How to Improve Your Money Mindset

Posted in Investment By Sajhyadri Chattopadhyay - Feb 7,2023
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Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.  
– Ayn Rand 

Money and the Mind

As you mull over this time-tested quote, also think about your financial goals. Is it just what you earn? Some of our most rigorous beliefs originate from money. How we perceive money and what we hold as our financial guiding principle shapes our wealth and our overall way of life. Every decision we make each day has the power to propel us financially ahead as well as behind, depending on the ideology known as the money mindset.  

Yes, it is difficult to challenge the views and opinions that have become part and parcel of our ideology. However, doing so will significantly strengthen our financial future. To start with, counter every money-minded question you know. How do you approach the idea of money to boost your knowledge? Is your financial identity that of a saver or a spender? How do you perceive financial success? These answers reflect what your money mindset looks like.  

Mind the Gap 

Your money mindset determines how you handle money, your spending and saving tendencies, and what drives you to manage your finances. It is a sum of beliefs we all possess, which we have gathered from childhood. Depending on our money mindset, our financial decisions turn out to be positive or negative. It is important that you develop a money mindset early in life so that you can begin to improve it early on.  

Why wait for financial maturity to find you one fine day? Unlike your morning alarm, don’t hit snooze on this wake-up call! Start taking your money seriously from today instead of waiting for the financial mindset to kick in. Once you do, you’ll start looking at your money with a smile and start saying,  

  • “I am free to spend but I know when to say no to a purchase.”  
  • “I like to be generous and help those who are struggling.”  
  • “I don’t need to compare myself with other people.”  
  • “I can definitely achieve all my financial goals.”  

Nature vs Nurture 

Over the years, a wide variety of factors have influenced our money mindset. A child’s behaviour, attitude, beliefs, and motivations are shaped by their inherent mental mapping, i.e., their nature, as well as what he learns from his environment and other experiences, as in how he is nurtured.  Similarly, our financial outlook develops from two dimensions. One is influenced by our prevailing wider beliefs and ideology, forming the psychology of money. Every person’s dreams, passions, and fears are different. Similarly, we all have different beliefs and emotions about money.  

Tapping into our psychology of money helps us become more aware of these and understand what drives our financial goals. The other dimension of our financial outlook comes from our experiences with money while growing up, how we saw money being talked about or handled. Think back to some memory of how your parents talked about money, what kind of financial calls were made. All these shaped the clay of your monetary thoughts into the vessel it is today. Refresh your inner and outer perspectives about money to redefine your mindset to gain financial freedom!  

The Red Flags of Tackling Your Money

When you find your financial beliefs clashing with your resources, leading to drastic unintended changes in your savings and investments, it is time to become alert about your financial practices. This shows a negative money mindset, involving guilt or stress constantly tapping at the back of your head.  

Another red flag of such a mindset is thinking that all your problems can be solved simply by earning more money. Yes, a heavier wallet can help you toward your financial goals. Yet, it is not the one-stop solution towards your money management problems.  

Here are some traits that can tell you to rethink your financial thought process –  

  • You see a friend make an expensive purchase and it makes you want to ramp up your spending as well. This shows that you are unsure of your financial habits and you perpetually compare your lifestyle to the lifestyle of your peers. This leads to increased expenses, stopping you from saving or investing more.  
  • You do not save for the long run. Be it a future home or a retirement fund; you fail to see more than two steps ahead of your finances. This could be due to not hearing enough about saving or future plans while growing up.  
  • You keep procrastinating about your immediate financial liabilities, like paying EMIs, rent, utility bills etc. Usually, this is because the thought of parting with your money causes undue stress.  

Improvise, Adapt, Overcome

You can indeed apply this mantra to your money mindset. A solid financial outlook means rising above your primary wealth. Your income level and your financial freedom are two different ball games. The latter can only stem from a more positive money mindset. Here’s how you can forge one –  

  • Be more confident about your financial decisions. Don’t throw in the towel just because your finances lack strength; it is always possible to grow. Whether you plan to sit down, go over your monetary standing form a budget, or decide to splurge on a certain event or holiday, say goodbye to second thoughts!
  • Adjust your finances to tackle money-induced stress and anxiety better. Money is a sensitive topic for us all, rooted in our deeper beliefs. Hence, you might feel excited on paydays and stressed about paying bills. To avoid this, plan ahead about your finances, how much you have coming into your account, how much you have to pay off before luxury expenses, etc.
  • Don’t let others define your money mentality. Our definition of financial success comes from our peers, colleagues, and mainstream culture. Hence, we take up our money-managing practices from others. But just because a theory benefits your friend doesn’t mean that it will also work wonders for you. Understand your financial standing, find solutions unique to it, and try to improve your money mindset accordingly.  

Minding Your Money 

Your money mindset is made up of beliefs and attitudes that etch out your relationship with your finances and drives your spending and saving habits. Most of us start off well, but then we pick up unhealthy financial habits along the way. It’s vital to recognize the difference and weed out the ills to attain mastery over your money.  

Want to stick with the good habits of money management? Dig into your mind and habits, uncover the origins of your money mindset, and learn how to make a lasting change about it using these tips. Once you achieve a positive money mindset and become the person who says, “Yes I can win!,” you will attain that elusive financial freedom! 

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