Too many Americans tell themselves the same dumb lie about money


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Flickr / Keshav Mukund Kandhadai

You know more than you think you do.

According to a 2015 report from Pew Charitable Trusts, 80% of Americans are in debt.


Patrice C. Washington, author of "Real Money Answers for Every Woman: How to Win the Money Game With or Without a Man," says the lies we tell ourselves about money might be contributing to those balances.

Chief among them: "I don't know anything about money."

Washington doesn't buy it. "There's just too much information out there about money," she says. "If you're like, 'I don't know anything about underwater basket weaving,' maybe I could go there with you, but in the age of Google, there's no real excuse."

She acknowledges that not all financial information is good, but she thinks the "I don't know anything" lie is more heavily based on "analysis paralysis" between options than faulty financial info. "We get so caught up comparing and contrasting every possible financial principle out there, while there are people who maybe don't know as much as you who are making progress by taking one small step," she says.


No one's asking you to be a money maven, she explains. "You don't have to know everything there is. What is the one thing you can do? Just go do it. As you learn and benefit from that one thing, the doors will continue to open and opportunities will come for you to earn more and more."

"How you manage your money is how you get to experience your life," she says. "It determines where you live, what you drive, what you eat, how you dress - it deserves your full attention whether you like it or not."

And besides, you probably know more about money than you think.

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