UNITED STATES—What’s the best way to inoculate yourself against all the incorrect information about lifestyle improvement methods, systems, products, and techniques? Even though there are hundreds of myths and urban legends floating around these days, the good news is that it’s relatively easy to distinguish flawed, fake notions from good, reliable ones. That’s important for anyone who’s searching for a way to enhance their lives in relevant, positive ways.

Nay-sayers love to criticize the idea of small business ownership by labeling it as a lost cause or money pit every chance they get. Those same types of minds put out the false idea that cutting monthly expenses is a worthless endeavor or that gold ownership is the path to immediate wealth. Other equally incorrect beliefs include crazy ideas about the results of positive thinking and the idea that social media profiles can never do any harm. The following are a few of the most common myths related to the quest for a better lifestyle.

It’s Impossible to Reduce Monthly Expenses

There are dozens of effective ways to cut recurring costs. Far too often, working people feel defeated and demoralized by their financial situations. They can sometimes fall into a mindset of believing that nothing can be done to improve the general outlook. But the good news is that there are many time-tested tactics for cutting monthly bills and making life better, one small step at a time. Those who turn to Earnest student loan refinancing to restructure their college loans can see a major improvement in a very short amount of time.

Getting your recurring costs down is a serious goal. For so many adults, the most effective tool for achieving that aim is to refinance current school debt into a fresh obligation. The concept is ingenious because the new loan can come with much lower payments, a single due date, more beneficial terms, better interest rates, and more realistic repayment periods. There’s no reason to let old student loans linger in your budget when you can refinance them and come out way ahead of the game.

Starting a Small Business is a Losing Proposition

Part-time side businesses are a solution for many working people. Entrepreneurship has a negative reputation in some circles, particularly among negativists and pessimists. They routinely run down the idea of working for oneself or starting a company of any kind. A generation ago, getting a small business off the ground was difficult. However, in the digital age, many hard-working adults choose to operate online entities to bring in extra income. When done right, it’s possible to build a part-time or full-time career out of any number of business ideas.

Positive Thinking Can Solve All My Problems

It’s a good first step, and avoiding bad energy is certainly helpful, but you need to take action to get results. There’s nothing wrong with striving to have a positive mental attitude. As the initial part of a full-fledged plan, it makes good sense. The problem with many of the self-help products currently for sale is that they offer positive thinking as the sole source of success. However, in the real working world, optimism serves as fuel for decisive action. It’s one thing to think, “I can do anything,” and quite another to work hard, gain relevant experience, and achieve measurable results.

Investing in Gold Means Quick Wealth

There’s no quick about it, but gold can be a wise investment. You can’t spend more than five minutes on the internet without seeing at least one advertisement that ballyhoos the benefits of investing in gold. Most programs and investment plans promise fast wealth for anyone who puts their life savings in the yellow metal. The bad news is that gold offers no guarantees of financial returns. While it can be an excellent investment and round out an otherwise balanced portfolio, the metal is best viewed as a slow way to economic gains, not a fast one.

It’s Who You Know, Not What You Know

Connections are good to have, but skills and experience usually count. It’s easy to find instances where someone’s connections got them a job or landed them a spot in a selective graduate program. The cold reality, notwithstanding the exciting anecdotes, is that hard work, skills, and relevant experience are almost always the determinants of success in the modern world of business and academics.

Social Media is Harmless Fun

Some companies are happy to collect and misuse your personal information. Today’s young adults love their social media platforms, but it’s important to note that such activity can land people in hot water, particularly with potential employers. Modern companies dox most candidates and do at least a casual check of social media postings, comments, photos, and videos. Employers are allergic to controversy, so remember to clean up your social posts before conducting a serious job search.