Agreed, it doesn’t seem like a dangerous word, but over the past few weeks I have been noticing how much “Only” pops up when people are talking about money, and every time “Only” ends up costing these people money.
As in, “I will get this latte, it is only $5.86.”
“My business landline is only $50 per month.” (that’s $600 per year)
“It is only changing the cost of Christmas by $100”
“The convenience package for that model only adds $1500, but look what you get.”
Those four sentences are expensive. If you had uttered all four you would be spending an extra $2,205.86. Even if you take out the car example, and look at one month of expenses, you paid an extra $155.86 (and how many lattes do you actually buy in a month? A year?)
Apparently, by adding the word “only” when discussing money it makes whatever amount of money you are discussing minimal AND affordable. The money is no longer an extra or added expense to be discussed. Instead that money is “only” an unimportant detail that doesn’t really make a difference and needn’t be considered.
“Only” makes prices and spending money feel inconsequential, and it is costing you money.
Eliminating “Only” from your money vocabulary
No amount of money is instantly affordable, and all of these small (and not so small) “only purchases” can quickly add up into serious cash that you don’t need to be spending or cannot even afford. “Only purchases” add up and put unneeded stress on your money and life.
By eliminating the word “only” from your money vocabulary everything starts to take on a new feel when you are moving money around in the world. Compare these two sentences and see if you feel the difference:
“The convenience package only adds $1500 to the price.”
“The convenience package adds $1500 to the price.”
Removing just one word reframes the entire transaction. No longer am I only paying $1500 which brushes off the expense compared to the full price of the car, now I am adding an EXTRA $1500 to the cost, and an EXTRA $1500 is a lot of money.