Improving Financial Health: Changing Your Money Mindset
Updated: May 22
Have you ever tried to lose weight? Improve your video game skills? Run a faster 5K? The same effort you have put in place to do these things is what is needed to reach your money goals. Success with money does not just happen — it needs to be focused upon and worked.
I was brought up in what I call the financial Without World. I grew up without money, knowledge on how to get it, manage it and use it to build the life I wanted for myself and my family. It took me until my early 30's to get a grip on what I needed to do and to put in place a plan to get to my money destination. Here's what you can do to develop your own money mindset and put in place a plan to achieve financial security.
What is A Money Mindset?
In a prior post, I wrote that generically a mindset is an established set of attitudes held by you about a given subject. A money mindset, on the other hand, is your personal set of beliefs about money and knowledge about how it works in your life. It is the sum total of our life experiences about what you have learned about money directly and through the key influencers in your life. It drives your day-to-day decisions about money. Your money mindset impacts whether you financially succeed or fail.
What Has Gone Into Creating Your Money Mindset of Today?
Most of us have learned about money on our own. We used the trial and error approach to find our way through the world of money that I call the FinancialVerse. We received little, if any, formal education about personal finance matters. If we were lucky, our parents took the time to teach us how to manage certain aspects of our money. Many of our parents, then and now, were not taught about money and have been unable to pass on knowledge to us. Overall, all of our money life experiences come together to create our mindset of today.
Your Money Beliefs
To start your journey to a new and improved mindset, write down your key beliefs about money. Do they look like these?
My family has never had money, and neither will I.
I will always be in debt.
I don’t make enough money to pay my bills.
I always run out of money before I run out of month.
I don’t have time to manage my finances. I am too busy living life.
I am intimidated about financial matters and avoid them.
If something negative happens in my life my family will pay the bills.
Do your beliefs come across as positive and proactive or negative and unfulfilling? I have learned that positive and proactive wins the race every time.
How to Break The Cycle of Money Mindset Negativity
When it comes to money, we are what we think. Having a positive money mindset and making it a priority usually results in meeting or exceeding the goals you set for yourself. You can break the negative cycle with money and move from the Without World to Financial Security. The first step is to become aware of how you learned what you have about money, let’s call that point A. The second step is to determine what you want from money in your current life, let’s call that point B. Getting from A to B is what you need to do. This journey is absolutely achievable if you set your mind to it and lay out the steps needed to reach your goal. I believe a series of small steps is best in making a change in our life.
Positive Thoughts Drive Action
I think it is a good idea to write down the 5 to 7 key things we want from money in our lives as a place to start. For example, they could be:
I will be aware of where and what things I spend my money on.
I will spend two hours each week learning about money.
Money is a tool I will use to build the life I want.
I will think of the long-term when making major money decisions.
I will develop good money habits.
I will maintain a cash budget and update it at least monthly.
I was recently watching one of my favorite episodes of Carpool Karaoke with James Corden that featured Adele. During the session they sang the Spice Girls song Wannabe with the lyric that went “...If you want my future, forget my past."That really sums up a money mindset. Forget about what you have done in the past and move to a future where you are fully engaged with managing money and learning all it can do to provide you with the lifestyle and security you want. In a post COVID-19 world, this is more important than ever for most people.
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