You probably think I’m crazy for saying that the secret to establishing stability and increasing wealth comes down to attitude.
After all, you can’t just *think* money into existence.
Even so, I believe that your money mindset has a huge impact on how successful you are at achieving your financial goals, getting out of debt and living an abundant life – and not just in terms of material wealth.
By adjusting your money mindset you make it easier for yourself to build the financial life you want.
Your money mindset is made up of the beliefs you have about your finances and about money in the world in general.
Your money mindset drives how you make financial decisions on a daily basis.
It’s the way you approach earning, saving, spending, and sharing in your life.
It also has a big impact on your ability to achieve your goals.
When you change your money mindset, you’ll start making better choices about how to overcome financial challenges and how to manage your personal finances.
The way you think about it really makes a difference.
Reductionist thinking comes from a scarcity mindset.
Your financial habits – good and bad –are rooted in your mindset.
Having a feeling of security or uncertainty, limitation or resourcefulness, victimhood or generosity – all of this shaped by your beliefs around money.
The messages you’ve absorbed and internalised boil down to two basic ways of thinking about money: scarcity and abundance.
And your money mindset is emotional inertia. It drives you to take action.
It’s the age old glass is half-empty or half-full thing.
When you think about money, do you think;
a) there’s never enough, or
b) there’s always more where that came from?
When your money mindset is optimistic, you feel confident in your own ability to handle money and actively take the steps that will carry you towards success.
Negativity and scarcity thinking breeds bad feels and habits like avoidance, defeatism and feeling intimidated or afraid.
If you feel like you’re never going to succeed, you’ll be less motivated to even try.
You’ll give up sooner and allow smaller setbacks to drown you in self-pity and inaciton as the challenges will all seem insurmountable.
The whole point of working on your money mindset and improving it, is to move you from a scarcity and poverty mindset to an abundance and prosperity mindset.
Instead, you’ll be able to see it for the tool that it is and fully embrace the power that it has to change your life for the better.
And rather than thinking that money is somehting that always leaves you, you’ll see it as an infinitely renewable resource that always comes back to you.
Think about it: the IMF is projecting that the world economy is going to be $93.86 trillion in 2021.
And you’re worried about a fraction of that.
Here’s a grade school math refresher:
1,000 = Thousand
1,000,000 = Million
1,000,000,000 = Billion
1,000,000,000,000 = Trillion
One trillion dollars would stretch nearly from the earth to the sun.
And it would take a military jet flying at the speed of sound, reeling out a roll of dollar bills behind it, 14 years before it reeled out one trillion dollar bills.
Now add another 92 trillion to that.
That’s an additional 1,288 years.
When you change your mindset about money and focus on what you can do, rather than what you can’t do, your path forward becomes much easier to see.
So, how do you establish an optimistic money mindset?
The characteristics of a healthy money mindset.
When you cultivate a profoundly optimistic mindset in your personan finances, you’ll realise that no problem is too big to handle.
It doesn’t matter if you have debt in the thousands or the hundreds of thousands.
The one certain thing? If you let yourself be defeated without giving it your all, you will fail.
With an optimistic money mindset you’ll start seeing the opportunities instead of the obstacles. You’ll recognise that any and all financial situations can be fixed.
You’ll genuinely appreciate the value of asking for help rather than suffer alone in silence and shame.
And it’ll be easier for you to accept that small steps add up – even slow progress is progress.
Most people are afraid to check their bank accounts because they’re afraid of what they’re going to see.
Opening my statement used to give me massive anxiety attacks. Did they help or motivate me to make the situation better?
No. They just made me want to run away and hide. So, I ignored my problems and challenges rather than tackle them head on.
The truth is, that when you’re afraid of money, you’ll have a really hard time holding on to it as well.
And you’ll never feel or be abundant.
Because how you think about money determines what role it plays in your life.
Money can stop being the evil villain in your life.
Don’t get me wrong, the number in your bank account does matter, but it isn’t the whole story.
True wealth depends on your mindset.
