Developing a “money mindset" - what does that mean? Simply put, it is the attitude that you have about money and finances. It can have a significant impact on your ability to achieve your financial goals. Even with the best intentions to eliminate debt, increase spending and achieve wealth, with a negative mindset about money, it can be difficult to overcome challenges and make better choices that will lead to financial abundance. Often, this mindset around money is established when we’re young and impressionable and we end up carrying it with us - often unconsciously - long into adulthood, and it colors all of the financial decisions we make.
The difference between having a positive mindset about finances and a negative one directly affects the course of action you choose to take. A positive outlook towards your finances empowers you to be decisive and take action towards what is necessary to improve your financial life; i.e., pay down debt or save a percentage of your income. Having a negative outlook however is a breeding ground for procrastination and contributes to feelings of overwhelm, defeat, and causing you to be fearful of taking the steps necessary to achieve your goals.
When you shift your thinking and ask yourself good questions with the expectation of better results, your mind will begin to search for and deliver the answers to match your expectations of improved financial reality. So how do you develop a great money mindset?
- If you think of your debt and automatically feel defeated or have told yourself, “I can’t afford that,” or “I don’t make enough money to save,” then you’re operating from a negative script about finances.
- You might have even adopted these scripts from parents and not even known it. For example, have you ever heard the phrase, “money doesn’t grow on trees?” If so, you might have been told that by a well-meaning adult, trying to instill a sense of fiscal responsibility in you, but it could have had the adverse effect - that is, instilling in you a belief that there is not an abundance of money or that money is always in short supply.
So let’s consider the overwhelming challenge that so many people have when it comes to money - that is, there isn’t enough of it, right? It really does not matter what your current status is; rich or poor, young or old, almost everyone has some kind of limiting belief when it comes to money.
Another way to improve our money mindset is to train ourselves to become “solution-oriented.” This means, instead of getting stuck focusing on a problem, shift your thinking instead of what possible solutions exist for any financial challenge that you may be facing, and taking an active approach to solving it. Whether you’re $3,000 or $30,000 in debt, you can still strategize ways to eliminate it. You may have a sub-500 credit score, but that can be improved over time and with a plan. When you adopt a solution-oriented approach to finances you’ll begin to understand that any circumstance can be overcome or improved and you’ll look for opportunities to make that happen.
- Another important factor in developing a money mindset is to become proactive about planning the direction of your money. Money needs a focus and direction, and it’s up to us to have the discipline to direct our money in the direction we want so that we use it to achieve our aims. We are not slaves to money, we are its master. People should track their income and expenses. If you don’t have a plan for your money, you’ll continue to have a vague idea about its purpose, and the result will be a needless squandering of a resource that should instead be working for you to improve your future.
- Another way to achieve a money mindset is to recognize and eliminate emotional spending. Often money spending money becomes a salve for other areas of our life in which we’re having a difficult time with. Don’t fall into a trap of using money to provide temporary relief to an issue, but end up paying for it later - most likely in the form of large credit card payments, interest charges, and fees if those payments cannot be made on time. Much like indulging in a pint of ice cream repeatedly can lead to obesity, so too can indulging in emotional spending lead to a whole other set of financial challenges down the road. It also is indicative that you haven’t taken the step of directing your money in a proper manner.
- I’d also suggest beginning to make learning good money and financial management skills a priority. Your mind is a sponge, so feed it the kind of information that will help you become financially smarter and savvier. Do this by reading books and magazines on whatever financial subject interests you most. Take an online course. Listen to podcasts. Do whatever you can to impress on your conscious and subconscious mind an abundance consciousness.
- Also, consider finding a mentor who can help guide you on your desired path. It should be someone who has accomplished something that you’d like to accomplish yourself. Perhaps a boss or colleague, for example. Join an investment group or a meetup that focuses on wealth-building. Start surrounding yourself with like-minded people who are already living the values that you would like to emulate. Ask for advice from only those individuals that have already achieved what you would like to. Make this a habit and over time, watch your life transform.
Like anything else, creating a money mindset takes work and commitment. You’ll need to have patience with yourself as you’re building a new (cognitive) muscle. Think of it as tending to a garden; for the fruits, vegetables, and flowers flourish, you need to create the right, environment. In this case, these steps act as the soil, water, and sunshine that provide a fertile environment for your wealth consciousness to take root, grow, and bloom.