The topic of money is most of the time elusive and usually taboo. Though we know it’s necessary, a bigger majority of our community avoids it. Yet, our waking day is spent thinking about money: how to double it, how to get a hold of it, and unfortunately wondering where it all went after we’ve taken it out of our pockets.
The truth of the matter is that we can’t shrug off the thought about money. Well, unless you’re living under a rock in some extremely remote place.
But you aren’t, are you?
When we talk about money and the many branching subtopics, we start not with the cold cash itself but with our money mindset.
What is a Money Mindset?
Most of our reaction towards money is driven by our emotions.
When you’re depressed, you buy a piece of clothing or comfort food to appease your gloom.
When you like someone, you buy them an expensive dinner to show how you feel about them.
When you’re down, you go shopping and label it as ‘self-care. It starts in our hearts, and it ends up in our pockets.
Just before we know it, we often spend money to validate our feelings.
Your money mindset is simply your attitude towards money:
- How you react to it.
- How you perceive it.
- How you think it navigates its way around your life.
It’s, however, far more significant than that. Your money mindset influences your choices towards people around you, the life partner you choose, your lifestyle, situations in your life, institutions you work and interact with, and the financial conversations you are willing to hold up.
What kind of money mindset do you have?
A person with a positive mindset thinks that:
Someone with a negative mindset towards money believes that:
They are allowed, entitled, and able to earn more.
They can only have enough and will never have the chance to earn more.
They have a financial plan and believe that they can achieve their financial goals.
They don’t need to have financial goals or even a plan.
They are not afraid to talk about money.
They avoid conversations about money.
They think of having money as a way to generously help others.
They don’t think they can help others if they don’t have lots of money.
They don’t think of money as a license to spend more.
They only think of money as a way to buy more than what they need.
Your money mindset starts with your relationship with money and how you relate to it regularly.
Understanding your Relationship With Money
When we think of relationships, we instantly picture romantic bonds, friendships, work interactions. We hardly ever think about our relationship with money. In essence, though, we all have a relationship with our finances.
We are either cultivating or working to make it better or complacent about it until it backfires.
Although the bigger majority tells us that money is inherently wrong, it’s safe to say that having a healthy relationship with your finances is one of the most rewarding relationships you can have. Like your money mindset, the quality of the relationship that you have with money affects your relationship with your family, your significant other, your kids, and even with your friends.
Your relationship with money starts way before you were making your own. As early as our childhood, our connection with money forms from watching how our parents, relatives, and surrounding community handles it.
If your family struggled a lot with your finances and were strict about spending when you were younger, chances are you’re going to mimic the same behavior growing up. If it’s the opposite and you’ve not thought much about finances, you may have the same thinking in your adulthood.
Some of these may be brought upon unconsciously, as most of our other behaviors are. It doesn’t mean, though, that they are going to stay that way permanently. Understanding your relationship with money is vital for improving or changing your money mindset and the habits that come with it.
Decide to be Financially Successful
Whatever is our current money mindset, ultimately, we desire to have a positive attitude towards our finances. Fortunately, our beliefs are not cast in stone, and we can always change the course of our future. As mentioned earlier, our money mindset is composed of our attitudes and beliefs towards money.
With that said, we know that we do have the capability to change our beliefs. There is always room to ditch bad habits and replace them with new, healthier ones. When you decide to become financially successful, you make an effort to understand your relationship with money and create a positive attitude towards it.
How to Create a Positive Money Attitude
Being aware of our attitude towards money and the limiting beliefs around it is the first step in creating a positive money attitude. It’s no secret that awareness is a crucial step. After all, when you don’t know your current status, how do you determine what to change?
Here are some of the things that you can do to practice that positive money attitude:
Pay attention to your thoughts and beliefs
This is just a reiteration of what was mentioned before, but it needs to overemphasize it. It’s once said that the difference between a rich man and a poor man is not the amount of money one has but one’s attitude towards it. Therefore, it doesn’t do with what (or how much) you currently have.
Acknowledge your past money mistakes and decide to move forward
You can’t rewrite the past. For sure, there would’ve been some things that you wish you’d never done, like those shoes you bought on sale but are now collecting cobwebs in your storage room.
The point is the past is there to teach you a lesson. You can’t do anything about it from the past, but you can choose not to repeat the same mistakes again in the future. You lose some, but you gain nuggets of money wisdom.
You just have to realise that everyone makes mistakes, especially when it comes to investing.
Appreciate what you have
Too often, what we see everywhere tells us that more is better. The more you buy, the more you’ll be satisfied. But we all know, deep down, that we don’t have to have more to be happy. Sometimes, the things that we need are already with us.
Taking a pause every now and then and taking the time to appreciate what you already have lets you realize that what you have is, after all, more than enough.
Stop comparing yourself to other people.
Envy is the root of evil, not money. You buy new clothes to impress your friends. You purchase gadgets to gain the attention of your colleagues. You buy expensive coffee even if you’re not a fan of caffeine, so you can post something on your social media.
Some people spend so much on the people who don’t give a single care about them. The day you realize that the only competition you need to care about is yourself is the day you’ll be free.
Make Small Changes to Shift Money Habits and Behaviors.
The book Atomic Habits by James Clear talks about the big impact that small changes make in our lives. When we talk about change, we think about significant, cataclysmic events that shake our core. The truth is our minute, daily, and seemingly invisible habits are the bloodline of change.
It’s true when we apply it to our money habits and behaviour. For example, if you commit to saving a percentage of your salary every month for an emergency fund, you’ll be surprised at the amount you’ll accumulate at the end of the year.
As with small habits, it may not look like something is cooking up, but after a couple of months or a year, noticeable changes start to surface. If you choose to do a big haul instead, like going cold turkey on your monthly online purchases right then and there, instead of minimizing the amount of spending month on month, you may just be setting yourself up for failure. Chances are you’ll get frustrated and exhausted about it that you might just decide to ditch it in the first place.
Keep a comfortable pace and start small. Remember, it’s about consistency, not grand gestures.
To Sum Up
Improving your money mindset is not an impossible task. It may be daunting at first, especially when your comforts are being challenged, but you can always make it work.
With a positive money mindset and consistent action, you can achieve the financial future that you desire. As it is with anything, becoming financially successful has no definite roadmap. Enjoy the journey rather than the destination.
This was just one of many other money saving ideas that we have for you. If you want to find out more ways to save money, check out our list of additional ways to save money.