.
I know plenty of wives that use this one. If you buy something on sale, you must be saving money. Not really. The item must have been something that you would have purchased had it not been on sale. You can’t purchase something just because it is on sale and save money. You had already decided not to purchase it at full price. This truth has a few exceptions. If you put the difference in a savings account, you are motivating your savings through a sale purchase.
3. The refinance myth.
You do not save money by refinancing your house every time. Most people will refinance for a lower interest rate, but a 30-year term again. If you had already paid five years toward your mortgage, you are basically extending your mortgage to a 35 year mortgage. You are likely to pay more over the long run than you will save in interest rate.
4. The credit card myth.
Zero percent interest credit cards are a great hook for consumers. If you have a credit card with 0% interest you can save money if you already have the money you would have purchased the items with in an interest bearing account. If you don’t, you aren’t saving anything. If you don’t have the money to pay off the card when the introductory interest term is over, you are spending money to spend money.
And the only way you save with a cash back credit card is if you pay the balance off in full each month and there is no yearly fee for the card. If you carry a balance, your interest will be higher than the cash back.
5. The more money myth.
Making more money will not mean you save more money. It only means that you will have more money to spend. Most people spend more as they make more. They don’t really ever save.