Seven Misconceptions I Used To Believe About Money

Being born in a middle class family, there are certain things that I used to believe about money. Some of these came from my peers, the media, movies, soap operas shown on television and even past experiences. Beliefs which unconsciously made me fear money itself and the abundance that it could bring to our lives.  Below are some of these misconceptions that I used to believe.

Money is the root of all evil.

If you watch television once in a while, I’m sure that you’ve seen in the news individuals getting arrested for robbery, corruption and other things that involve money. I’m sure you’ve also watched movies and soap operas where in the antagonist of the story does evil things because he or she wants to have more money.

Truth is, money is not the root of all evil. Because if that was the case, then there shouldn’t have been criminal cases that occurred before money existed. Evil deeds are committed due to a personal desire/ emotion that went out of control (e.g. lust, greediness, anger). Money is not the root of all evil, it is a person’s belief and attitude which creates evil.

Money can’t buy happiness.

A common end scenario in movies is that the female protagonist chooses the male protagonist because of his good traits. She then leaves the deuteragonist who has money and wealth because she believes that she won’t be happy if she chooses the latter. You would also hear people say “Di baleng walang pera, basta masaya at malusog ang pamilya” (Money is not important as long as my family is healthy). Watching and hearing these things unconsciously made me think that money can’t make us happy.

Unfortunately, that is not the case; because money could actually bring happiness. It can help you in keeping your family happy and healthy. Having back-up savings and passive income actually helps you to focus on achieving your dreams. It allows you to spend more time with your love ones and strengthens your relationship with them without fear of financial distress. Money can’t literally provide happiness, but it can definitely provide security which could eventually lead to happiness.

Money can’t buy true friends. (If I have lots of money, I won’t know my true friends.)

A lot of middle class individuals think that if you have lots of money, you wouldn’t know who your true friends are. If people knew that you’re rich, then you won’t know if they are sincere in becoming your friends or if they are just there for the money.

I’m sure you’ve heard the quote “It’s all in the mind” by George Harrson or the idiomatic expression “Mind over matter”. These are indeed very true. Because once you start to believe that something is going to happen, then that is what will most likely happen.

In short, if you start to think that people would only approach you because of your money, then those are the one’s that’ll come. So instead of the fear of having fake friends, just show them that you can be a true friend without having to rely on money to please them. That will help you to have genuine and true friends regardless of what financial status that you have.

I just need to work really hard to have more money.

“Do your job well and save your salary”. “Just work hard and you will eventually have lots of money”. That is a common belief that was instilled in my mind when I was younger. It turns out, this belief was wrong. While it’s true that because of hard work, you have a job, and that having a job allows you to earn your salary, and that having your monthly salary allows you to save money, it could never gave the assurance that you will become rich. Why? Because if you could no longer work due to unforeseen illness or calamity, you will no longer have an income.

You need to learn how to invest in generating assets, creating passive income and leveraging your resources. With the different seminars and workshops regarding financial education right now, it’s quite easy to learn about these things. To add up, these information are now readily available thanks to the internet.

I’ll have lots of money if I wasn’t paying taxes and other fees.

If you’re working in the Corporate world, you would often hear officemates say, “ang laki nanaman ng tax!”(taxes are so high!) or “kung walang tax ang yaman ko na sana!” (I’d be rich if I wasn’t paying taxes!). Perhaps you might have said this once in a while. But should you really blame high taxes for not saving more money? If you get into a job which pays 20, 000 php a month, chances are: taxes would range from 2000-3000 php per month. If you’ll look at the bigger picture, that’s only about 10-15% of your salary. What ever happened to the remaining 85%?

While it’s true that we all have expenses (food, rentals, family expenses, leisure, etc.), it’s not impossible to save about 10% of your monthly salary. If you save at least 2000 php per month, you would already have 24,000 php (excluding incentives) by the end of the year. If you’ll be a wise spender, you could even save about 20%, 30%, 40% or even up to 50% of your monthly salary. All you have to do is to stop blaming others, start becoming frugal and become financially educated.

I need to be a genius (smart) to generate more money.

I’m sure that most of us, if not all, had a classmate who was really good when it comes to academics. More often than not, you would think that they will become rich in no time because they don’t need to study hard to have a high score during an examination.

While it is true that being smart is an edge against other individuals, it isn’t actually a major factor to have more money. That is usually common among aspiring entrepreneurs. The more knowledge you have, the harder it is to start your own business and journey towards financial freedom. Why? It’s because given the gift to be able to do something easily and be paid for it, makes starting a business venture a bigger risk. Also, since smart people get higher pay for working for someone else, they tend to disregard the aforementioned things above (generating assets, creating passive income and leveraging your resources).

If I have money to buy and do things that I want, then I am already rich.

14588546868_2104cc55ccBack in my teenage years, I always thought that being able to buy gadgets that I want, travel to places that require money and have a savings account with 6 digits or more would mean being rich.

 Unfortunately, that was not the case. Because being able to buy the things that I want never made me feel rich, it just made me feel good for a short period of time. It is true that once you acquire these things, you’ll feel that you were able to achieve something, but that feeling would not last forever.

