You’re beginning to suspect that you might have a poor money mindset and you’d like to change that. But first, you have to get to the root of your money mindset. Until you understand why you think the way that you do, you can’t change it. Here are four common reasons you might be struggling with a poor money mindset:
Your parents had poor money mindsets.
For better or worse, families impact our relationships with money. If you grew up in a home where money was scarce, your attitude toward money may reflect that. You might constantly worry about money and stress over everyday spendings, like buying groceries. You always look for the cheapest option (even if it isn’t the best value) and you focus on how everyone is trying to take money from you (the government, the big corporations, the health care system, etc).
There’s nothing wrong with being frugal and wisely considering your budget. But there is a problem when you adopt a poverty mentality. You can struggle with a poverty mentality even if you’re in a great job and make plenty of money. This is because your attitude toward money is steeped in the belief that there’s only so much to go around. As a result, you hold onto your money tightly.
You’re bitter about your financial hardship.
Sometimes, people experience financial hardship because someone else made poor choices. For example, if your spouse walked out on you and your kids, you may struggle to pay the bills on a single-parent income. Maybe a relative borrowed your savings or fraudulently used your credit cards.
No matter what your struggle is, you didn’t cause it. It’s understandable to be angry in situations like these. You were wronged and you deserve justice. But if you become bitter over the injustice, it clouds your thinking.
You begin to tell yourself that you’re a financial victim and that things will always be this. But your situation can’t improve until you’re open to improvement. As long as you think of yourself as the victim, you’ll have a hard time developing a healthy money mindset.
Your friends have poor money mindsets.
You and your friends get together and eventually, the topic of money comes up. You and your friends complain about the cost of gas, the mortgage, and groceries. Then the conversation turns to all of the things you can’t do – afford that fancy vacation, send your kids to that private school, buy a big house, etc.
Before you know it, the conversation is over and you’re left feeling horrible. The reason you feel bad is that you spent the past hour focused on everything you don’t have and can’t afford. That’s because a poor money mindset is contagious. The people you surround yourself with can help you achieve all of your financial goals or they can hinder you.
You lack self-confidence.
Sometimes, a poor money mindset can be traced back to a lack of self-confidence. Maybe you had a teacher that told you were stupid when you were young. Maybe you don’t understand what certain financial terms mean. Rather than tackling these issues, you try to avoid money altogether, so you worry that you’re spending it wrong. You don’t think you have the intelligence to set up a budget or save for retirement.
If you suspect your lack of self-confidence is affecting your money management, then you need to reach out to someone else. Don’t be afraid to buy a book on budgeting or taking an online course about retirement funds.
It’s time to take control of your money and develop a healthy money mindset. You can start this process by discovering what’s holding you back and actively working to let go of your toxic money beliefs.