What is a Money Mindset?
“Everyone has debt.”
“You need debt for your credit score.”
“I mean, who doesn’t have student loans?”
“You’re supposed to have a mortgage forever.”
“That’s what credit cards are for!.”
Statements like these are what is keeping people in lifelong debt. And it’s what kept me in debilitating debt for years. I grew up in a household where the phrase “we don’t have enough money for that” was played on repeat and where I saw my parents go into bankruptcy and struggle to pay bills. And for many of us, we just assume having debt is what life is ‘supposed to be like’.
Well, what if I told you, YOU had the power to change that narrative. You could get yourself out of debt and start to shift the money story that your family has? You can be the change for your financial legacy and your children’s story. But you have to start with your mindset.
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What’s holding you back?
A lot of times when we have a negative money mindset, it stems from the way we grew up. And honestly, as a parent now, it is frightening to think about how much impact I really do have on my children. How much what I say (and don’t say), how I interact with them, and just our day to day life really will make a difference in their future.
And for most of us, when it comes to money, it all comes down to how we were taught to treat it. If you think about money, does it make you anxious? Is money something you and your family don’t talk about at all? Are you constantly complaining about what you don’t have? Do you do it in front of your children?
Because I guarantee, if you dig into it, and think about how your parents were about money around you, you’ll see yourself looking into a mirror. And it’s up to us to start to change that story for our future and the future of our children.
To determine why you think the way you do about money, ask yourself some questions about how it was for you growing up…
- When you think about finances, what emotions are brought to the surface?
- Did you grow up in a household where people talked about money?
- Did you ever hear the phrase ‘we can’t afford that’?
- Did your parents argue about money?
- Did you ever feel like you didn’t have as much as a friend or another family?
- Did you see your parents stressing over bills?
- Did your parents ever talk to you about creating a budget?
- Did you earn an allowance?
- Did your parents buy you whatever you wanted?
- Did you ever have to have a job to pay for things yourself?
- Did you ever have to go without important life staples such as food or heat?
- Would you consider yourself spoiled?
- What would you have changed about the way your parents talked about money?
- Did you ever have a period of lack where your family struggled to have a place to live?
- Do you harbor any unforgiveness around money and your parents?
As you dive into these questions, realize how your parents interacted with money played either a negative or positive role in your money mindset. They either left you a really great example of how to be frugal but smart about money, how to have an abundance mindset even when the money might not be there, and how to work hard to be able to make smart purchases OR they made you feel insecure about money, that bills and finances are something to stress over and that there will never be enough money for you and your needs.
And honestly, this may really sting. I know for me, I grew up with a really negative money mindset and can vividly remember times where it was ingrained in me that I will always struggle with money and felt very financially insecure. I am someone who struggles with anxiety and, for me, money issues are a HUGE trigger. When I have to spend money at all, I become that little girl again hearing my parents argue about bills and feeling guilty for buying anything.
Can I ask you… are you still becoming that little girl too? Do you blame your parents? Are you holding onto that mindset that they taught you? If so, the next step to changing your mindset is…
Maybe you didn’t realize until you started going through the questions that a lot of your mindset was shaped by your parents or maybe this is something that you struggle with day today. Whatever the case, I want to encourage you to LET.IT.GO.
If you hold onto this spirit of unforgiveness about finances towards your parents, or maybe their boss for making them work long hours but not paying enough, or someone who borrowed money from your parents and never paid it back, or anyone that impacted your mindset, then you will never be ready to move on financially. You will always be that little girl afraid of money and feeling inadequate when it comes to finances.
You have to give forgiveness to those people in order to move on. Maybe your parents didn’t realize how much you heard of conversations whispered in the kitchen, or realize how much it would impact you (I mean as parents, how often do we think about it?) or understand just how much the words we put into the universe impact how our minds are shaped. Or maybe they did; maybe they thought they were teaching you these incredible lessons to ‘harden you’ in the world, or maybe they wanted you to see what hard work really meant (but in turn just taught you that you have to struggle no matter what).
Today, I want to encourage you to write down those people’s names and experiences in a journal. Brain dump all of the thoughts you have, all the emotions both positive and negative, and at the end I want you to write out the words… I FORGIVE YOU.
Because especially as parents, we don’t realize how much we impact our children in the long run. And just because they may have said things that could have impacted our mindset negatively, it really is up to that person’s personality to either become resistant or have negativity ingrained in them. And even if you felt it was deliberate, most of the time, our parents DID THE BEST THAT THEY KNEW HOW.
If you felt a sense of peace after this activity, I want to challenge you to give that person a call today to talk about it, to say that ‘this is how I felt, and I’ve been holding it in for a while but I’d like to move forward. Giving forgiveness is the first step!
How can you change your money mindset?
After you’ve made the decision that you’re ready to move forward, forgive anyone who might have had a negative impact on your money mindset, and took part in creating those money blocks, the next thing you need to do is visualize your future.
What do you want it to look like? Why do you want to be debt-free? What would you do with your money if you didn’t have any bills each month?
When you take the time to dream big and to actually picture what things could be like and how you would feel without money stress, your brain starts to realize that these things can actually be a reality. Take 10 minutes today and either journal, draw or just dream what a debt-free lifestyle would feel and be like for you.
15 minutes a day
Whenever someone comes to me and says that they need to adjust their habits to be successful, I always suggest they start small and just 15 minutes a day. So often, we become paralyzed because we don’t feel like we can ‘do it all’ so we don’t even do anything at all. Don’t let perfectionism stand in your way of making a change.
Start with just taking 15 minutes a day to adjust your money mindset. The best way to do this is to inventory what you are putting in your mind. If you are spending your time around people who complain about money, or brag about what they have, or only watching TV where consumerism is in our faces every single moment than your mindset will reflect that.
If you intentionally choose to put positive money thoughts into your head, over time, positive money thoughts will start to become your reality. I Like to listen to a good podcast every day that helps me learn financial tips, develop a more positive money mindset, and start to dream big and realize that I CAN become debt-free if I truly work at it.
You can do this through podcasts, youtube videos, books or audiobooks, or any of the great free resources at your local library. Don’t let the fact that you ‘don’t have money for a new book’ stop you from changing your mindset now!
Take 15 minutes while you are folding laundry, cooking dinner or waiting in the drop off line at school and, instead of scrolling social media, daydreaming, or listening to music or news that doesn’t fuel your soul, and turn on some podcasts that will do just that!
Some of my favorites include;
Money for the rest of us
Journey to Launch
Afford Anything; build a better life
Suze Orman Women and Money
The Dave Ramsey Show
Optimal Finance Daily
Money for the Rest of Us
Chris Hogan’s Retire Inspired
Money Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for a Richer Life
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