Debts have become a part of most of our lives. The norm is to live from paycheck to paycheck and never really have enough. If you’re tired of that narrative, then it is a high time that you change your outlook on finances. Many things have put us in the financial pains that we’re in, and in this article, we’re looking at five ways to change your mindset about money.
You will discover that there are a lot of misconceptions and false beliefs that you have about money that need transforming. Granted, your mind might not change overnight, but it is an excellent way to start. You can take notes as you read to make the experience more personal. You can also place sticky notes around the house where you’ll see them daily. Alternatively, you can add a bookmark on your browser next time you have money worries.
We don’t promise to transform your life in an instant. How much that happens is dependent on the work that you put in and to the degree in which you’ve managed to shift your thinking about money. Remember that while there are a lot of people and things you can point to for the financial chaos you’re in, the bottom line is that you’re responsible for it.
The outcome that we all seek to have is financial security. You want to know that you have enough for a rainy day, and also enough to live your life to the fullest. However, that said, you don’t want money to be tied to your happiness. Money is a facilitator, and not what you live for. The sweet spot is having a healthy relationship with money where it doesn’t control you, but you can control it and be wise about your decision making with regards to money.
Let’s now get into the 5 ways to change your mindset about money
Forget everything you know
If you’re in debt and are barely making enough to survive, then the road map you’re using to make your decisions about money needs an overhaul. For some, you have to scrape off the map and start from scratch.
Think about what you remember about money in your household. Was it always a cause of friction and tension? Did you get to ask questions about money growing on trees? Or, did one or both parents or guardians spend money with no thought of when the next source of income will be? As children, there is a lot that we pick up from our caregivers whether or not they talked to us about money. By the age of six, psychologists say that our core beliefs and 90+ percent of who we are get formed by this time.
It is, therefore, likely that your current perception and relationship about money stems from what you say as a child and in subsequent years. If that’s the case, then you do need to forget what you know about money. It is time to take up new mindsets. If you’re tempted to hold on, think about what the payoff is. For most things, the answer is likely nothing. What’s more, it is probably going to hold you back even more.
After you forget all that you know, take the initiative to learn new things about money. It means spending hours online looking for money tips and purchasing books that talk about money. You want to create a new library in your mind about money and wealth reaction. There is the saying that goes when you know better you do better. From the information you’ve gathered over time, you’ll know what best to do. You may initially struggle to break the money mindset and habits you’ve created over the years, but it is a worthwhile war that you’ll win if you keep at it.
Break the habit
As we continue the journey to changing your mindset, there are actions that you need to undertake to affirm your new thinking. Spending money on expensive coffee and taking cabs everywhere is not the best use of your money, especially if you’re struggling to make ends meet. Your mindset ought to have led you to a place where you have respect for money.
An example is this. Look at how much you’re making per hour. Then, look at the cost of coffee. If you make the average rate of $27.16 per hour, and your caramel macchiato costs $3.15, then you can calculate the minutes you’ve had to work to afford that coffee. Before you spend money on anything, think about it and what that means. For example, think about how many coffees you’ll need to give up to pay off your credit card debt.
The idea is not to overwhelm your mind before you spend it; it is for you to practice mindfulness before spending. Do come up with a list of the things that you’ve wanted to give up. That could be the coffee that you’re taking, the chocolate and soda, fast food, and the like. Swap them with cheaper, healthier alternatives. There is indeed no reason why you can’t become healthier to suit your new way of thinking about money.
A quick question you can adopt, especially with impulse buying, is whether or not what you’re about to spend money on is getting you closer to your goal. That said, you do need to have a goal for why you’re saving money. Otherwise, your chance of mindset will lack purpose after a while. Focus on long-term things. It could be paying for retirement, purchasing a home, going for a long holiday, buying a car, paying off your mortgage, etc. Put a label on what you’re saving to help you keep focus. When your willpower is about to give way, ask yourself what do you want more, that expensive burger or eating pastries as you tour the streets of Italy?