 I later realize that having lots of money does not mean being rich. It’s actually being able to provide the needs of my love ones, having the time to pursue my dreams and interest, and experience all that life has to offer that makes people rich.

“A society that’s misinformed is a dangerous society. The leader that makes decisions based on misinformation is very dangerous.”

-Laksamana Sukardi 

Photo credit: Money nook via photopin (license); ISC Czech Republic Presentation & Party Fall 2011 via photopin (license); Tax Credit via photopin (license); LG G3 via photopin (license)

I hope this article taught you something about how to achieve success.
Please don’t forget to share if you like it! 🙂

I Struggle, I Win!
Jeypi Kyu

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  • Elizabeth O.

    There are a lot of misconceptions about money that we wish we never believed. I used to think the same, that I needed to work my a– as hard as I could just to earn money, but really, all you need to do is learn how to budget and everything will come naturally. Even the things you thought you would never have.

    • That is so true Elizabeth. Just stay positive, work “smart”, manage your finances and learn to how to invest for your retirement, then, you’ll be able to live a happy and comfortable life. 🙂

  • actually, i’ll still believe in money can’t buy happiness and money can’t buy true friends. even more so for the latter. perhaps it’s a problem with how it’s phrase that I can’t seem to get past it. If “money can’t buy true friends” is a misconception, then it means money can buy true friends. and if you already need to use money to buy these friends, then how can they be true? if you’re saying “the wealthy cannot find true friends” is a misconception, I wouldn’t have any problem accepting that. But with just money itself, really cannot buy you true friends, can it?

    • Hi Mia, I apologize if the phrase somehow misled you. I never intended it to be translated literally. As I mentioned above, my only point here about “money can’t buy true friends” is regarding the belief that if you have lots of money, you wouldn’t know who your true friends are. Basically, if you start to think people only approach you because of your money, then those are the one’s that’ll come and you won’t really have true friends. Just show them that you can be a true friend without having to rely on money and you would surely have true and genuine friends. 🙂 Also, regarding “money can’t buy happiness”, I just want to point out that having money would allow you to provide the needs of your love ones and that would in turn would lead to happiness. I appreciate your thoughts though. Thanks for your feedback. 🙂

  • Sean Mendez

    Good thought provoking blog post … ahhh Money… yes you need a certain amount of it but people get to carried away with it . I walked away from a big 60 hour+ a week corporate job with the promise of making lots of money in exchange for the best years of my life… instead i worked for myself … on my hours and on projects i choose and was in the process able to spend time with friends and family and travel the world.
    lets not get carried away with money health and time top the podium with money coming in well behind them !

    • You are correct Sean! Money is just a tool to help up us achieve our dreams. We can’t deny the fact that money is important but it shouldn’t be your main focus in life. 🙂

  • Money can buy temporary happiness. I mean bags shoes travel. You name it. Those material needs gives us happiness but its all temporary. True happiness comes from all your memories

  • Great take on the misconceptions about money. But really, it’s all just a matter of budgeting and self-control. And for sure, money can buy tangible happiness. In my case, that’s a plane ticket.

  • In life, you have to experience these things before you can actually feel the necessities of being you. Money can help but cannot give total satisfaction of being a human being. It’s truly depend on your personality how money is perceived.

  • I could not agree more with EVERYTHING!! I think it ultimately depends on you and how you let money affect your life 😀

  • It all just really depends on perspective. For the one about a genius to able to have more money, there are a lot of people who are street smart and still the richest, so you really don’t have to be book smart, just do well in life.

  • I think everyone was taught that money is the root of all evil. But when you grow, and you will realize it is just a tool. Whether it is evil or not, it is the person themselves who using it.

  • Haha, Well, some of these concepts are not exactly false. Because men are the ones who made these paper bad. I like your post as it makes one rethink their perception of money!

  • They were all true as misconceptions. I am glad to have a friend who enlightened me and told me the truths about money. I would recommend reading Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.

  • Money is not the root of all evil but it’s greed. Money is not everything though so don’t dwell too much on it.

  • I think money is not the issue here. How a person thinks and acts with the use of money is the problem.

  • This article is very true in many ways, yes we need money in our lives but its how we see it. You are very right in saying, you don’t need to be so rich but its good to have enough to support your loved ones. I am also now looking for passive ways to earn money. I have done some investments but looking for more. Perhaps you can create a post about that 🙂

    • I will Karla, I’ll definitely create more post about investments / passive income in the future. That is basically one of the reasons why I created this blog. :)Thanks so much for your feedback. 🙂

  • Being rich is a state of mind. We can already be rich when we have modest expectations about our life. You can have a lot of money yet still feel very poor if you are never satisfied with what you have.

  • Money is a medium to survive but its not the ultimate goal. There are more things in life that cant be measure with money for example family and happiness.

  • I do believe that money can buy happiness, at least the things that make us happy for a short time. True happiness comes from within us, from the people surrounding us, from finding one’s purpose and living one’s dreams.