oney can be a source of stress or joy, depending on how you view it. For some people, the very thought of money sends their nerves into overdrive. What if something goes wrong? Will I have enough? Am I spending too much? These questions keep running through their minds and keep them up at night. With so many unknowns in life, it’s understandable to have these concerns. But we don’t always realize that our outlook on money directly impacts how much stress we feel about it. The way you think about money has a lot to do with how much pressure you experience around it—and the good news is that there are plenty of ways to change your mindset for the better. Here are some simple ways to develop a strong money mindset:
Building a Wealth Mindset: The Ultimate Guide
Identify your triggers and learn from them.
If you’re unsure what triggers your money anxiety, the first step is to identify them. What are the situations that make you feel anxious? The people you talk to? The thought of paying money? Your thoughts and emotions are a normal part of being human, but if they’re hindering your ability to live your best life and succeed with your finances, it’s time to do something about it. For example, if you constantly worry about money, ask yourself what the root of that anxiety is. Is it because you have student loan debt and can’t see a way out from it? Are you concerned about your retirement savings? Are you spending too much money? Do you feel like you don’t earn enough? There’s a good chance your anxiety combines all these things, but you need to figure out what’s at the root of your feelings to move forward and feel better about money. Once you’ve identified the triggers that bring on your anxieties, you can work on changing your thoughts and eliminating negative emotions. It might take some time and practice, but you can do it.
Absolve Yourself of Financial Mistakes.
We’ve all made mistakes when it comes to money—no one is perfect. The mistake part is that you dwell on this, letting it stress you out even more. Instead of beating yourself up over past mistakes, try to understand what caused you to make those mistakes in the first place. Then, set a plan to move forward in a way that avoids those same pitfalls. Maybe you spent too much on a car loan or didn’t budget for unexpected expenses. Whatever the mistake was, try to understand what caused it and apply that knowledge when making future decisions. You can’t change the past, but you can change your outlook by letting it go and moving forward with a positive money mindset.
Track your spending and saving habits.
There’s no better way to get a true sense of how you use your money and where it goes than to keep track of it. There are tons of apps out there that can help you do this; one of the most popular is Mint. Keep a record of everything you spend and save. That way, you’ll be able to see where your money goes and how you can better manage it. For example, if you’re spending too much on eating out, consider tracking your eating habits and trying to meal prep at home more often. If you notice that you save a ton each month, you can start looking at ways to invest your money.
Recognize the things you can control.
We all have things that we can’t control—things that we can’t change. It’s essential to recognize the difference between what we can control and what we can’t. For example, you might be unable to control how much interest your student loan debt accrues each month because you took out a private loan. However, you can manage your choice to pay off your student loans as quickly as possible by making extra payments each month. If you’re worried about something you can’t control, try shifting your focus to something you can handle. This will help you feel more empowered and manage your finances instead of letting your worries get the best.
Commit to constant self-improvement.
Continuous self-improvement is a habit that anyone looking to take their finances to the next level should have in their toolkit. It’s essential to be learning and seeking new knowledge about money constantly. When you’re continuously learning about money, you’ll find yourself progressing much faster than if you sit back and do nothing. You can learn about new money habits that will help you progress in your finances or ways to improve your current practices. For example, you can find new ways to save money or new investment opportunities to help you grow your money. In addition, you should be reading blogs, books, and articles that apply to your current financial situation.
Set smart money goals.
Many people with a money mindset also set financial goals for themselves. Goals help us focus on what we want out of life and keep us on track to getting there. However, now is the time to start if you don’t have money goals.
Set financial objectives.
You know how to reach the end goal and what activities you need to complete along the journey. For example, if you’re trying to pay off your credit card debt, you have a financial objective to reach that goal within a specific time frame. If you have a financial plan in mind and a set time frame to achieve it, you’ll be less likely to get discouraged when obstacles arise. This will also give you something to look forward to, which is always good! Your financial objectives keep you focused and on track when times get tough. If you’re not sure where to start setting financial goals, you can use some of the following examples as a guide:
Save for retirement: It might seem like a long way off, but we all must consider our financial future. The best way to plan for retirement is to start saving as early as possible.
Pay down debt: It has become increasingly common for people to have credit card debt, student loans, or car payments. While borrowing money is okay, you want to prioritize paying off your debt as soon as possible.
Save for a house: Buying a home is a big financial goal for many people. You will want to ensure you have saved up for a down payment, have good credit, and can afford the monthly payments.
Make the Most of Your Money For Happiness.
We all want to be happy with our lives, but how can you achieve this if you’re constantly worried about finances? You may feel stressed and overwhelmed if you have high-interest debt. The only way to improve this scenario is to pay off the debt. But how do you do that? How do you make the most of your money—even if you are obligated to pay it off? The first step is to set up a budget and track your expenses. This will help you see exactly where your money is going and if there are any areas where you could cut back without negatively impacting your daily life. Once you’ve done this, you can start paying down your debt. Here are a few tips on how to make the most of your money when you’re paying off debt:
Make the minimum monthly payment on all your debts. This is the most important tip when it comes to paying off debt. If you only make the minimum payment on your debt and nothing more, you’ll be paying it off for years.
