What is a money mindset?
A money mindset is your subconscious beliefs and attitude towards money. It’s built up throughout your life: how you were brought up, your parents attitude about money etc. It drives the decisions you make about spending, saving and handling money. Your financial habits, whether good or bad, are rooted within this mindset. There are two types of money mindsets – the scarcity mindset and the abundance mindset. A healthy (abundance) money mindset looks like this:
- Not needing to compare one’s self to others
- Thinking your financial goals are achievable
- Having the freedom to spend money, but also being able to control what you purchase
Having a healthy mindset shapes the way you feel about any debt, the attitude you have towards people who make varying amounts of income, how much/easily you give money and your ability to invest without fear.
Early life experiences can shape how we feel about money. If you were raised with scarcity thinking parents, you may be familiar with the phrases: “Money doesn’t grow on trees” or “Are you kidding? We can’t afford that!”. Alternatively, if you were raised with abundant parents more familiar phrases would be: “It’s only money” or “We have everything we need”.
How to improve your money mindset
Understanding where your money mindset comes from helps you to change it. As you shift your mindset, you can look back and see how far you’ve come.
Shifting your mindset starts with awareness. Pay attention to your behaviours, thoughts and actions surrounding money. If you’re stuck in a scarce mindset then you’re going to feel anxious and stress regarding money. Once you switch your mindset, you’ll feel calm and optimistic when it comes to money. There is a scale to money mindsets – on one end is scarcity and on the other, wealth.
The first step is figuring out a budget: telling your money where to go. Learning how to live within the boundaries of a budget, so you can still spend money on things you want while saving and investing for your future.
Next is determining the role money plays in your life. While numbers in your bank account may look good, they don’t paint the whole story. True wealth depends on your money mindset. Remind yourself that you are in control of how money mindset – regardless if you have endless wealth or minimal funds you are still in control of your relationship with money. Take a hold of your day to day spending, saving and investing.
As you become more aware of the mindset change you’ll probably come to some roadblocks that get in the way of change. This is entirely normal, working through them is part of the switch in mindset. The work never stops – you keep uncovering blocks and work through them to build a healthier and more confident relationship with money.