How to Change Your Money Mindset For Good

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    I have spent most of my adult life trying to pay off debt, only to accrue more in a vicious cycle. Around and around we went. While we’ve paid off big chunks here and there, we somehow always ended up with more debt in another form. A new-to-us car, another birth, a new move.

    We stayed on the debt merry-go-round for a lot of reasons. Often people say, oh, it’s normal to have debt, everyone does! I remember cringing when my husband said that to me once. I knew that statement wasn’t one I wanted to carry around with me as an excuse for overspending.

    We’ve had a lot of excuses and reasons for why we’ve stayed in debt and couldn’t make our money work for us, but the biggest one? I always felt like credit card debt was my financial destiny and was a key piece of my money story.

    Luckily, we’re finally shaking those false money myths and are finally building wealth once and for all.

    How We Changed our Money Mindset

    woman thinkingWhat’s finally changed for us? Is it that we’re finally making enough money? Nope, definitely not. Is it that I’ve found the perfect budget? (Well, that part’s true but it’s not the answer!)

    We’ve finally made the choice to take the reins and lead the charge in changing our money story. It’s about owning up to your situation, no matter how dire, and questioning your financial beliefs. Then, having the courage to change those beliefs that are causing money blocks that stop you from having financial security.

    How do you finally break those old thoughts and patterns? The good news is it’s a matter of changing your environment, and changing the money story you tell yourself. Without getting rid of those negative thoughts and beliefs, no budget or second job is going to save you from finding yourself in debt again and again.

    These are the top big money mindset tips that I’ve found to help reset your thinking and rewrite your money story:

    Figuring Out Your Money Mindset Beliefs

    Without truly “hearing” what you really believe when it comes to money, you won’t ever know what you need to change.

    My favorite money mindset exercise is to take 15 minutes to write down the common thoughts and ideas you have about money. You’ll quickly see some money myths you didn’t realize you had. And then you’ll probably question where they came from, and why the heck you believe them!

    Maybe you think you can’t make much money to support your family. Or that money is the root of all evil or that only rich people can handle money correctly. Or that you’ll never get ahead. Or maybe you think that it’s never your fault and you’re secretly hoping someone will come along to save you or you’ll win the lottery.

    What is a Negative Money Mindset?

    A negative money mindset, by definition, is one in which you struggle with feeling like you’re stuck, unable to get out of your current situation, or to make small changes. There are many different types of money mindset, so you have to figure out which beliefs apply to you personally.

    No matter what you believe in your financial life, you need to know where you’re going astray so that you can correct it once and for all.

    (Please note – there are TONS of other factors that feed into a person’s financial status, such as socioeconomic issues, family history, race, gender, and more. Working on your mindset is great – and helpful – however, it’s not a magic band-aid that will suddenly fix years of economical struggles if the cards have been stacked against you. I realize that I come from a place of privilege when I talk about having the right money mindset, and while it can help anyone, I acknowledge that many, many people have a bigger hurdle to jump than others.)

    How to Fix Your Money Mindset

    1. Surround yourself with like-minded people who want financial success too.

    The first step to growing an abundance mindset is to surround yourself with people that understand your path. One of the best financial choices I’ve made was to join several budgeting Facebook groups. I see financial questions and discussions in my feed constantly, so I’m always reminded of what I’m working towards and where I want to be.

    These types of groups are an easy way to increase my money mindset by having a constantly reminder of my financial goals. These groups help me find like-minded people who are working towards the same goals and help keep me on track.

    Whether it’s a Facebook group, a church group that meets every Wednesday, finding a money mindset coach, or just talking personal finances with friends, it’s important to have like-minded folks to talk to. Not only are you more likely to succeed with additional support, you can also bounce ideas off each other and hold each other accountable.

    2. Start a new narrative with a favorite personal finance guru.

    Not everyone can afford their own personal money mindset coach, but there are still tons of great personal finance teachers out there – from Dave Ramsey to Suze Orman to Gail Vaz Oxlade and everyone in between.

    Find one that inspires you and gives you someone to look up to. I suggest starting with the mainstream authors and then reading more specific authors after you figure out which financial paths you need the most help with.

    Every personal finance guru has their own perspective and take on finances. Find one that matches you new money story and supports you in your endeavors. If you aren’t sure where to start, here’s a great list of 9 personal finance books that will change your life.

    Personal Finance Books on Positive Money Mindsets

    Some great money mindset books and manuals that I’ve either read or have been recommended to me are:

    One of my favorite money mindset quotes is from Jen Sincero:

    “Believe that you are worthy of financial freedom. Do something you love and then all you ever have to do is be yourself to succeed. If you sell something you love, then you just sell love, not a specific product or service, and that will show.”
    — Jen Sincero, Author of You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth

    3. Do one little thing every day that supports your new goals.

    Do something that supports your new goals every day to reinforce them and help you stay on task. It can be anything:

    By incorporating new financial actions into your life every day, your goals will continue to be top-of-mind and easier to achieve.

    4. Practice gratitude.

    I used to constantly find myself complaining about fees, bills, student loans, and how we were stuck financially. The truth is – we are pretty damn lucky. We have a roof, four walls, and food; we can afford our healthcare, clothes and entertainment. While some months might be tight, we’re still better off than a huge majority of people. Once I realized just how untrue those thoughts were, I was able to change my money mindset and practice being more grateful.

