How your money mindset is shaping your entire life, and what to do when your negative self-talk is taking controlling your wallet!
You have a carefully cultivated money mindset, whether you know it or not. Is it helping you or sabotaging you at every turn?
I get it. “money” is basically a four-letter word in your household. You hate to think about it, you shy away from reading about it, and you certainly don’t talk about it with your spouse or kids.
Because when you have to talk about your financial situation, you get a knot in your stomach as you feel that there isn’t enough money for everything. You get scared, and it shows up as being defensive, angry, or even resentful.
Maybe you are mad at your spouse for the new golf clubs they bought, or you may feel deflated, as your oldest needs braces, and you don’t have the money for it. You are angry at yourself. “Damn, how did I get in this situation?”
Worse yet, you may feel hopeless.
Let’s change course here. Have you ever thought that maybe you are your own worst enemy? It could be true! When you could be your best cheerleader! That sounds much better, doesn’t it!
Let’s break it down and show you how to kick that bad attitude to the curb and start to win with your money by identifying your money mindset and learning how to change it from a scarcity mindset to that of an abundance mindset! Because let me tell you, your limiting beliefs are sabotaging your financial life, and it’s up to you to become your own hero!
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What is a Money Mindset?
A person’s money mindset is part of their overarching attitude and belief about money in their life. It influences almost every spending/saving decision that you make, and it does this automatically, just under the surface of your consciousness.
These underlying biases influence your attitude about money…
- your money story (your past, your upbringing)
- your money mindset (your current attitude & belief system)
Before we dig into your current money mindset, you need to know how your money story was developed.
Your money story is how you were raised with money, it’s your narrative. You learned about it from your parents, your society & culture, and it’s usually generationally based (aka being older typically means having more traditional viewpoints).
You learned about money not only from what your parent’s taught you, but you mostly learned about it by observing their behavior, their interactions, and their emotions when anything financial related was in the air.
Your money story helps to shape your current money mindset.
The Two Main Types of Money Mindsets
Your money beliefs are something that you learn (either consciously or subconsciously); no one is born with a set opinion about money. And this is good because if you’ve learned to believe one way about money, then you can learn a new and more positive financial mindset.
But let’s start with where many people are at, a feeling of scarcity.
Scarcity money mindset
“Dang, $140 for new glasses for my kiddo, there goes my budget! It doesn’t really matter if I spend another $32 on a new shirt I want.”
So you spend the extra $32, not realizing that you were already doomed from the beginning. Because no matter what happened that day, you were going to think and feel negatively about your purchases and push yourself deeper into a hole. This is what you have always done to yourself, so this is what you will continue to do. Until now!
In the above example, where they were angry and fearful, that is what the pros call a scarcity money mindset. You never have enough money, and you will NEVER have enough money!
Maybe you think you don’t deserve good luck with money, and perhaps you believe you are trapped in a situation or that you’re doomed never to get ahead. You are constantly being held back or dealt the poo-poo end of the stick. (Yes, poo-poo is a legit term in my household right now.) You may have some significant money blocks – those are limiting beliefs that hold you back from having the financial life you want.
Thoughts of lack manifest as limitation. Thoughts of abundance manifest as success and happiness. Failure and success are but two ends of the stick.
Forbes says that limiting beliefs are “commonly referred to as money blocks. Negative money scripts can have disastrous effects on your financial situation because what you think affects how you feel, which then shapes the actions you take and eventually, the results you get.”
These money blocks are so easy to get caught up in, so you need to actively tell yourself that it’s not true! You need to say to yourself that you have a choice about how you feel (because you 100% do). The choices you make on a daily basis build habits, and those create your core beliefs, and those influence your actions, and those impact your feelings, and the circle continues. Don’t let the vicious cycle of a negative money mindset trap you!
You may need to reach out and talk to a professional about these negative thoughts, as one area in your life can spill over into others. Especially if these are long-held core beliefs from our childhood.
For example, a child that’s been told they’ll never amount to anything time and again will have a hard time reaching for a promotion at work. They’ll think, “Why even try, I’m not qualified for it anyways. No new job equals no raise; I’m doomed.” This type of negative mindset is also called a fixed mindset.