And I’m not asking you how much money you earn or spend, I want to know how you feel about your life right now.
Because money can be a source of stress, anxiety and fights. It can be the thing that always leaves you on the outside, that’s always leaving you in the lurch and that makes you take out your stress on the people you love most.
Or it can be a tool that allows you to live generously, solve difficult problems beautifully and change the world around you for the better.
Doesn’t that sound nice?
Some concrete examples between a scarcity and an abundance mindset.
Do you live in a world where there’s fierce competition for resources and you’re scrambling every day to make ends meet?
Or do you live in an abundant and expansive universe, where you’re provided with everything you need?
Are you always wondering how to earn more money (and maybe feeling it’s impossible), stressing about paying bills, paying your taxes like it’s pulling teeth, and firmly resisting giving anything away?
Feeling like no matter how you scrimp and save you never have enough left over for a movie, date night or a nice new rug?
It doesn’t matter if you’re earning minimum wage or have a competitive salary in a lucrative field, “not enough” is a mentality that makes you feel like nothing’s ever enough.
It sucks. Big time.
And I know how hard it is to accept that broke is a mindset when it’s your life, when you just DON’T have enouh money.
But guess what? That’s exactly what a scarcity mindset says.
It’ll tell you that you’re not smart, worthy or privileged enough to earn the good money. That people with money are snobby and greedy, that you’re just not good with money or that it’s someone else’s job to take care of the money stuff.
The good news: you’re not stuck where you are right now.
You can change your mindset from scarcity to abundance with some practice.
You can begin to appreciate everything you have – from the pennies in your pocket to the roof over your head. You can gain confidence in your ability to make, receive and hold on to wealth.
And you can enjoy being generous with others.
Your mindset is malleable.
And once you’ve identified where your money mindset comes from, what unconscious beliefs underpin it, you can start changing it.
You can start taking charge of your finances by learning more about money.
Because money gives people the opportunity to contribute and make a powerful impact in the world.
Including you; you’re one of those people!
And most importantly: you can learn to love yourself just as you are. Because deep down, how you see money and how you put value on things in the world, is a reflection of how you value yourself.
You are enough exactly as you are.
And not having or earning enough money is NOT a reflection of your worth as a human.
It’s perfectly understandable that you make your money decisions out of emotions that make you smaller, like fear.
But it’s time to change that right now.
6 tips for transforming your money mindset from scarce to abundant.
Don’t worry if all you’ve learned up to this point is how to see scarcity in the world.
I was like that too.
I finally got frustrated with myself when it had permeated every single part of my life and all I saw everywhere was “not enough”. I wasn’t enough, my contribution to society wasn’t enough, I even believed that my perceived failures weren’t big enough to get disheartened and depressed about – thre were people out there who had it worse than I did.
When it got to a point where life didn’t seem to have any meaning, I thought there had to be a better way to live.
So, I started on a journey to break out of my scarcity mentality. And I chose to release the limiting beliefs I had around money, wealth, abundance and my own worth as a person.
I decided that I didin’t even care about money, I just wanted to feel happy again. I wanted to be able to appreciate the beauty I encountered in everyday life and savour the extraordinary things that came along.
And you know the funny thing I learned? Money’s no different than people.
Money is attracted to appreciation and respect.
And it likes speed and intensity: how strongly you feel abundant and how inspired the action you take is makes all the difference (but more on that in The Money Mindset Workshop).
All your little thoughts and rituals around money matter. Even the weird or outlandish ones.
Picking up a lucky coin on the street, having mantras to keep you focused, buying lunch for a friend and reworking the thoughts you have when dealing with money affect your entire financial situation.
1) Appreciate what you’ve already got
689 million people live in extreme poverty meaning that they survive on less than $1.90 a day.
Children and youth make up two-thirds of the world’s poor, and women represent the majority of poor people in most regions across the world.
644 million children are experiencing multidimensional poverty.
That means the effects of poverty are comin’ at ya from all sides, including poor health, a lack of education, inadequate living standards, disempowerment, poor quality of work, the threat of violence, and living in areas that are environmentally hazardous, among others.
