In 2018 Rob and I found ourselves $50,000 in debt and stuck in careers that no longer offer us any fulfillment. Our baby moved out of the home, and we had no clue what to do with ourselves.
In desperation, we started Googling “how to create a household budget” in hopes of digging ourselves out of our hole we dug. The results shocked us.
What we learned was our problem was not our income or our expenses. It was our relationship with money; it was our money mindset.
In our search to get our finances in order, we found Dave Ramsey; a personal finance guru who has been around since the 90s. He made a comment that resonated with us: “Personal finance is 80% behavior and only 20% head knowledge.”
These simple words made us see that we didn’t need more money – – – we just needed an attitude adjustment! The realization that we have what we need to make the financial future that we desire was a big awe-ha moment for us.
From that moment forward, our primary focus with money is on upholding a positive attitude when it comes to our finances. The ripple effect that this attitude adjustment has made in our life is infinite.
To help you sculpt the financial life you want, we will cover the following in this post:
- What does a money mindset mean?
- Attributes of positive and negative money mindset
- Questions to ask yourself about money to help you improve your money mindset
What does a money mindset mean?
Before we get too far into the plan to change your finances forever, you need to understand the real importance of your money mindset and the role it plays in your life.
Your money mindset is the intense emotion that drives you to do what you do when it comes to your personal finances.
It is the driving force behind every purchase you make and every dollar you spend. It is your internal decision maker that allows you to reach or holds you back from achieving your financial goals.
Attributes of positive and negative money mindset
If you are anything like us, you may find yourself living “paycheck to paycheck” and wondering how you got there. That is the self-reflection that we were forced to go through when we decided to start our journey to build our financial freedom.
It was the realization that we were living from a mindset of financial scarcity. Our relationship with money was formed in the early years of our marriage. The years in our marriage when we were young and broke.
No matter how much money we earned, we made sure that we continued to live our “paycheck to paycheck” lifestyle.
Our inability to move past a point in our lives in which we struggled, created a negative relationship with money that’s focused on scarcity.
The negative money mindset: scarcity
Your money mindset is your emotional compass. It is the key to you taking action, setting and prioritizing goals, and having the courage to push forward.
With a scarcity way of thinking, action ceases and…
- Fear sets in
- Complacency takes hold
- Wealth is not attainable
Tony Robbins has a powerful way of thinking: “Where focus goes, energy flows.” That simple statement encapsulates the concept of mindset.
Negative thoughts have negative outcomes.
The positive money mindset: abundance
The opposing force to scarcity is abundance. When we adopted the mindset of abundance through gratitude, we were able to accomplish the impossible.
We were able to pay off that $50,000 worth of debt in only six months. The impossible: We were able to accomplish this massive debt payoff with an annual takehome pay of $80,000.
The simple act of being grateful for everything that life has offered us changed our mindset and pushed us forward.
This shift provided:
- Opportunities that we did not think were possible
- Clarity and unity with our financial decisions
- Inspiration to take the process of debt pay off to the next level – financial independence
Questions to ask yourself about money to help you improve your money mindset
But with the right script, everything can and will change.
The place you must start is with you. You must ask yourself some serious questions in order to heal.
The questions are simple, but the answers are powerful. You just need to open your mind and “put your brain to work.”
By creating a money mindset journal, you will begin to change your focus and start taking action.
This process is broken down into six easy categories to address your time and your money.
This money mindset exercise is designed to make you think so may create an ongoing bullet list every day, week, or month to capture your priorities and focus.
When you focus on the positive, positive things naturally come your way!
Love: Am I investing my time and money into those things I love the most?
When you have been neglectful of your finances, knowing what investments you make have the biggest returns on your happiness can be blurry. For me, I love the smell of a brand new car.
When we started our journey to build financial freedom, I had to decide what I love more. New car smell or having all of our debt paid off. Once I decided it was one or the other, my focused shifted. My love shifted towards gratitude.
This shift in being grateful for all life has afforded us, shifted my thought process of going without to appreciating all the things we have.
Take a moment to jot down the investments you make, either with your time or with your money, which brings you the most joy; those things you love. Keep track our these items in your journal. As time changes, these items will change too.
By writing these items down, you will be ever present in your finances as you progressively work toward building wealth by appreciating all those things you love the most.
Matters: Am I spending my time and my money on what really matters to me?
Are my actions taking me to the place I want to be by seeking out opportunities which meet my goals for your future?
These questions help you to make sure you are focusing your life on those things that matter most. The things which give you purpose.
Perhaps you have silently dreamt about traveling abroad, retiring early, live debt free, or paying for a dream wedding for your child. Identify those things that matter to you the most and write them out.
By writing out your dreams you are forced to ask yourself: am I putting in the required effort to make what matters the most into reality?
If the answer is no, you must “put your brain to work” and start identifying what will empower you to make your dreams a reality.
Focus on those things that truly matter and you will naturally determine the best path that will lead you to success. All you have to do is commit to yourself and then you will make it happen.
If you always put a limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. Bruce Lee
Waste: What do I waste money on?
Before we started our journey to get our finances in order, Rob and I realized how bloated our spending had become. We paid for things just because “we could.”
From subscriptions to bloated data plans and overpriced insurance we wasted so much money because “we could.” We had become so complacent in managing our finances that we became trapped. Our monthly financial commitments left us without choice.
We found ourselves in this situation because we were so accustomed to living “paycheck to paycheck” when we were younger, as our careers and income grew, our payments grew at the same proportion.
We were sabotaging our financial advancement and did not even realize it.
So take a moment and think about your areas of waste.
Now that you have identified your weaknesses, you can start putting that money toward the things you love, that really matter, as you expand your knowledge and celebrate life with those you love the most.
Learning: Do I invest in increasing my knowledge?
Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers, you cannot be successful or happy. – Norman Vincent Peale
Self-doubt impacts our belief in ourselves and ultimately determines our limits. It establishes a ceiling for the amount of money that we can earn, it prevents us from investing in our future, and it tells us that having debt is normal.
It is the little voice in your head that holds you back. The question that you must ask yourself is: what are you doing to change that? Are you investing in yourself to increase your knowledge so that you can earn more?
If not, do. You are the only one that can change your future. The thing that you must understand is that everyone has the voice of self-doubt tapping in their brain. You just need to teach yourself to step back and take charge.
Teach yourself! Knowledge is in your pocket – – – it’s called the internet!
Take Charge: Definition of Happiness: Defining Your Happiest You
Celebrating: How do I fit fun into my budget?
I spent years thinking that budgeting aligned with torture and not fun. The idea of tracking my spending felt like the most confining and restricting task imaginable.
Then we were forced to make a change. The time had come in which our willy nilly lifestyle was catching up with us and if we did not start getting our finances in order, our future would entail working into our 70s.
We were not overnight successes when it came to working a budget. We had numerous missteps. The thing that we learned through the process was the importance of fun.
For us, we had to overcome the idea that our budget was a punishment for our irresponsible spending and come to the realization that fun was more a part of our life when we worked with purpose.
When we told our money what to do rather than wondering where it went, we realized that managing our money is not a punishment and we make sure that fun is included in our budget.
Attract What You Want the Most: Manifesting Money & The Law of Attraction [SOUNDS CRAZY!]
Family: Do I make sure that I share my life with those I love the most?
Abundance is present when we spend it with those we love the most. This can be a biological family or the family that you create with those you allow into your inner circle.
Your success in keeping a positive outlook and building wealth hinges on you surrounding yourself with those that care about you and want to see you succeed.
Share your life openly with those you love by sharing your dreams.