A fixed mindset is a person’s belief that we are what we are; we cannot change. It’s a belief that we are born with certain abilities, and we cannot learn or cultivate and develop a skill, which is just silly because obviously, you have earned to do a lot, like walk, talk, drive, etc. Our future self is counting on us to change and grow!
Having a scarcity mindset can also manifest in your attitude about others’ success. You may focus on what they “got”, and if they got something, then that means that you didn’t get “it.” Because there is only so much of something to be had.
A good example of this is a cake. If your brother got a slice, then that means one less slice for you. That’s a scarcity belief. You may feel jealous or resentful of that person, and that’s a hard place to be in.
These mistaken core beliefs run deep in our subconscious, don’t dismiss them, and don’t let them breed anger and resentment. Work to recognize that these negative thoughts are wrong, and open your mind to the possibility that there is another option, a brighter option. (aka you can always go and buy, or make, more cake).
That’s all you need in the beginning, a tiny opening to do some money mindset work. Now, let’s look at where you (and I) and everyone else wants to be, the land of an abundant mindset!
Abundance money mindset
On the opposite end of the spectrum is the abundance money mindset. Where you feel that you will always have “enough.” Yes, you know that there may be small setbacks or unexpected blips, but in the end, you know deep down that it will all work out okay. Not because of divine intervention, but because you can always change things, do things differently, learn more, and make financial decisions that will lead to wealth.
Another way this manifests is when it’s called a growth mindset. “A growth mindset, proposed by Stanford professor Carol Dweck in her book Mindset, describes people who believe that their success depends on time and effort. People with a growth mindset feel their skills and intelligence can be improved with effort and persistence. They embrace challenges, persist through obstacles, learn from criticism and seek out inspiration in others’ success.” (source)
They know they can do it! They believe in their ability to grow.
Abundance is about being rich, with or without money.
Back to the above example of your child needing new glasses. So you spend the $140 for new glasses, and you think, “okay, that wasn’t planned, but I’ve been able to put extra aside these past few months because it’s spring, and we haven’t needed to turn the heat or a/c on. So it’s okay.” This is an example of a positive money mindset, that of an abundant money mindset.
Same person, same expense, but a different money mindset = a new outcome, with less stress, depression, less self-defeating attitude. Oh, and you saved that $32 because you didn’t buy that shirt. Since you didn’t buy it, you also kept yourself from feeling bad about that money mistake too!
It comes as no surprise that those with an outlook of abundance don’t stress out over money problems as those with a scarcity mindset. They don’t lose sleep, they don’t hold money grudges, they give more freely with their possessions and their money. They can afford to donate to a nonprofit because they know there will always be more money for them later on.
How to change your money mindset.
1. Recognize the need and your ability to change
Now you don’t need to change your money beliefs all in one day, but you need to make the first step today. Tomorrow you take one more, and then so on and on. Just keep going! When you take control and say enough is enough, you are fired up and ready to change. You can’t be medium-fired up. You need to have your game face on and have the snacks packed and ready to go!
To figure out HOW you can get yourself fired up about your personal finance journey, check out how I found and keep the drive going strong each and every day by identifying my financial why.
Where consciousness is, action follows.unknown
2. Make a plan and write it down
If you want to achieve a financial goal, then you need to plan it out! You can’t just vaguely go about things and sometimes take action. You need to spell it out for yourself, so you don’t need to second guess or rethink things. You just need to be able to execute the plan!
An article in the Huffington Post cites research from Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor who was working on the science of goal setting. She had a test group of over 250 people and broke them into two groups: those that wrote their goals down and those that didn’t. In the end, she found that you become 42% more likely to achieve your goals by just writing them down regularly. (source)
Writing your financial goal down is key to staying motivated during your journey. Or pick some meaningful positive money affirmations or a vision board. Something that will inspire you on your path to financial freedom (no matter what that looks like to you).
Decide what you need to do, be very specific on things (in fact, using the SMART method for financial goal setting is a great idea to be sure that you are detailed enough), and then get to work!
3. Interrupt harmful thought patterns & replace them
I will freely admit that one of the hardest things to do is to stop yourself mid downward spiral. This negative pattern is engrained as your habit, but we need to change that habit! The first thing to do is to interrupt the pattern.
