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This week: Lies we tell ourselves that lead to debt, the single best way to get rich, buying your first home, what to do when asked to sign up for a store credit card and 8 ways you're a lousy customer.

1. 10 Lies I Told Myself About Debt

[Credit.com] “There is no way to sugar coat it — debt is bad. So why then do we all continue to believe the myths and tell ourselves lies? Perhaps it’s because we just don’t even know they are lies. Here are some of the fibs I told myself back when I was in debt — and hopefully I can help you realize them too.

The lies we tell ourselves include pretending we need debt to have a good credit score, telling ourselves that everybody’s doing it, that we deserve to spend, and that we had to pounce on a great deal. If any of those sound familiar, maybe you should see if any of the other self-justifications in this article ring true for you.

2. Delayed Gratification Could Make You a Millionaire

[The Dollar Stretcher] “Becoming a millionaire is only something that will happen to those very lucky people, who unlike you, have won the state lottery or inherited Uncle Joe’s fortune or are the CEO of a very large publicly traded corporation, or possibly someone with a long history of making crooked business deals and somehow not getting caught by the law. Right? Wrong!”

If you wonder what allows some people to retire rich while others don’t, you might list any number of things, from income to luck. What this article suggests is that it really boils down to something simple: the ability to delay gratification. In other words, rather than driving the fanciest car or living in the biggest house you can afford, successful savers live below their means now in order to live better later.

I couldn’t agree more.

3. 5 Twists & Turns That Surprised Me About Buying My First Home

[Credit Sesame] “On one hand, buying a house is complicated and calendar-driven. A variety of stakeholders have goals that sometimes seem to be at odds. On the other hand, if you work with the right team of experts who have your best interests at heart, the process can be fun, rewarding, even exhilarating. That’s especially true if you’ve practiced saving money and paying down debt.”

When I bought my first real home, I literally wrote the contract myself. A lot has changed since then.

These young homebuyers were surprised that anyone would get anything other than a 15-year fixed mortgage, that buying, fixing up and moving into your own home takes a lot of money, and that surprises along the way should come as no surprise. Thinking of buying your first home? Couldn’t hurt to read this one.

4. 2 Things to Do When You Are Asked if You Want a Store Credit Card

[Nav.com] “We’ve seen the situation a hundred times while standing in line to checkout at a store, the person in front of you is asked if they want to apply for a store credit card and get a fabulous discount on their purchase. And you know what happens next, you are going to be asked as well. But should you jump at the offer?”

So what two things should you do when asked to sign up? First, think about why the offer is being made. Then figure out if accepting the offer is smart. This article by Steve Rhode, a friend of mine and credit expert, is worth checking out.

5. 8 Ways You’re Being a Terrible Customer

[Wise Bread] “We all know the old saying — the customer is always right. Except, that’s totally wrong. The customer is not always right. And if you firmly believe that you, as the customer, are always right — no matter the circumstances — then you’re probably a terrible customer.”

This one reminds me of something I’ve said to myself and others for decades: When faced with conflict, you often have two choices. You can either be right, or you can get what you want.

The article lists the ways that you may be a bad customer, meaning one who won’t get what they want because they’re too busy being right. It includes making frequent returns, blaming everything on the retailer, lying, being rude and having standards that are too high. Check it out.

Stacy Johnson

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