Although countries impacted by fragility, crises, and violence are home to about 10% of the world’s population, they account for more than 40% of people living in extreme poverty.
Since 1990, more than 1.2 billion people have risen out of extreme poverty.
Now, 9.2% of the world survives on $1.90 a day or less, compared to nearly 36% in 1990.
But the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to reverse decades of progress in the fight against global poverty and income inequalities, and it jeopardizes the future of a generation of children.
While the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is unknown, the World Bank estimates that as many as 150 million people will fall into poverty by 2021.
So, be glad for the roof over your head, whatever education you have received, the ability to access the internet, the food you eat every day and the things buy are able to pay for every month.
Even if you aren’t squirrelling anything away at the end of the month, you’re already miles ahead of those who literally have nothing.
And you’re not wrong for wanting more.
Everyone with less wishes they had more.
They key thing, is to appreciate what you already have – clean, running water and a closet with outfit choices.
When you spend more time appreciating what you have than you do worrying about what you don’t have, you’ll instantly start feeling more abundant – and that’s important when you’re telling your brain to switch it up.
2) Make your own luxury
You can have happy birthdays and joyful celebrations without fancy decor or expensive gifts. You can have a great date night at home or somewhere free, like the beach, or do special things to make your staycation exciting.
The most important thing is that you’re with your favourite people.
Surround yourself with the people you love and cherish the simple everyday moments you have with them.
And when you wanna kick it up a notch, pull out the good table cloth, set a pretty table with candles and nice plates – and tell anyone attending to dres up nice!
Throwing minimalistic, down-to-earth parties is much less stressful than huge, fancy shindigs anyway. Plus less cleaning up at the end of it!
You can even host a potluck and make it a community thing.
Happiness comes from connecting with other people. Not expensive parties.
3) Budget for fun
Transforming your money mindset from lack to wealth doesn’t happen over night.
It’ll take some time for you to do the deep inner work required to get to the root of things.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself in the mean time.
Setting aside a little bit every month in an envelope, piggy bank or a savings account gives you permission and opportunity to take a break and enjoy yourself every now and again.
Make sure that you earmark that money just for fun, too.
Don’t spend it on necessary things. As important as it is to get out of debt and build your savings, it’s good to remember that tomorrow may never come.
Slogging your way through life just sucks all the joy out of you and leaves you no way to replenish the energy and drive you need to achieve your goals.
So, give yourself a chance every now and again to just do something different, something enjoyable.
It could be going to the movies, eatin out, going to a wine night, or buying a new just-for-fun dress.
One of the core tenets of an abundance mindset is to allow yourself to enjoy the benefits of working hard. It’ll help you to maintain that optimistic outlook on life that’s also importnat to an abundance mindset.
3) Learn about money
One of the most empowering things you can do is to learn how to better manage your personal finances.
Developing your basic knowledge – getting out of debt, building an emergency fund and managing your credit card smartly – sets you up for success no matter how much you’re earning.
There are blogs, podcasts and seminars out there dedicated to getting better with money.
Some of my favourite books are:
- Worth It: Your Life, Your Money, Your Terms* by Amanda Steinberg
- Get Rich, Lucky Bitch: Release Your Money Blocks and Live a First-Class Life* by Denise Duffield-Thomas
- The Fearless Money Mindset: Broke Doesn’t Scare Me* by Arian Simone
- Money, A Love Story: Untangle Your Financial Woes and Create the Life You Really Want* by Kate Northrup
Don’t let “I don’t know” be an excuse ever again!
4) Create a money mantra for yourself
When you’re in the moment of a stressuf money situation, it can be reall hard to remember to stay optimistic and feel good about handling money.
In these situations it really helps to have a ritual or mantra that can help you climb out of that hole of despair that opens up under your feet and swallows you whole.
Every time you find yourself paying a big bill or staring at the dwindling number in your bank account, make it a point to tell yourself, “There’s always more money”.
I know this is a bit silly, but words hold power. Rituals hold power.
