You can learn all the best tips and tricks for budgeting and managing your money but it all comes down to a healthy money mindset.
Having the right kind of attitude when it comes to your finances can truly make or break your financial success.
This is why we are tackling money mindset and setting the foundation to prepare you in your journey to achieve financial freedom.
So let's start with the burning question.
Here is a snapshot of what we are going to go over. After reading this post you should have all the tools you need to be well on your way to improving your money mindset.
- Money mindset defintion
- What is considered a bad money mindset
- What is considered a positive money mindset
- Characteristics of a bad money mindset
- Characteristics of a positive money mindset
- Where does your money mindset come from?
What is money mindset?
Money mindset represents how you feel about money. It is everything from the relationship you have with money to your attitude you have towards money.
It's something not to many people thinking about when trying to get a handle on their finances but it is a lot more powerful than most think.
Money mindset definition
Money mindset can be defined in so many different ways. It's all about feelings, attitude and your overall beliefs about money. It is is something that starts developing from early on in our lives.
And it is something that we carry with us throughout adulthood. The things we learn about money growing up seem to be pretty harmless but as you start to really dig deep you will realize they are actually not that harmless and could really be getting in your way.
What is considered a bad money mindset?
Having a bad money mindset is more than just having a bad attitude about money. It's also about having a bad relationship with money.
And it is super sneaky. Some of the things that we do day to day that we believe are helping us in our financial journey can actually contribute to our bad money mindset and get in the way of our dream financial future.
For example, a scarcity mindset is not just about not having enough but also about feeling like there will never be enough.
What is considered a positive money mindset?
Having a positive money mindset is usually synonymous with have an abundant mindset.
You see money as a tool as opposed to a thing that brings you stress and misery.
Those with a positive money mindset tend to feel like money is free flowing, there is enough to go around and it is a tool that gives you the freedom to enjoy the things money can buy.
Understanding your money mindset?
Having a better understanding of your money mindset is the best way to start working towards an improved money mindset.
Unfortunately it is not as easy as saying change your attitude towards money.
Well because there are certain characteristics of your money mindset that you may not even realize are actually good or bad.
So let's talk a little bit about the characteristics of a good and bad money mindset.
Characteristics of a bad money mindset
The YOLO attitude
“You Only Live Once”. How many times have you heard that. You really wouldn't think it, but the living in the now attitude when it comes to spending money is actually a characteristic of a bad money mindset.
This might seem confusing as it is unclear how they are related. But the reason why this falls under a characteristic of a bad money mindset is that this is a bad money habit that can negatively impact your relationship with money.
What happens when you spend without regard? Well first it is an easy way to build up massive credit card debt.
Not knowing where your money is going and finding yourself short at the end of the month can be very stressful which results in you having negative feelings towards your money. (You know.. like when you look at your bank account and it just gives you a pit in your stomach).
Having better spending habits will help to vastly improve your money mindset. When you're not stressed about where you're money is going it is easier to actually build a solid relationship with your money which will result in better money habits.
I am the first one to proclaim that I am cheap and proud. There is no shame in my game. However, there is such thing as being too cheap.
When you don't focus on the value of an item and just the price tag not only can this be costly (having to replace items more often for example) but it is your scarcity mindset that is creeping in.
Going cheap or being afraid to spend and invest in the value of something does not always come out of necessity but rather the idea that you don't have enough money (even when you do) or feeling like if you spend the money you have then you won't have it when you really need it.
There will never be enough
Seeing money as a limited resource can really hold you back. And this characteristic pops up in a few different ways.
The first way is thinking that no matter how hard you work you will never have enough money to reach all your goals.
The second way is seeing others that are succeeding and making what you feel is a lot of money and thinking that their success means you have not chance of getting an equally big piece of the pie.
Next time you start to feel this flip the script and start thinking about how there is enough money for everyone and focus instead on how you're going to get your piece of the pie.
Only lucky people have money
Do you ever feel like people that are wealthy are actually luckier than you? I mean they obviously won the family lotto or the job lotto or just the lotto.
But this attitude that you're not lucky means that you believe you have no control over your money. Whether it is making more or managing what you have. This thought is very limiting.
Instead you should believe that you have the ability to create the life you want. That you have the power to make decisions and take actions that will get you closer to your goals.
Money can't buy happiness
I used to hate when people said this. I mean of course money can buy happiness. It buys wine and trips and pretty shoes and all the things that bring me joy.
