Lately I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about money.
Well not money per se. Recently I’ve come to realise that how we feel about money is such as important factor in how much we actually have.
I used to be great with money. When I was little I was always saving my pocket money in my money jar and every now and then I’d tip it out onto my bed just to count it.
When I got older I was great at saving my pay. Although I kept in the bank instead of a jar by my bed, I still liked to just log into my bank account to see how much money was in there.
This of course was brilliant when it came to buying my first car or going on overseas holidays – the money was just there waiting for me. But I spent a lot of time thinking about money and worrying if I had enough.
And in some ways I think that mindset has been holding me back from achieving my full potential. My scarcity mindset means I’m always thinking where the next bit of money is going to come from and worrying that it’s not going to be there when I want it.
Are you guilty of holding a negative money mindset? I believe that even when things are going great, we still have to work on our attitude towards money money. After all, even some of the richest people in the world have experienced some of these negative money mindsets.
You Believe Your Money is Finite
Were you like me as a child, obsessively counting every cent of your money? Maybe now you are great at saving, but you worry about running out of money. At. The. Time.
Saving money is great. But obsessing over how much you have now only limits your ability to earn more. Worrying over an extra $1,000 or means you aren’t able to think even larger than that.
You probably also worry about spending money in order to make money. Sometimes you have to make those investments in order to grow your wealth, but if you are always worrying about how much money you have, it gets much harder.
You Live Pay-to-Pay
If you live pay-to-pay then you are probably unable to look very far into the future for yourself. Like the scarcity mindset, you believe that you won’t ever earn more than you have now. But you also ignore the need to save for a ‘rainy day’, which puts you at risk when those unforeseen events arise.
Living pay-to-pay also limits your ability to take risks because you believe that what you earn is exactly what you need for your lifestyle. Reducing your expenses by only a little bit in order to free up money for savings will allow you to see that lack of money isn’t the barrier to changing your situation.
You Have a Don’t Worry, Be Happy Mindset
That pile of unopened bills in the corner. The stack of parking tickets in the glove box. The maxed out credit card from another weekend of shopping and brunching.
You don’t want to face the reality of your financial situation, so instead you choose to just believe that everything will work out okay in the end.
It’s not like you have to live the life of a nun and deny yourself all pleasures. But ignoring your financial problems doesn’t make them go away. Otherwise when the shit does hit the fan, lady, it’s going to be One. Big. Mess.
Being Afraid to Take Risks
Did you parents used to say that you were an old soul when you were a kid? Were you a bit of a worrier? You’re great at saving your money and probably really in control of your budget.
But you’re afraid of taking any big risks with your money. You keep it all in a savings account. You’ve heard how many people have lost money on the share market is and want nothing to do with it.
Being careful with your money is a great thing. You don’t want to be throwing it around at a casino or anything. But not taking any risks means you are at risk of ending up poor in your retirement. When you’re young is the best time to try out some calculated risks with your investments, because you have plenty of time to recover.
Letting Others Take Control
Sure in a relationship what often happens is that the partner with the strong strategic skills will handle the ‘big picture’ stuff, while the other partner will handle the day-to-day money things – like buying groceries and paying the bills.
But no matter what your role is, it’s important to be aware of where your money is going and the decisions the other partner is doing.
This also applies if you use a professional to manage your investments, like a financial adviser. Sure you can follow their advice, but always know exactly where your money is going. Because no one will ever care about it as much as you.
Banking on the When’s
You know the when’s, right? The “when I win the lottery, I’ll…” or “when I get a payrise, we’ll…”
Waiting for an external event to happen before you change something your life is pretty futile. After all, what if it never happens (do you know how many people actually win Lotto?). You can’t control what happens to you, you can only control how to respond. So instead of waiting for a when to become a now, just start moving towards your goal anyway.
What money mindsets do you have or have experienced in the past? What have you done to move past it?
Photo credit: Flickr/Ahmed Hashim
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