You can’t be financially successful without a college degree.

First of all, claiming that “you can’t be financially successful without a college degree” is a financial fallacy because it assumes that financial success is strictly tied to one’s educational attainment, specifically with a college degree. However, that’s not necessarily the case. Many highly successful individuals, such as Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Richard Branson, dropped out of college yet have achieved immense financial success. This doesn’t mean that education isn’t important; it just shows that different paths could lead to financial success.

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You should max out your credit cards to build credit.

It’s important to clarify that the idea of maxing out your credit cards to build credit is indeed a financial fallacy. Maxing out your credit cards can instead negatively affect your credit score because it increases your credit utilization rate, a factor that has a significant impact on your score calculation. Credit utilization refers to how much of your available credit limit you’re using at any given time. A high utilization rate suggests to creditors that you might be a higher-risk customer, which could lower your credit score.

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I can’t save and pay off debt simultaneously.

The belief that one can’t save money and pay off debt at the same time is indeed a financial fallacy. The underlying assumption here is that all available resources should be poured into debt repayment, leaving absolutely no room for savings. However, this all-or-nothing approach ignores the importance of maintaining a safety net for unforeseen circumstances.

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Investing in a business is a leap of faith.

Investing in a business is often mistaken as a leap of faith due to the inherent risks involved. It is a financial fallacy because it suggests that there is no method to assess or manage the risks tied to an investment, which isn’t accurate. In reality, informed investing depends on thorough research, careful analysis, and strategic decision-making, not on luck or blind faith.

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You need a lot of money to start investing.

The belief that you need a lot of money to start investing is a common financial fallacy. With emerging technology and financial products, this is no longer the case. Historically, investing in certain markets (like real estate or the stock market) required significant capital, which made it inaccessible for the average individual. However, today’s innovative financial platforms, like robo-advisors and investment apps, lower the entry point. You can start investing with as little as $1 in some cases. These platforms make it feasible for everyone to invest, regardless of their budget.

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I can’t start saving for retirement since I’m too old.

The statement, “I can’t start saving for retirement since I’m too old” is a financial fallacy because it implies that there’s a ‘correct age’ to start saving for retirement, which isn’t true. It’s never too late to start saving. Being older might mean that you won’t have as much time to accumulate as big a nest egg compared to if you’d started earlier, but any savings is better than no savings. Also, depending on your age, there can be incentives like the catch-up contributions for IRAs and 401(k)s for those above 50 that could potentially maximize your savings.

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I can always spend on credit and pay it off later.

Spending on credit assumes you’ll always have the income to pay it off later, but that’s a financial fallacy. In reality, your income might decrease, jobs can be lost, or unexpected expenses like medical emergencies can arise. Over-relying on credit builds a debt burden that can become difficult to manage, leading to mounting interest, fees, and potentially hurtful credit score impacts.

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I can fund my spending by skipping gym memberships.

This statement is a financial fallacy because it suggests that cutting out one expense, like a gym membership, can fund all other spending habits. While it is true that eliminating unnecessary costs can help free up money in your budget, it won’t completely fund your entire lifestyle, especially if your spending exceeds your income. Also, a gym membership could provide long-term health benefits which might end up saving you on healthcare costs in the future.

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You need the latest fashion and luxury items.

Believing that you need the latest fashion and luxury items is a financial fallacy for several reasons. Foremost, it feeds into the concept of ‘hedonic adaptation,’ where a person’s level of happiness temporarily increases with a new purchase, but quickly returns to a baseline level as he or she acclimates to the new item. This triggers a cycle of continuous spending in pursuit of happiness, forming a destructive habit.

2 min read

Insurance is a waste of money.

The statement “Insurance is a waste of money” is a financial fallacy primarily because it overlooks the basic principle of insurance: risk management. Insurance provides a way to spread the potential financial risk over a large group of people, thereby reducing the possible impact on any one individual. Even though you don’t see an immediate return on your payments if you don’t make a claim, those payments ensure that you’re financially protected against unforeseen events like accidents, illness, house fires, car theft, or even death. Without insurance, you could be exposed to extremely high costs that could deplete your savings or even lead to bankruptcy.

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You can’t save money if you have children.

The statement “You can’t save money if you have children” is a financial fallacy because it implies that having children inevitably leads to financial stress or impossibility to save, which is not universally true. The ability to save money is contingent largely on personal financial management, budgeting skills, and prioritization. While it is undeniable that raising children involves significant expenses, these costs can be planned for and managed effectively without sacrificing the ability to save. It is essential to factor in these expenses into your overall budget, just like you’d do with any other major recurring expense.

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