However while money gives us the ability to be able to buy the things that do make up happy. Money is not buying us happiness. It is buying us freedom. It is buying us the freedom to be able to go out and get things that make us more comfortable. Bring a smile to our face. Brings us together with friends.
And this is where the true happiness comes from.
Money is evil. And people that want to be rich are greedy.
Money is not evil. However, greed is. And wanting to have more and have nice things is not the same as being greedy.
The definition of greed is “intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power, or food.”
Wanting more doesn't necessarily mean you're greedy. Unless you're stepping on heads and hurting people to get there.
Characteristics of a positive money mindset
Now let's talk about characteristics of a positive money mindset. We hinted at a few above.
Money is a tool
Seeing money as a resource or as a tool that will help you to achieve the things you want is a characteristic of a positive money mindset.
This opens up your mind and helps you to see the opportunities that you have to do good in your life but also in the life of others.
Focus Focus Focus
Setting goals, focusing on the positive and paying attention what is working for you will fixing what is not is a key characteristic of a positive money mindset.
Instead of worrying about what everyone else is doing or what everyone will think those with a positive money mindset keep their eyes on the prize because they know reaching their goals is both good from them as well as for all those around them.
We can all make it rain
Having an abundant money mindset means that you always believe there is an unlimited supply for anyone that is willing to go for it.
Someone else's wealth doesn't take away from your ability to build your own wealth for example. Also when you have an abundant mindset you are more willing to invest in yourself. So instead of going cheap or not spending on something because of fear of not having money later on you always believe that the money will be there and the money you spend will come back to you.
Showing gratitude for what you have and focusing on what is working sets you up for success when it comes to having a positive money mindset.
When you make it a practice to show gratitude each day you will find yourself in a better mood with will translate into having a more positive relationship with money. Because you're focusing on what you have and not what you can't afford.
And just giving
You don't have to be rich to give back and serve your community. And having a positive mindset means being able to give and contribute even when things are tight because you know the money will come back to you.
Where does your money mindset come from?
Your money mindset is developed from a young age. The lessons and opinions you have about money start from watching how your parents and people around you growing up deal with money.
Do you ever found yourself sounding like your mom when you're sitting down paying bills or talking about saving up for something like an emergency fund? Pay attention next time and see if you can catch yourself.
Your money mindset is further developed throughout your life and you pick up things from people that are around you.
So if most of your friends have a positive money mindset chances are it will rub off. And the same is dangerously true when it comes to a negative money mindset.
Reasons why you should improve your money mindset
A negative money mindset can really get in the way of your financial goals. If you find yourself doing the work only to self sabotage chances are its a negative money mindset that is causing the issues.
Usually it is not about the number in your bank account but rather about how you feel about that number.
How can I increase my money mindset?
The best way to increase your money mindset is to focus on getting rid of the negative ideas and work towards a positive money mindset.
How to create a positive money mindset
Surround yourself with positive influences
Surrounding yourself with positive influences is a great way to to increase your money mindset.
This can come in the form of surrounding yourself with people that have a positive money mindset.
Another great way is to read books that will help you to see things in a different and more positive light.
Some of my favorite money mindset books are as follows:
Take a money mindset self assessment
Our money mindset comes from our life experiences. There are things that have been said or done around us that we tend to pick up over the years. Everything from how your parents dealt with money all the way up to a spouse or best friend. So take a moment and do a self assesment to seee where your thoughts about money come from.
How do I feel about my relationship with money?
Growing up what is the biggest thing I learned from my parents or others about money?
As an adult how do the people around me feel about money?
What are some things that I believe that I agree with?
What are some things that I have heard that I do not agree with?
What kind of changes am I looking to accomplish with my money mindset?
By taking a second to answer these questions and write them out on paper you will find that you have preconceived thoughts that you never even knew you have.
Further it will give you an opportunity to really access those thoughts and figure out how you can break free from them.
Set a goal and envision it.
Some people will stop reading right here because they are not about the woo woo stuff.
But hear me out and give it a chance.
When we truly believe that we can reach our goals our mind does a weird thing. And we start taking the action needed in order to actually reach those goals.
No need to get into a conversation about the universe and how and why it works. Just know that shifting you're mindset slightly can make a huge difference.
How can I change my mindset to save money?
In order to save money you have to start by shifting your money mindset from scarcity to abundance.
A scarcity mindset tends to focus on lack or scarcity as the name implies. It is the feeling that there is never enough. And you believe this to be true no matter how much money you have.
