5 Ways To Change Our Money Mindset?
How are your thoughts controlling your actions?
It’s a cliché, but a positive mental attitude is so important. It really does have a material effect on your life, in areas from exercise to relationships, but especially money. And you might be sabotaging your journey to financial freedom without even knowing it, because some of our negative thoughts about money are so ingrained that they don’t even feel like emotional reactions, merely facts. Like, “I’ll never get out of debt” or “I’ll never earn as much as so-and-so”, or “I won’t be able to retire at 50”.
But the good news is, there’s a lot you can do to change this unhelpful money mindset and get you back on track.
1. Identify negative thoughts. When you get a bill, or fail to get a raise, what’s your attitude to that? Does it feel like another door slamming in your face – a further example of an uncaring universe – or is it an opportunity to move forward in a different direction? For most of us, it’s the former. But there’s no empirical reason that the meaning of a hefty credit card bill couldn’t be “this is the day I rein in my emotional spending” or “actually, I can live without £4 lattes for six months”.
2. Get educated. Whether it’s with books, blogs, friends or seminars, you’re going to feel so much more positive if you know you’re doing all you can to learn about new ways of saving and spending.
3. Be kind to yourself. We all make mistakes. Maybe you bought a silly car last year and are struggling to pay it off. Maybe last month’s budget went to pot when you “invested” in a ridiculous handbag after a horrible day at work. Don’t let these human errors become “evidence” of you being rubbish with money. You just made a mistake! You’re learning to do better. After all, you wouldn’t tell a toddler that their tumbles mean they’ll never be able to walk properly!
4. Stop comparing yourself to others. Sure, there will always be someone who has a bigger house, more extravagant holidays and greater financial security than you. Always thinking of that richer person (whose wealth, by the way, can’t protect them from illness, accident, depression or divorce) will keep you in a negative mindset. So when your thoughts wanders to the Joneses with their big swimming pool, notice that and try counteracting it by dwelling for a minute on all the great things you do have. And that includes your desire to change your money mindset.
5. Have a plan! It’s so simple, but knowing what you want and how you plan to get there is such a good feeling. There are lots of resources out there (and right here!) to get you started with your financial plan. And don’t forget, you can tailor it to your personal whims and foibles. If you know you’re going to splurge on shoes when you’re unhappy, you can trim another area of the budget to account for that. If you have credit card debt, prioritizing that in an organized and honest way will make each repayment less scary. Once your personal plan it’s in place, all those unexpected bills and emotional spending moments will be accounted for and you’ll feel happier and more in control. Which can only lead to success!
Collage with photo by Peter Sjo on Unsplash.