When It Comes to Finances: Change Your Mindset, Change Your Life




“50 told me go ‘head and switch your style up and if they hate then let ‘em hate and watch the money pile up.”

        As much as it pains me to quote Kanye West right now (you’d know why if you’ve been keeping up with the news over the past few months), I have to admit that although I’m pretty sure it probably wasn’t his intention, the line from his song “Good Life” is quite fitting for those wanting to improve their financial lives How so, you ask? hanging your mindset when it comes to money despite what others may think or say (i.e. switch your style up and if they hate then let ‘em hate) is one of the most important steps you can take to better your finances — or as Kanye puts it ‘watch [your] money pile up’. 

        I know a lot of people don’t generally equate their mindsets towards money to the viability of their finances however, the way you think about money can ultimately make or break your financial future. For example:

  • If you think you will always live paycheck to paycheck, then you’ll ’ never take steps to break the cycle. Why? Because to you this is the normal way of life;
  • If you think debt is just a part of life, you’ll keep racking it up. Because to you, it’s what is expected and accepted; or
  • If you believe that the only point of money is to acquire material things, then you’ll end up with a full house/closest but a thin wallet.
  • If you believe investing is just for the rich, you’ll miss out on the opportunity of building wealth because you believe it’s not meant for you.

         

        These are just a few examples but they are enough to convey that your mindset can hold you back financially. Most of our mindsets and behaviors towards money were taught to us (either directly or indirectly) from the influential adults in our lives when we were growing up. Whether we’re perpetuating what we learned mindfully or not, we tend to mimic and repeat the behaviors we see, often accepting them to be the way, and sometimes the only way, of life. But the good thing is that with time and effort you are able to change your mindset. It won’t be an overnight change. We are creatures of habit. But with determination and consistency you can develop a money mindset that will help set you up for success.  

        Here are a few tidbits that I’ve learned over the years that have helped me start to cultivate a healthier money mindset. Hopefully, these tips can help you too!

You are not an afterthought; PAY YOURSELF FIRST

        When it comes to the money you make, remember that you are number one. Many people don’t even consider themselves or their long-term goals when payday comes. It’s usually: make sure the bills are paid (well, hopefully...), buy some food, treat themselves to some new things or a night out and then play the waiting game until the next payday. This is a cycle that needs to be broken. Paying yourself first can be the first step to help break this cycle. I’ve always had a tendency to save although when I was younger, it was definitely an afterthought; only saving what was left over after bills and spending. My savings were very modest but at least I had one and, to me, that was good enough. Then, I learned about ‘paying yourself first’ and that was when my savings really started to grow. I decided on an amount and started to put that into my savings as soon as I got paid. Now, my savings (and my future) is no longer on the backburner. I am no longer a financial afterthought. I no longer save whatever is left after spending, but spend whatever is left after saving.

Be Actively Engaged with Your Finances

        I used to live by the saying ‘What you don't know, can’t hurt you’ when it came to my finances. Only checking my bank account when it was absolutely necessary. I mean who needs that kind of negatively in their life? LOL (j/k) But seriously, I was not actively engaged with my money at all. I mean I always made sure my bills were paid but beyond that? I wasn’t very involved, ignorance is bliss right? Wrong! You are ultimately the boss of your finances, so being actively involved is a must! If you aren’t aware of the ins and outs of your finances, you are setting yourself up to continuously commit the same behaviors and keeping your financial situation stagnant. Getting engaged with my money helped improve my finances tremendously. I could better understand my spending habits and now determine which habits I needed to keep and which habits I needed to change.

  

Money is a Tool, NOT a Goal

It is very easy to get consumed with making more money. I mean isn’t that what society teaches us? That you can never have too much. That you should always be striving to make more. And the more you have will not only make you happier, it will also magically make all your problems go away. Um, probably not. Money is not and should not be the goal. It should, however, be the tool or the means that helps you reach your goals. Whether that is paying off debt, building an emergency fund, putting money away for your children’s college tuition, purchasing a home, upping your investment portfolio, etc., whatever your priorities are, money is the means to help get you there. Which brings me to my last tip: understanding your why.

Understand your WHY

         When it comes to your finances, if you don’t have set goals, then you’re probably going to waste a lot of money. It is important to have financial goals because it gives you a clear direction for what it is you want to accomplish with your money. It’s best to have both short-term and long-term goals. But beyond just setting goals, understanding the purpose or the ‘why’ behind the goals you set, will help give you the motivation to achieve them. For example, my financial goal for this year is to pay off my last student loan. But why now? Well, other than just being tired of it, (lol) my real reason behind this goal is that I would like to buy a house soon and getting rid of this debt/payment can free up money for my future goal. Understanding this, keeps me motivated.  

 

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Comments

  1. This is all so true, all about the mindset! I feel you about Kanye lol, but this is one of the few situations he’s right

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    Replies
    1. Hahaha it was hard but the line in that song always speaks to me when I hear it. And yes mindset is everything! Thanks for the comment!

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  2. Great post! This is so true as you always need to pay yourself first and use what you have (after paying bills and whatnot) to reach your goals! Every time I get paid I always set aside some money for my savings, I save a little money for my goals (travel, down payment for a new car, etc.) and then I pay my bills.

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    Replies
    1. That's a great habit to have JoJo! Thanks for the comment.

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  3. Very practical, yet vital advice! Once you put your mind to something, it's amazing what you can achieve. Having the proper money mindset makes all the difference.

    ReplyDelete

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