A scarcity mindset also rears its ugly head when it comes to spending. Even when actually have enough you tend you not want to spend it because there is a thought that it will be gone forever and you will never be able to recoup that money in the future.
In the alternative an abundant mindset focuses on having enough and always having the ability to get more. It's about knowing that the amount of money available is unlimited. And when you spend it will return.
In order to shift your mindset into a more abundant mindset here are some things to keep in mind.
Have a plan
When someone tells you that you need a budget the first thing that most likely comes to mind is that having a budget is limiting. That is the scarcity mindset talking.
But having a budget doesn't have to be. It can be empowering.
Keep in mind that money is not a mind reader. Just like if you want someone to do something you gotta tell them, you have to do the same with money.
Creating a plan or a budget is like telling your money what to do, where it's going, and how it will serve you. And not the other way around. Without a plan, your money will run wild and we don't want that.
Create a budget and try your best to stick to it. And treat it as something that is serving you versus something that is limiting you.
Flip the script
For any negative or ill feeling you have towards money, flip the script. For example instead of grumpily writing that check for your rent. Instead think about how that money is giving you an opportunity to have a warm place to come home to every evening.
Or if you always finding yourself saying ” I don't have enough…”, “I can't afford..”, “There is no way I will ever be able to…” Try flipping the script to say something like ” I can …”, or “I will be able to …”
Have you ever seen a girl walking down the street and just thought “Man do I wish I could be like her…”.
Just stop right there.
First. We don't know this girls story. We don't know how much money she has, where her money comes from or even how much debt she has.
So stop worrying about other people. When we compare we tend to focus on what we don't and that sends us down the scarcity black hole.
Instead when we see someone that has a car that we want or seems to have it all together focus on how you can take the steps to reach a similar goal. Have your heart set on a new car. Focus on a plan on how you will be able to get that car. And forget about the fact that you don't have it now. Because guess what? You will soon enough.
Money mindset exercises
Transforming your money mindset is something you will work on everyday. It is not difficult but you need to be consistent.
Grab yourself a notebook like this one and do the following to help you along the way.
Everyday write down three things you are thankful. Just jot down the first thing that comes to your head. Maybe its your bed, the cup of coffee you're having or just the fact that the sun is shining.
Practicing gratitude and focusing on the things you do have in your life is the perfect way to start transforming your money mindset.
Monday-Goals, Goals Goals
Write down your big goals. This serves as a reminder of what kind of goals you're working towards. Take a look at your goals and commit to doing one thing that will put you one step closer to your goal. It can be big or small. It doesn't matter. As long as it is moving your forward.
Tuesday-Take a negative money thought and turn it into an affirmation
We tend to have to have these ideas running through our head that we don't even realize are there. Pay attention to your negative money thoughts and try to flip them and make them an affirmation.
Write down 1-2 negative money thoughts. Then change them into affirmations. For example:
“I can't afford…” or “I don't have money for…” becomes “I am working towards being able to afford” or “I am putting in the work and will have the money for…”
Wednesday-Revisit your goals
On Wednesday take a look at the goals that you wrote down on Monday. Commit to doing one thing that will help move you forward with one of your goals.
Thursday-Think Big. Be Prosperous
There is an exercise where every day you give yourself $1000 and then you write down how you're going to spend it. For every day of the week, you're supposed to up that number by $1000. So day 1 is $1000, day 2 $2000 and so on.
I like to do this weekly. So the first Thursday of the month write down what you would do if you had $1000. Then the second Thursday do $2000 and so on.
This exercise really frees your mind and helps you to discard that limiting belief we have about money. It also lets us know that it is ok to spend money.
Friday-Goals, Goals, Goals
We are revisiting those goals again. You know what to do. Pick one and do something that will help you move closer to that goal.
Saturday-Be a giver
Today is your day to give back. Come up with a way to give back. Maybe it is buying someone a cup of coffee. Or offering up to help a friend with something. Whatever it is, big or small commit to giving.
Sunday-Reflecting and Forgiving
Today is a day to forgive yourself for your past money misteps and reflect on how far you have come in your journey.
Think about things that you have done in the past like racking up debt or not paying a bill for example. Then forgive yourself and commit to doing it different this time around.
This is not the time to feel bad about your financial situation. This is the time to take steps towards improving your financial life. You can't change the past but you sure can move forward, learn from it and be better. Over time you will start to see things in a different light. That is what we are working towards.
As you go through the exercises, take your time. Be patience. And watch how things will gradually start to change. The first step is starting. And you're here so you're already well on your way.