You could set as many financial goals as you want, but without the right mindset, they are nearly impossible to reach. How you think about money—consciously and subconsciously—can affect your decisions, how you handle money, and how much money you have overall. The good news is that you can change your money mindset at any time and turn your personal financial situation around.
What Is Your Money Mindset?
Your money mindset is any thoughts or feelings you have about money. For example, if you tell yourself, "I’ll never make enough money to retire early", then guess what? You won’t.
What you tell yourself and how you think about money determines how you handle money. If you tell yourself you aren’t good enough, then you’ll never stretch beyond your limits and make your financial goals a reality.
The same is true if you tell yourself, "I can’t save enough money to get out of debt." Again, you’re telling yourself that you can’t do it, so you won’t.
Instead, you should consistently work on your money mindset. Just like losing weight, gaining endurance, or learning a new skill, it takes time. You have to be diligent and consistent in your efforts if you want to change your money mindset.
How to Change Your Money Mindset
If you’re already sitting there thinking there's no way you could change how you think about money, we’re here to change your mind and let you know just how easy it is to turn things around.
1. Tell Yourself You Can Be Wealthy
No matter what your financial goals are, you likely want to be wealthy, right? You want enough money to do the things you want and achieve your financial goals. All financial goals start with believing in yourself.
You have to first tell yourself, "I can be wealthy, I can stop living paycheck-to-paycheck, and I can reach my financial goals."
Make it a mantra and say it multiple times a day. Put notes around your house, such as on your mirror or on the refrigerator, and every time you see them, repeat your mantra out loud. The more you say it, the more it becomes muscle memory and reality for you.
2. Determine Your Why
It’s hard to save money or to change how you think about money, so you need your ‘why.’ Ask yourself what values you have and why you want to change your money mindset.
Is it to support your family, send your kids to college, live with peace of mind, or something else? You might have one reason or 20 reasons–the sky’s the limit. The key is to know yourself and what drives you and then use that to help you change your money mindset.
Print out pictures of your why or write them down on a poster board and look at them often. Create a vision board so you can see your whys, especially when things get tough, and you want to give up.
3. Be Grateful for the Money You Have to Spend
How many times have you paid bills thinking, "I hate this" or put them off because you’re angry that you have to spend the money?
Guess what? That’s a bad money mindset. Instead, express gratitude for the bills you have to pay or the money you have to spend.
It all comes full circle. When you’re grateful you have the money to pay your electric bill or mortgage, or you have money to buy groceries, more money comes to you because you’re in the right frame of mind and make better choices.
4. Don’t Care What Anyone Else Does
We all live in this world where everything feels like a competition. Your neighbor gets a new car, so you think you need to one-up them or your brother buys a new house, so you think you need to keep up.
Focus on your own life and your finances and don’t worry about what anyone else does. You don’t know the story behind how everyone else pays for what they have. You don’t know how much debt they might have or much they might struggle financially.
Put all your efforts focusing on yourself, setting your own goals, and understanding your own reasons why you want what you want.
5. Don’t Be Mad at Your Mistakes (And Don’t Stay in That Mindset)
Don’t look at the mistakes you made in the past. They are just that–in the past. Learn from your mistakes. Figure out why they happened and what you could do differently to change things moving forward.
Even if you bounce a check, get a late mark on your credit report, or completely default on some loans, learn from those mistakes. Really dive in and see what caused them and what you could have done differently to avoid it.
Using those lessons, move forward with your life and make better choices moving forward. You’ll have the knowledge of the mistakes and the desire to do better to get you to where you want to be.
6. Always Keep Learning
If you think you know everything about personal finance, think again. Things are constantly changing and there is always something new to learn. Millionaires always learn new things. They always have their hands on personal finance books, podcasts, videos, and blogs.
You never know when you’ll learn something that can transform your finances. You might learn from someone else’s experiences, learn new techniques, or see something that you’re doing wrong that if you tweak, you could transform your personal finances.
You are never too old or too young to learn.
7. Don’t Believe the Myths
There are so many money myths most of us believe that hold us back from our financial goals. Don’t buy into them. Determine what you know as the truth about money and make it your mindset.
Don’t assume carrying credit card debt is okay because everyone has it or you should buy the bigger house because you qualify for the mortgage.
Do what feels right to you. Does credit card debt make you lose sleep at night? Does it scare you to have a large mortgage payment?
Live within your means and within what feels good to you so you can use your money the way you’re supposed to.
How Improving your Money Mindset Helps
You might wonder how changing what you think about money or even what you say will make a difference. But it can–here’s how.
1. You’ll Make Better Decisions
When you know the truth about money and what you’re capable of, it’s easier to make better financial decisions. You might find yourself saving more money, spending less, cutting back on things that aren’t necessary, or thinking of the future rather than only on the present and instant gratification.
2. You’ll Set More Financial Goals
When you have a negative money mindset, you are more afraid to set big financial goals. When you believe in yourself, though, you’re better able to set those big goals and achieve them.
Don’t set goals that are unrealistic, but never stop reaching for the stars. No matter how far behind you feel right now, changing your money mindset could change a lot.
3. You’ll Feel More Content
There’s nothing better than feeling happy with your financial decisions. When you’re at peace your physical and mental health benefit too. Who doesn’t want to look and feel their best?
When you have enough money or you are happy with your financial situation, you’re better able to relax and enjoy life. We all know life is short, so why not enjoy it to the fullest?
4. You’ll Take More Risks
It takes money to make money and when you have a positive money mindset, you’re more likely to take risks that could really pay off in the end.
Wouldn’t you rather invest money and see your money grow rather than watch the little bit of interest that savings accounts and CDs offer? You’ll reach your financial goals faster and be happier when you can take risks.
It’s time to focus on your money mindset and on making it positive. A negative money mindset causes you to lose money and could even ruin your health. Learn to love money and to feel confident in your decisions and you’ll see major changes in your financial life.
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