There’s a lot of talk these days about “money mindsets”. Every finance blog, magazine, online article and podcast seems to discuss how we need to change and shift our money mindsets so we can visualize what we want so we can get there quicker. And look, I’m all for that! Personally, as a career and life coach (and generally creative human being), I LOVE a good vision board to bring to life my short and long term goals – it really does help me stay inspired, especially to stay on track with my money goals.
However, on it’s own, these visualization techniques won’t “magically” change your money mindset. They only work when you are ready to understand and dive deeper into your personal origins of your money behaviours, and for some people, this is emotionally challenging, because money is still seen as a “taboo” subject.
I recently listened to the ABC’s Pineapple Project Podcast and the host, Claire Hooper, started an episode talking to people on the street about their sex life. People she had never met before, were opening up to her about the intimate details of their sex life for the benefit of her podcast. Then, she asked them how much they earned. <INSERT TUMBLEWEED>.
The same people who were just talking about the people they hooked up with or some of their kinky habits, couldn’t (and wouldn’t) tell her what their annual salary was. It just goes to show that no matter how liberal and “free” we think we are, some of us still have emotional hang ups about money.
Money mindsets: the origin
Think back to when you were a kid…
- Can you remember your first interaction with money?
- Do you remember how your parents were with money?
- Can you remember how it felt in your house when the topic of money was brought up?
Most people will remember bits and pieces in broken fragments of positive or negative money talk. If you didn’t grow up with money, it’s likely that the topic could have been a trigger for frustration and anxiety, where discussing it (and certainly asking for it) were out of the question, therefore creating a conservative, scarcity based mindset. The idea that money isn’t finite, it’s hard to acquire and when you do, you need to hold onto it for dear life so you can feel a bit safer.
If you did grow up with money (or at least comfortably and not living hand-to-mouth), it’s more likely that you see money in more abundance, there’s more to be made, to be had and to be spent. Your parents didn’t lose sleep over money and didn’t think twice about non-essential purchases. Your family might have been more frivolous and there was always pocket money to be spent (and maybe more if you asked for it). As a consequence, you may be more willing to take financial risks because you can see the higher returns coming in the future and if it doesn’t, maybe it will next time.
Two very different experiences equates to two very different money mindsets. Neither is right or wrong and there are many variances on the above scenarios as everyone’s individual experiences will be relatively unique. But when you start looking back at your money behaviours, you can usually trace back to the source during childhood, as we often unconsciously mimic our parents or guardians behaviours around money.
How does money make you feel?
In a similar scenario to Claire’s vox pop, journal out or notice your emotional response to the following questions:
- What is your annual salary in dollars?
- How much do you have in savings?
- Do you have a conservative or liberal money mindset?
- If I gave you a million dollars tomorrow, what would you spend it on?
Notice the answers to your questions and how you feel about the question and answers. Was it easy or difficult to share? Would you share this information with a partner? A sibling? A colleague? A stranger?
The more you understand where your money mindset comes from and how it makes you feel, the better placed you are to be comfortable in having financial discussions with your loved ones, your financial adviser, but most importantly, yourself.
It’s so easy to think we’re in a different (read: better) financial position than we actually are, because that’s what we want it to be. It doesn’t make it a reality, but when you better understand your thinking, you can shift, change and tweak your mindset, so when you do sit down to visualize your financial goals, you’ll feel darn great about it and it’s much more likely to work as you’ve already dealt with any barriers and resistance that used to pop up. Powerful stuff eh?
So I’ve shifted my money mindset, now what?
Well, firstly, GO YOU! Awesome work! It’s not easy to do, but good on you for doing it because now you’re on your way to really owning your future and feeling financially free! If you’re feeling more empowered and that you better understand your money mindset, it’s time to start creating your path:
- Get on top of your actual financial situation with our free Own Your Future workbook. Sign up and download your free copy today to put your money mindset learnings into action!
- Keep the learning going! Check out some Wealthy Self blog posts such as The Difference Between Personal and Professional Advice, The Strength of Couple’s Financial Communication and What to Expect When Working with a Good Financial Adviser.
- Listen to the My Millennial Money podcast, read some online articles or grab a book on money mindsets and personal finance to keep you informed.
- Keep a journal on your own money mindset to check in with yourself on how your goals, actions and financial situation is making you feel so you can stay positive and motivated to make change!
Book in a free chat with David to discuss what Wealthy Self could do for you!
General Advice Disclaimer
This blog contains general advice only. You need to consider with your financial planner, your investment objectives, financial situation and your particular needs prior to making any strategy or product decision. InterPrac Financial Planning Pty Ltd and its authorised representatives do not accept any liability for any errors or omissions of information supplied in this document except for liability under statute which cannot be excluded.