7 Ways to Build a Positive Financial Mindset
Does the word “budget” send shivers down your spine? Do you check your bank account holding your breath with sweat beading your forehead? Does your heart sink each time a bill shows up in the mail? If you find your finances are wreaking havoc on your anxiety, you probably have a negative money mindset. You more than likely look at money (or the lack of money) as an obstacle in the way of getting what you want out of life.
But that mindset couldn’t be further from the truth. Money is actually an incredible tool that not only catapults you into the life you dream of, but also enables you to help others as well. Having an optimistic view of your household’s cash flow is essential for building stronger finances in the future. Here are a few tips for creating a healthy, positive outlook about your finances.
Stop comparing. Keeping up with the Joneses simply doesn’t jive well with a positive financial mindset. While your friends might be jet-setting off to remote islands, you feel discouraged stuck at home, faithfully squirreling away paycheck after paycheck. You’ll get nowhere comparing apples to oranges, as each person’s financial status is completely different from the next. Focusing on your own finances ensures a more positive mindset.
Spend time with your money. For most of us, wealth doesn’t just fall into our laps. We have to spend time cultivating and building wealth. When you begin paying close attention to your cash flow, monitoring where every dollar goes, you’ll have a much greater appreciation for the power that comes along with financial stability.
Set gentle boundaries. Your money shouldn’t control you, and neither should your budget. When a strict budget constantly holds you back from something you would really enjoy having or doing, you’ll feel trapped and a negative mindset will start to grow. Give yourself a little wiggle room. Consider refiguring your budget to include a monthly allotment that goes towards wants instead of needs only. That way, every time you balance your budget, you’ll have something to look forward to.
Money isn’t always the answer. This is one of the hardest money lessons to learn because we are taught from a young age that money is the solution to everything. But it really isn’t. You can build a positive financial mindset by focusing on the things in your life that cost absolutely nothing: family, friends, being outside, making memories, walking to the park, meditating, and the list goes on.
Take responsibility. Having a positive financial mindset isn’t necessarily just about remaining optimistic about your money. It’s about having a healthy attitude toward it. Sometimes that means admitting to and taking responsibility for financial mistakes. If you’ve found yourself making them, it’s time to hold yourself accountable. It might mean cutting back on your dining out budget for the month or nixing all shopping trips until the mistake has been remedied and paid off.
Get on autopilot. Once you’ve nailed down your budget, the next thing you should do is get everything automated. From bills to your mortgage or rent, automatic monthly payments are the way to go to keep your mindset positive and avoid tedious hours spent hunched over a checkbook, which can be dismal. But be warned: this does not mean you should avoid spending time with your finances. It simply means you will have more time to spend with your bank accounts in a positive way—strengthening your budget, finding holes in your spending, etc.
Prepay yourself. Sometimes saving is no fun. But when you change the way you think about saving, you’ll find it’s easier and more enjoyable to do. Ultimately, by saving your money for another day, such as retirement, you are making a payment to your future self. Know that your future self will be much happier and enjoy a better way of life if your current self is able to diligently set money aside.
Do you have any other tips for creating a healthy, positive outlook on money? We’d love to hear your recommendations!