Change what you tell yourself
“I am broke,” and other words that denote lack are what could also be holding you back. If you want to attract wealth and abundance, then your mind needs to be on the same frequency. You can’t say that you wish to be wealthy but have a mentality of lack. Same way as we are what we eat, we are what we think.
That is not to say that you can think yourself rich and still spend money that you don’t have. It is about changing the narrative that it is in your mind so that you can be more open to receiving what you want. People who are more open to good things happening to them attract the same energy. You’ve always thought and said that you are broke, and years on, that is your reality. Why not do the same, but think about being wealthy?
Part of changing the narrative is focusing on what you want, not what you don’t want. A mind is a tricky place. It appears not to register the word ‘don’t’ and other negative phrases. If you tell yourself continuously that you don’t want to be broke, the opposite happens. Your life is perhaps a testimony of this. How about change what you think and say? Instead of saying you don’t want to be broke for a holiday, say what you do want. If you’re going to take a vacation, say that’s what you want. If you wish to purchase a new appliance, say that’s what you want.
Try this approach given you have nothing to lose. It is also worth noting that a powerful tool that we’re giving is positive thinking. That is why there’s a lot of emphasis on it in the communication we have around us.
Make it fun
Money has heaviness about it when it’s being discussed. It is this big elusive thing that we can’t wrap our heads around. That doesn’t have to be your reality. There are many facets of money that we need to look at. It gets us health insurance, but it also purchases ice cream that reminds us of our childhood. Detach the negative connotation that you have about money and choose to keep an open mind. Suddenly, saving money will not feel like a chore. If anything, you’ll have something to look forward to at the need of the savings period.
One of the ways to make saving and financial planning fun is by using visuals. Have a clear jar where you put the money that you would have spent on a coffee. Now, watch the jar fill up with dollars as you continue to add money through the months. The other thing to do is put a savings jar and label it what you’re saving for. If it is to buy expensive gifts for your family for a change, you can create a budget and label the jar. There is a joy that fills us when, at the end of the year, we can buy that cashmere sweater for someone we love.
Having a vision board is one of the ways to keep you inspired. Have images and words of what you do want, both big and small, in the coming months. Once you attain them, you can place something to show that you’ve done it. A considerable check is one of the ways to keep you motivated to fulfil more things. Whatever is left and you still care about can go into the next year. Do things to keep you motivated in the journey to financial freedom.
This last way to change your mindset about money does sound counter-intuitive. You want to be making more money and saving just as much, not spending it. The reason why you ought to reward yourself is that you’ve made a large sift from where you were and to where you are now. There are, however, prerequisites before you celebrate yourself.
The context in which you should celebrate yourself should be when you’ve achieved huge goals. It could be going back to school, saving a certain amount for retirement, paying off your student loans, or credit card bets. Whatever it is, come up with a reward system that doesn’t counter the progress you’ve made. Taking a trip to Costa Rica for paying off your credit card loans and only to add more debt is not wise. If you want to travel, opt to do so after clearing off your debts and actually saving for the trip.
Whatever way you choose to celebrate your progress should not set you back. By the time you get to this fifth way to change your mindset about money, you’ll have understood the value of money, and you’d create it with equal respect. It takes a lot to come out from old habits that don’t serve us into new ones that do impact our lives, and that does deserve a celebration.
What do you think about money? Write down all the beliefs that you have about money. They aren’t positive or negative; there are merely things that you believe about money. Once you’re done, look at what is helping you in your journey to financial freedom and what isn’t serving you. Do make a list of the things that you can change based on the five ways that we have listed here.
Depending on how often you’re paid, create an accountability method to show how you’re spending your money. One of those ways is to have a money manager app to put all your income and expenditure information. It does help to have a visual representation of who much you’re making versus how much you’re spending. If you have someone close to you that you trust with your financial matters or even a partner, you can have them keep you accountable for how you spend your money.
It wouldn’t be unlikely that you end up having a bad month, and you opt for retail shopping to soothe yourself. If that happens, you’re going to likely feel bad about it, putting you in a worse space. Overall, before spending, think of future ramifications. That said, the best of luck on your journey.