Having that phrase or ritual locked and loaded for when you need it will only make it easier for you to retrain yourself to adopt new, more empowering habits with money.
Like I said before, there’s lietarlly trillions of dollars flying around in the world economy – you’re concerned with just a teensy-weensy fraction of that.
There’s always more money!
As you turn the silly thing into an actual habit, you’ll start believing it more as well.
But if “there’s always more money” doesn’t work for you, find and craft a statement that resonates with you. And don’t forget to update and change it, if the old one starts to lose its power to inspire you.
The elements of a good money mantra
- It’s positive – your goal is to motivate yourself to act and this is usually best done with positive affirmations, even if you’re trying to break a bad habit, put a positive spin on it.
- It’s financial – you’ll want to focus on a specific area of your finances with a money mantra. Whether that goal is to eliminate debt, save money or stick to a budget, your mantra needs that financial goal to focus it. And as you progress, you can change your mantra to focus on another area that needs work!
- It’s simple – a good mantra is easy to remember and repeat. If your mantra is too long or complex, you won’t be able to easily recall it throughout your day.
Create an effective money mantra
- Start by thinking of a specific financial goal you’d like to accomplish over the next six months – saving money, changing your behaviour when you log into your bank, paying down credit card bills faster etc.
- Now take that habit and turn it into an easily repeatable phrase.
- Repeat it a few times to memorise it. For bonus points and to make it more effective you can write it down and put it where you’ll see it often; on the fridge, at your desk or on the door so you see it every time you leave the house.
5) Start practicing generosity
Ok, bear with me, giving money away when you don’t got none seems weird.
But for some reason it works like magic!
Any time you’re feeling a lack of money, give some away by donating to charity or treating a friend to some coffee.
It doesn’t have to be a huge amount, it’s just to move the needle on your thinking from scarce to abundant.
When you pracitce generosity, you’re reinforcing the idea in your mind that there’s plenty to go around.
There’s always more money!
Especially when you’re daily reality is steeped in scarcity – whether that’s lack of money or material wealth, or people with scarcity mindsets – being generous turns you into a living demonstration of abundance.
This is a great way to start shifting your physical reality into a more abundant one.
6) Actively turn your attention away from what’s wrong
Changing your money mindset is the first step in paying down debt and getting better financial habits.
By focusing on what it will feel like to live debt-free, achieve financial stability and have the ability to spend money on the things you need and want, it’ll become much easier to stay motivated and reach your financial goals.
If all you think about is what’s wrong, you won’t ever see any point to even trying.
Actively turn your focus away from the problem and onto finding possible solutions instead.
You’re not the first person to be in debt.
And you won’t be the first to get out of crushing debt either.
When you want something badly enough, focus on the positive impact it will have on your life to achieve that financial goal.
Set long- and short-term goals for yourself that you can measure and track.
What gets measured, gets done.
And think about options in your personal budget. Can you do things differently and get a better result?
When you adjust your mindset, you’ll start looking for and finding the opportunities you have, rather than the obstacles you’re facing.
6) Find financial balance
Attitude alone won’t change your financial situation.
You also need to create a financial balance in your life that fosters stability.
If you spend all your time and energy on debt elimination, you’re not building your emergency fund.
Or if you’re only looking at the kind of budget you need to live right now, you’re not saving for retirement.
So, find that balance that works for you.
Think about your financial goals in the long term, not just now or the next five years.
Do you know what your money mindset is?
When you want to achieve your financial goals, you have to start by making peace with where you are right now.
Be grateful for what you already have and find small ways to be generous.
Choose to be optimistic about your financies and use a money mantra to help you keep that optimism alive.
The power to change your beliefs about money is in your hands.
By creating an abundance mindset you will transform your life from feeling like it’s never enough, to a prosperous and abundant one.
Redefine how you value yourself.
When you want to do the deep inner work to increase your earning potential and break through your income plateau, take The Money Mindset Workshop.
It’s a course with real talk about money, that includes exercises and journaling prompts to help you completely transform how you think and feel, not just about money, but how you measure your own worth.