While there’s a great deal of value to be found in traditional wisdom around money and finances, at least some of the advice that gets passed down contains more myth than reality.  

Here are four popular money myths that may surprise you:

Myth 1 – All debt is bad debt

While it’s true that out of control debts can cause real problems for a household’s finances, a certain amount of carefully-managed debt can help a borrower reach their financial goals much more quickly and easily, ultimately providing enough value and benefits to justify their costs.

It’s not a hard-and-fast rule, but good debt can be broadly defined as borrowing money to pay for an asset that’s going to add value or provide future benefits (e.g. a home loan), whereas bad debt involves borrowing money to cover the cost of something that won’t offer the same kind of long-term value (e.g. using a credit card to pay for impulse purchases). Use your best judgment with your own unique financial circumstances in mind.

Myth 2 – Credit card rewards are worth the higher fees

Many consumers love credit card points, as they reward cardholders for doing something they already enjoy, namely shopping. However, the price to pay for these credit card rewards are higher fees on Gold, Platinum or premium credit cards.  Does it stack up?

When you crunch the numbers around some credit card reward programs, the amount you pay in fees is often much more than the value of the reward points you can realistically expect to earn on your regular spending. Using one of these cards to earn rewards could mean effectively losing money! 

Plus, ever since new interchange fee regulations for credit cards came into effect in July 2017, more and more credit cards are cutting their reward point programs, making it much more difficult to maximise your points earned per dollar spent.

If you have credit cards and find that they are a burden, Transport Mutual offers a Credit Card Crusher loan that may be right for you.

Find out more here.

Myth 3 – A penny saved is a penny earned

While saving your money is more responsible than recklessly spending it, your cash won’t do you much good sitting in your transaction account, stuffed under your mattress or buried on a desert island. Instead, it may be worth considering putting your money to work.

Carefully investing your money in property or shares can allow you to grow your wealth, though there is always some risk involved. Another option is to keep your money in a dedicated savings or term deposit account, which will allow you to earn some interest on your savings while keeping it relatively secure.

Transport Mutual offers a range of savings and term deposit products to suit your needs.

Find out more here.

Myth 4 – Only rich people need financial advice

No matter how wealthy you are, managing your own money can be a rewarding experience, in more ways than one. But while there’s plenty of general financial advice available out there to guide your decisions, there are limits to how much this advice will likely apply to your household’s unique financial circumstances.

If you’re uncertain about any financial decision, large or small, it’s often worthwhile to seek expert advice from a qualified finance professional or broker. As well as offering industry knowledge and experience, a financial adviser can look at your household budget and recommend financial solutions specifically to help you reach your goals.

Transport Mutual is proud to offer you the services of Bridges Financial Services.

Bridges is a leading and highly respected wealth management business which can provide you with advice on wealth creation, pre and post retirement planning, risk insurance, estate planning, margin lending, stockbroking services and much more. With over 65 offices and more than 180 planners, Bridges is one of Australia’s largest financial planning and stockbroking groups, providing financial planning services to credit union and building society members since 1985.

Bridges offer Transport Mutual Credit Union Members a free first appointment without obligation.  If you’re keen to improve your financial wellbeing, contact Transport Mutual on 02 8202-8555 and we will set up a meeting with your local Bridges planner.