Make extra payments on your highest interest debt. If you can afford it, make an additional payment on your highest interest debt. The quicker you pay off your debt, the less you’ll pay in interest.
Find ways to cut back on your expenses. The less you spend, the more money you’ll have to put towards your debt.
Educate yourself on finances.
As mentioned earlier, you don’t need to be an expert on finances to have a positive money mindset. The difference between an expert and an amateur is in detail. By taking the time to understand what makes up a strong money mindset, you can begin to implement the proper habits to make the most out of your money. Here are a few things you can do to educate yourself on finances:
Read financial books: Reading books is one of the most effective ways to learn. Not only will you be educating yourself on money management, but you’ll also be able to apply what you’ve learned when managing your finances. A few recommended books are The Intelligent Investor, The Richest Man in Babylon, and The Millionaire Next Door.
Attend a financial workshop: If you’re a hands-on person, attending a financial seminar might be a better fit. These events typically focus on a particular money topic, such as investing or budgeting.
Use a financial app: If you’re looking for a more digital way to educate yourself on finances, there are tons of great financial apps available. Mint is one of the most popular financial apps available. It allows you to track your spending, set financial goals, and find ways to save money.
Recognize your financial strengths and weaknesses.
Before you can start working to improve your finances and boost your money mindset, you must first evaluate your current financial situation. Sounds obvious, right? But many people don’t take the time to sit down and figure out where they stand financially. If you don’t know where you’re, how will you know how far you’ve come? How will you know what to improve on? Of course, you won’t, so taking the time to do a financial check-in is essential. Once you know your financial strengths and weaknesses, you can start working to improve on your weaknesses and put your muscles to work for you. For example, your shortcomings are apparent if you have a ton of credit card debt and no emergency savings. However, your strengths could be that you make a good amount of money each month and have good job security. Knowing that you have these strengths can help you work toward paying off your debt and building up your emergency savings.
Know what’s important to you.
If you have no idea what you value, it will be almost impossible to focus on anything. This is because you won’t know what truly matters and what you want to focus on. For example, if you have a huge student loan debt hanging over your head and your dream of starting a business is somewhere down the line, you’ll likely feel anxious about how you’ll pay off the student loan debt. On the other hand, if you have your finances down pat and don’t have a lot of debt to worry about, you can think about the long-term payoff of starting a business and feel excited about it instead of bogged down with anxiety. Just because you’ve always done something a certain way or have a certain amount of debt doesn’t mean you have to continue on that path forever. As you embark on this journey to become better with money, you’ll be able to make a plan and know where your money is going. This will control your finances and help you prioritize what’s important in life.
Don’t sweat the small stuff.
We all have our money personas, which are generally based on our past experiences with money. If something happened in your past that you’re still holding onto, you might be letting it affect your money mindset. For example, if you got a meager salary in your first job out of college, you’re probably still holding onto that and letting it affect your current feelings about your salary. On the other hand, if you grew up in a very frugal household and you’re now living on your own and trying to adjust to adulting, you might be letting your past experiences with money cause you stress. You might be super frugal and concerned with saving everything, or you might feel like you need to spend everything you make because you want to show your independence.
Final Thoughts on How to Develop a Money Mindset?
As you can see, many ways to develop a stronger money mindset exist. You don’t have to be an expert to have a positive attitude towards money. All you need to do is put yourself in a mindset of gratitude and appreciation by focusing on what you already have. Once you adopt this positive money mindset and make it a part of your daily routine, you’ll notice a significant change in your financial well-being. With a strong money mindset, you’ll be less likely to stress out over money and more likely to make intelligent financial decisions. So what are you waiting for? Get started building a stronger money mindset today.
Do you want to learn more about “How to Develop a Money Mindset?” Check out Building a Wealth Mindset: The Ultimate Guide.
Also, check out the Best Books on Personal Finance.
James is the editor-in-chief at wealthmindsetschool.com. James is a workaholic and an entrepreneur who has been in the tech industry for over ten years. He has worked with Microsoft, owns multiple websites, and now owns a mattress shop. Furthermore, when he has time left over, he will be in his woodworking shop building furniture as a side hustle. James has a B.S. in Business Management Information Systems and a Master’s in Business Administration from Liberty University. He is currently pursuing a Master’s in Executive Leadership, and once he completes that, he will pursue his Ph.D. in Business Administration – Entrepreneurship. James also seeks investment opportunities, putting his money to work instead of himself. James is an active believer that wealth begins with developing a wealth mindset. He now teaches, instructs, and helps others achieve that goal.