Once you realize that you are going in a bad place, you need to STOP. Tell yourself to hold up, do something that gets your attention. Now, these next two tidbits will sound silly, but that’s okay; we just want to shake you up enough to let logic peak through in that moment.
Silly Interrupter #1:
“You better check yo self before you wreck yo self
Cos I’m bad for your health, I come real stealth.”
DANG! Did I just drop some Ice Cube on YOU? Yup, I absolutely did! Funny that the two lines of lyrics above are so apt to what we are talking about!
Your silly saying or anthem doesn’t need to be Ice Cube; it can be anything catchy. It just needs to give you a pause and pull you out of that spiral.
Silly Interrupter #2:
Give her a name! We all have that devil inside of us, that side of you that’s snarky, mean, judgy, whatever. So that’s “her”. Let’s call her Gina (I sincerely apologize to all the Gina’s that may be reading this).
So you start talking trash to yourself because you forgot to budget in the increase to your internet bill into your monthly budget, and now you’re overspent! DANG IT!
“How could I forget that? I’m so stupid!”
Wait! HOLD UP, Gina! Call her out, make her “not you”. It’s like the saying goes, would you talk to your best friend the way that you are talking to yourself? NO! You would never be that harsh to your friend. So tell Gina to take a hike!
Once you have gotten good at interrupting the negative thought patterns, you can work on replacing them. People often call these positive affirmations. At first glance, they feel odd coming out of your brain, but once you get the feel of them, they flow easier. Here are some positive money affirmations that you can use…
- I will happily spend money on planned purchases (vs. I will not splurge).
- Success, money, and happiness come easily to me (vs. I will not think about how we are always doomed to be living on the edge).
- I may stumble, but I will always get back up.
- I will pay off my debt, one day at a time; it will happen.
- Say to yourself, I believe in my ability to succeed. (this is one that I personally use.)
- I am creating financial security and building wealth for my family every day.
- With hard work, I will reach my goals.
or take a screenshot of this…
If none of these feel quite right to your problem, you should check out the master list of 250+ money affirmations!
4. Focus in on what you already have that makes you feel abundant
Do you have something that you are proud of? Something that you worked hard for? Or something that makes you feel wealthy/abundant?
Maybe you’re super proud of your veggie garden in the backyard. You worked so hard on it all spring & summer! And now, you’re reaping the rewards of huge juicy tomatoes and sweet corn on the cob! Your hard work paid off!
Or maybe you have this fantastic hand lotion, it’s super silky, smells amazing, and you loooooove it. You splurged about bought it for yourself on your last birthday. This makes you feel rich, abundant, and happy!
Or, when you have all your family around you, maybe at the dinner table, you feel the abundant love in the room. You hear the laughs, see the smiles, and know that you are a part of this warmth, and you feel the strength and comfort that comes with it.
These examples showcase your happiness in abundance, but in different ways. Focus on these feelings of luxury, and you should bask in it, wallow in the richness of it, and be grateful for it.
Part of having a healthy money mindset is practicing gratitude, which can be difficult. It’s “hard” to be grateful for all the challenges you face. Yet, if you shift your thought process to be thankful for how far you have come and all you have overcome, you will see that you are more resilient than you thought. This in itself will reinforce that you have what it takes to change your financial life for the better!
Plus, putting this good energy out will raise your vibration. It will help you focus on the positive, and remember from above; positive people are healthier & happier!
AT THE END OF THE DAY
Changing your mindset about how you feel about money isn’t an overnight process. But I genuinely believe that it is the starting point part to improving your financial situation.
Because when you fear something, it has power over you. When you have a plan, you have control over it.
Changing your money mindset is an essential step in changing your financial future. It can also be the hardest, as you may really not believe that change is possible or that it’s too late.
It’s okay. Take a deep breath, have faith in the process. Make your plan, say your affirmations, and soon you will feel a shift. I believe it, and soon you will too!
Articles related to money mindset:
- You Need “THIS” if You Want to Hold Onto Your Your Money; finding your financial why!
- 4 Actionable Steps to Keep Your Money Motivation Strong & Solid
- 250+ Money Affirmations to Catapult Your Wealth!
- How to Change Your Tragic Money Story to One of Triumph
- Conquer Your Money Demons by Dumping Your Limiting Beliefs About Money