Are Your Money Matters a Bunch of Lies?

by David Ning · 11 comments

Do you lie?
I was taught that lying can be appropriate in certain situations. These “white lies”, as we call them, often keep the zen flowing in relationships, while other times, they can help encourage others and give them the much needed confidence to improve themselves.

But we go too far. We really do, especially when it comes to money matters.

Did I Tell You Your Savings Rate SUCK?


I don’t mean to prejudge. Actually, those of us who read this site is already so much further ahead than the general public, but you need to kick your savings up a notch. People have 6 figures in their 401k and they are all trying to retire early and buy a vacation home. Did you know that using the standard 4% withdraw rule, you need a $1 million nest egg to just get an income of $40,000 a year? Does your family bring in $100,000 annually? You need $2.5 million in your 401k by the time you retire. Good luck with that.

I read every financial magazine and the words “…in order to maintain their current standard of living in retirement…” are everywhere. What if your current standard of living is not even appropriate in the first place? Instead of trying to maintain what’s clearly unsustainable, how about saving a little more and not needing so much when you retire?

No financial adviser can tell you this, because they can’t. They need your business and can’t piss you off by telling you that you need to stop buying new cars. You may earn a decent income, but it doesn’t mean you deserve nice things. Life’s not fair. Sorry to tell you that. If you can’t afford it, you can’t afford it.

Here’s a simple math lesson. More savings = less spending = less you need in retirement = more chances your money will last = less chances you will be screwed when you are 85.

The purchase decision is a question of whether you should and could. No one is entitled to anything. Save your ass off so you can save your ass later.

I’m a Stock Picking Genius

So are you. I doubled my stock portfolio in 2009 and want to put in more money this year. What happened in 2008? Who cares. I am smart you know. I learn from my mistakes.

I know one thing for sure. My lying skills are just as good as yours. We are experts in the same field.

I Don’t Need a Budget

I got this. Trust me. I know how much I spend, and I’m doing just fine. But I can’t find more ways to save though. Budgets are for those geeks who’s obsessed with their money. Not for me. My credit card tracks all my spending and lists them out. Oh, speaking of that, I haven’t checked it in like forever. I will do it next time I pay my bill…

I Make Money Work for Me

Person A: “I do my due diligence you know, I spend months reading through reviews just to find the bank with the highest interest rate. Eight months ago, I switched banks just because I found one who gave me 0.25% more for my money. That’s free money dude.”

Person B: “Nice. So what kind of interests are you getting now?”

Person: A: “Oh I dunno. I will check for it when I get to it. I’m sure I’m still getting the best rate in town.”

How about you?

I need to confess. I made some of those stories up (oh sh*t, more lies…). But so what? We are used to hearing them anyway. If not from others, we certainly tell them to ourselves. This makes it okay right?

I’m ashamed of myself. So should you.

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Hartley says:

    Would like to talk about getting clarity on your financial situation. That’s what my business helps people do.

  • Good point. The hard thing is figuring out which of the statements you say are lies and which are not…and the only way to find out is to figure out for yourself by learning more about money.

  • FinanceDad says:

    It’s too easy to lie to yourself. But you have to live with the consequences.

  • CD Rates Blog says:

    David,

    I haven’t commented recently. Although I enjoyed most of what you wrote, I just hope future postings won’t be sprinkled with foul language.

    I too found a budget very helpful. Got away from it over the last couple of years, but am certainly coming to end of the month, wondering where it all went. So a good reminder to do it again. Especially given that I’m in those years when my children are moving to young adulthood and need the training as well.

    As always, thanks for what you do.
    cd :O)

    • MoneyNing says:

      I thought it helped with the tone of the post, but point noted. I don’t think it was really necessary.

      Setting a good example for your children is definitely well worth the 5 minutes or so each day that it takes. Keep us updated about how it’s working out and thanks for the continual support.

  • Phil says:

    Wow. A bit of fiestiness, I must say. Keep it up..

  • Cd Phi says:

    There’s no point in lying to yourself. I know I’m one of those who need to start saving…Although I may sometimes feel like I deserve a reward for working hard, I’ll just re-evaluate what I want and maybe I won’t have the urge to get it anymore…

  • Tim says:

    Nice refreshing piece. I definitely need to start being a little more honest with myself.

  • thriftygal says:

    I used to think that I didn’t need a budget and that I was making my money work for me by putting it an a money market savings account at BofA and then forgetting about it. That was before I got addicted to the personal finance blogosphere. My white lie was that I knew how to save and didn’t need a stratergy. But only when I kept track of my savings and actively tracked my spending did I find out how much more I could have saved.

    Of course I was never disillusioned about being a genius stock picker. I still don’t know how to pick good stocks, which is why I’m trying to learn from you big guys.

    • MoneyNing says:

      Great to hear that you started a budget. It’s amazing how much more money people can save by just writing small expenses down.

      As to stock picking, I suggest index funds. It might not be the absolute best way to invest in terms of returns on your money, but it’s definitely one of the safest and it’s truly good enough.

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