We all like to think that we are doing the best we can when it comes to our finances. We think we are saving money, but we have never sat down to do the math. You might be surprised if it did.
Here are the top five money saving myths we fall into:
1. Savings accounts save us money
Having money in an emergency savings account is a good idea. It is easy to find, but not too much. But if you’re looking to save money or make your money work for you, an old-fashioned savings account isn’t necessarily the best way to go. First, you need to look at what you are paying in interest rates. For example, if you have a student loan with an interest rate of 5% and a savings account with an interest rate of 3%, your savings cost about 2%. You’d be better off paying off that student loan with your savings account.
It also goes the other way around. If your debt has a lower interest rate than your savings, your money is working better in savings. But since current interest rates are so low, your debt is probably higher than the amount of interest you are earning on your savings account. That means that you are actually losing money.
2. Sales purchases save money
I used to be a shopaholic and sales were my drug of choice. Let me tell you that you are not always saving money. Yes, if you really need the item, then you are saving money. But sales often lead to the purchase of items that you would not normally buy. And you usually buy twice as much because it’s on sale. So you haven’t saved any money.
So if you never use the item, you have actually wasted money. This can also be applied to bargain purchases and bulk purchases. It doesn’t matter if you bought your daughter 35 pairs of shoes at yard sales for $ 1 each. If she only wore two pairs of them, you only wasted $ 33.
3. Refinancing your home pays off
When you refinance your home, you are not necessarily saving that much money in the long run. Yes, your monthly payments are lower, but you have refinanced for another 30-year period. This means that if you’ve already paid off a 10-year mortgage and then refinance for another 30, you’ve basically extended your loan to a 40-year mortgage. Sit back and do the math and see if you are really saving anything.
If you really want to save money, refinance for a lower rate and shorter term. Your monthly payment may not decrease, but your refund may be in full.
4. Zero percent interest saves money.
When you take out a card with a zero percent payback period, you’re not saving money. You are only delaying payment for the items. You don’t save and you don’t spend more. But if you don’t pay the money back within the zero percent period, you’ll pay interest on those items. That costs you money.
5. Savings depend on income
No matter how much you earn, you can save money. You simply have to spend less than you earn. If you make more money and spend more money, you are not saving anything. In fact, you might even be spending more. Don’t wait until you have more money to start saving. You have to start now.