the 2 most dangerous words for you & your money

 Photo Credit: Samuel Clara

Photo Credit: Samuel Clara

Hey, guys, this week I'm featuring a guest post from one of my favorite bloggers, Andrew, from over at Family Money Plan. The moment I read this post I knew I wanted to get it on front of you all because it is SO TRUE. Take a read and see what effects these two words are having on you. 

When you were growing up, you probably had people tell you to speak a certain way. One that comes to mind was: “Say: ‘Pardon me?’, not ‘Huh?’ or ‘Eh?’.”

People knew that what you said could change the way others look at you. More recently, I’ve realized that the words I use influence many of my own behaviors. If I can sum up one profound lesson I’ve learned this past year it’s this:

Words Have Power

How you think and phrase things has a lot of weight in how you live your life. The words you use in your daily living have a lot of impact on the outcomes in your life.


One of the best examples of this was when I met a very successful business woman in Atlanta. She told me that her success started when she was only 5 years old.

Her story went like this:

“I remember coming in from outside and I was trying to do something, I think it was a cartwheel. I tried and tried but no luck. When I came in, I had tears running down my face and I looked at my mama, and said ‘I can’t do it’.”

My mama took a deep breath and said, “We don’t use that word.”

I remember her tone. She said that to me like I had just cursed. She looked disgusted. Like I said the unimaginable.

Then my mama gave me this life changing advice.

“Anytime you want to use the word ‘Can’t’ I want you to ask the question ‘How Can I?'”

From that day, I’ve always asked myself that question “How can I?”

I didn’t put limitations on myself. Whenever I hit a wall or felt like saying “Can’t” I would remind myself of that talk with my mama and ask “How can I”. It’s made all the difference to me over the years.”

It was as simple as changing the way she spoke. She would go on to build a multi-million dollar business.

How many times have you come across something and told yourself you can’t.

How would your life change if you started to ask yourself “How Can I?”


We all have different ways of speaking, but the words we use can empower us or harm us. There are 2 words (really it’s more like two and half) that have done more harm to my financial life than anything else. Those words are:

“It’s only”

“It’s only”, along with their sibling sayings “It’s just” and “It’s not,” are words that have gotten me into a ton of trouble over the years. And I use them everyday:

“It’s only a $2 coffee.”

“It’s just a $0.99 app.”

“It’s only an extra $5 to upgrade.”

“It’s only a $200 monthly payment for the next few years.”

“It’s not that big of a deal to upgrade for a few bucks.”

You get the idea…

These little words have a ton of power. The power to destroy my finances.


Sure a $2 coffee won’t be the end of my budget. That’s not the point.

The point is what’s going on inside me. I noticed a strange thing happened when I used those two words. I realized that when I would say “It’s only” my mind would turn off to the cost of that item for some length of time, if not forever.

When you use these 2 little words, your mind shuts off to their value.

When I see people who have trouble with money it’s not always the giant purchases that are tripping them up. Often it’s all the little ones that are adding up that they don’t realize are making a difference.

Whenever you say those words, or even think them, you mentally check out. Any thought with those two words immediately disarms you. You think: “Yeah it’s not so bad, it’s just a couple of bucks. It’s not that big of a deal.”

And you are right. That one transaction isn't.


If you want to get check back in after using these words here is what you need to start repeating to yourself.

“It all counts”

That’s right: “It. All. Counts.”

Because it does.

Whether it’s using a coupon to save 50 cents on a can of soup or ordering a smaller coffee. It all counts.

From the penny all the way up to the thousands of dollars you can save pay by down your mortgage quicker, IT. ALL. COUNTS.

That can feel a little heavy, especially when you are going after a worthy money goal, like debt freedom or financial independence.

Every dime you spend on something adds up, and it all counts.

Next time you find yourself saying “It’s only” remind yourself that “It all counts” It just might change your financial life forever.

Would love for you to share: What expenses do you constantly justify to yourself?

Andrew Daniels is a personal finance blogger at where he successfully paid off his mortgage in 6 years and is now pursuing financial independence. 

 Photo Credit: Holly Mandarich

Photo Credit: Holly Mandarich