    Practice gratitude every day by finding 5 minutes to think about what you’re grateful for. Maybe it’s one good thing a day; maybe it’s ten. Learn to appreciate what you have. Finding a more positive money mindset will empower yourself to start changing your money situation and open up your financial decisions.

    5. Actively work to change your perspective.

    There’s a lot of ways to work on changing your perspective when it comes to having a healthy money mindset. Once you’re able to recognize flawed thinking, you can use any of these ideas to give your internal money story a more positive spin.

    • Practice mantras to change your outlook.
    • Journal about one positive mindset change or any small steps you’ve made in your life today.
    • Listen to how you speak about your financial situations to others and adjust it.
    • Write down your internal thoughts about money management and question them.
    • Celebrate financial wins, no matter how small or big!

    6. Make the choice to stop being a victim and find a positive way to feel more in control of your life.

    I was so very, very guilty of this one. It’s so very easy to blame your situation on literally anyone else. If you can’t own your situation – no matter how you got there – you can’t fix it. It took a lot to woman up and admit that I’m responsible for my life, no matter what.

    Have you ever heard the idea that people treat you how you let them treat you? It’s true. No matter how much I used to hate hearing that, it’s true with money as well. No one causes you to lose or spend money – you are the only one in charge of your actions. Plain and simple.

    I only say this with the best of intentions, and I’m dishing up some tough love. You ready? Stop playing the victim. There, I said it. Trust me, I know how easy it is to continue to blame others for when stuff goes wrong, and never own it. Even if it really is not your fault – so what? Hitch up those big girl panties and get to gettin’. No one cares about your money or situation as much as you do, so no one’s going to fix it for you.

    Putting it all together

    Since I’ve worked on changing my money mindset, I’ve learned to stop and question impulse buying by thinking about a better choice. I went from feeling like thinking and talking about money was shameful and greedy, to embracing the need to learn about how to take care of our family financially.

    Changing your money mindset and story is hard and takes time – just like anything else that’s worthwhile, right? If you’re truly serious about changing your financial situation, you must face the root of your financial problems. You can budget all you want, and make all the extra money you can. But, without changing the actions and beliefs that got you here, you’ll just end up in debt again and again.

    Fixing your mindset isn’t the only way that you can achieve financial freedom. Check out 12 simple ways to save money on a tight budget. Or, learn more about the best side hustle for women to start earning more.

    Have you ever thought about your money mindset and where your money beliefs have come from? Did you figure out how to change your money mindset, or were you ok with the narrative? Share in the comments below and let me know!

    Text that reads welcome to Debt Free Forties

    A forty-ish web designer/developer by day, a budget & financial fanatic by night. I’m a mom, wife, avid reader, and DIY enthusiast who’s tracking our journey to debt freedom. Read More

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    11 Comments

    1. Melissa on September 27, 2017 at 11:24 am

      My husband and I went through Dave Ramsey’s financial peace university. Our only debt is our mortgage and be pay extra on the principle to pay that off faster, too. We only have one credit card that is paid off every month. It is freeing to know we don’t have massive debt over our heads. But it is a mindset because it can become easy to try to “keep up with the Joneses” and look at what others have! Thank you for the post and the great tips!

      • Tana on September 27, 2017 at 1:56 pm

        Melissa, congrats on paying off your debt and keeping it paid off – that’s awesome! I can’t wait to be in the same boat soon! I agree that it’s so easy to get wrapped up in trying to keep up and looking at what others have. That used to be a pretty big stumbling block for us, but we’ve really worked hard to get past it.

    2. Julie- Logger's Wife on September 27, 2017 at 3:31 pm

      We’re currently taking Financial Peace University. There is one other couple there with a very, very similar story to us. It is definitely nice to be with someone like-minded and trying to dig out of a similar situation.

      • Tana on September 27, 2017 at 5:01 pm

        Julie, FPU has lots of great info, you’re going to get a lot out of it! So glad you found some folks in the same space, it’s amazing how much that helps with accountability. Great work!

    3. Arune on September 30, 2017 at 6:28 pm

      Money is always such a hard subject.
      I wanted to let you know that I nominated you as one of the nominees for the Liebster Award – if you choose to accept, you can find my Q&A to you here: https://www.morethanaplate.com/10-random-things-may-not-know-2017-liebster-award-nominee/

      • Tana on October 7, 2017 at 1:00 am

        Thanks so much Arune! I appreciate the nomination, and I will let you know once I’ve posted my article. Thank you!

    4. Tiffany Bailey on December 22, 2017 at 8:27 pm

      Wow this is really interesting and I definitely need to sit down and think about my relationship with spending! Being a style blogger does not help my shopping habits either!

    5. Rachel on December 22, 2017 at 9:37 pm

      Brilliant tips and ideas, thank you!

    6. Alyx Kjorven on December 23, 2017 at 10:03 pm

      great idea to write down what you think about money. never thought of it that way before. it’s always good to set goals too, something that i should really crack down on doing.

    7. Kim B Smith on December 24, 2017 at 12:32 pm

      I am really enjoying your blogs, Tana! You really make all this financial stuff easy. TY!

    8. Bri on December 26, 2017 at 11:22 pm

      I feel like the older generation were taught how to be consumers and spend, spend, spend, rack up debt, use the credit card, get a good credit score. The good ole American dream is to be in debt up to your eyeballs. This was then passed down to my generation, and my husband and I were in debt for a loooong time until we got tired of it. Now we’ve paid off everything but our mortgage and refuse to buy things we can’t pay for outright. We also teach those same principles to my daughter and teach her to save.

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