6 Little Money Mindset Shifts That Pay Off Huge

December 3, 2013

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Anytime you part with money, bless it and say – There’s always more where that came from.

Do you feel rich, secure, and financially abundant? Or do you worry about having enough to make ends meet?

Now, this ain’t about the cha chang cha chang… or the ba bling ba bling. I’m not asking about how MUCH money you make or spend. I want to know how you feel about your current circumstances.

Money can be a source of stress, fear, and limitation. Or it can be a beautiful tool to solve problems, live generously, and change the world.

How you think about money determines the role it plays in your life.

Don’t get me wrong. The numbers in your bank account do matter — but they’re not the whole story. If you’d tried to tell me that in my early 20s while I was working two day jobs, bartending at night, facing tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt and living on my friend’s couch? I’d have rolled my eyes. I was way more concerned with changing the – to a + on my bank statement, not my brain.

Now after two decades of growing my fledgling business into a highly profitable, socially conscious company that helps millions, I can look back and see how changing my beliefs about money changed everything.

True wealth depends on your money mindset.

What Is a Money Mindset?

Your “money mindset” is simply your set of beliefs — usually subconscious — about money. It’s the way you approach earning, saving, spending, and sharing in your life.

Your financial habits — good and bad — are rooted in mindset. Your feelings of security or uncertainty, limitation or resourcefulness, victimhood or generosity are impacted by your beliefs about money.

All of the messages you’ve internalized about money over your lifetime boil down to two basic orientations toward money — scarcity or abundance.

Scarcity vs. Abundance Mindset

Do you live in an abundant, expansive universe? Or do you live in a world of fierce competition for scarce resources? When we talk about money mindset, it really comes down to these two belief systems.

A scarcity mindset looks something like this:

You’re always scrambling to make a few bucks or wondering how to earn more money. You stress about paying the bills, complain about paying taxes, and resist giving anything away. You scrimp and save yet somehow you never have enough cash leftover for a nice dinner, date night, or a movie. Whether you’re making minimum wage or a competitive salary, you have a “broke” mentality and it never quite feels like enough.

Scarcity beliefs about money sound like this:

  • I’m not good with money.
  • Someone else will take care of this for me.
  • People with money are greedy.
  • I’m not _____(smart/talented/privileged/etc.) enough.

It sucks.

If you’re thinking, “Marie, that’s not my mindset; that’s just my life. I DON’T have enough money.” That’s exactly what a scarcity mindset would say.

Don’t worry — if you’re operating from a scarcity mindset, you’re NOT stuck there. Stick with me here, and let’s flip the coin.

An abundance mindset looks like this:

You appreciate what you have — whether it’s pennies in your pocket or a private jet — and enjoy being generous with others. You have confidence in your ability to make and receive money.

You know there’s always enough, and there will always be more. You enjoy sharing the wealth and don’t fret over bills or unexpected expenses.

An abundance mindset sounds like this:

  • I love learning about money.
  • I can take charge of my finances.
  • Money gives people the opportunity to contribute to others and make a powerful impact.
  • I am always enough just the way I am.

Whether or not you’re operating from an abundance mindset right now, remember — mindset is malleable. When you know where your beliefs came from, you can change them.

Where Does Your Mindset about Money Come From?

Many of your deeply ingrained beliefs about money come from childhood experiences you might not even remember.

If you were raised in an environment of scarcity, you might take that mentality with you into adulthood. Maybe your parents said things like, “Money doesn’t grow on trees!” or “Are you kidding? We can’t afford that!”

If you grew up in an environment of generosity and financial security, you might have a more abundant mentality. You heard messages like, “It’s only money, you can always make more” and, “We’re so lucky to have everything we need.”

Early experiences with money, lessons taught by your family, and the habits of people around you all affect how you think about money.

Your current environment matters, too: The people you spend time with, your neighborhood, the books you read and the podcasts you listen to. Research shows we’re more affected by our environments than we think. If you’re surrounded by people with a broke mindset, it’s easy for their habits to rub off on you.

Before you start cursing your childhood or vowing to ditch all your scarcity-minded friends, slowww down.

The people around you matter, but it’s not really about them. Changing your mindset starts and ends with you.

6 Ways You Can Change Your Money Mindset

Are you royally screwed if you learned to believe in scarcity?

Not at all. You can train your brain for a new money mindset starting today.

Not many people I know, including myself, grew up with wealth, whether that’s actual cash or an abundant money mentality. We don’t have to be stuck in that scarcity mentality. We can break out of it. You can choose to release your limiting beliefs around money and create an abundance mindset.

In this MarieTV, I’ll show you six ways to turn that money frown upside down — including habits I use personally to maintain an abundant money mindset.

DIVE DEEPER: Money’s like you and me. It’s attracted to respect and appreciation. If you find yourself battling a scarcity mindset, try these two weird money habits to train your brain for abundance.

All your little thoughts and behaviors around money can make a difference, even the weird ones. Even tiny moves like picking up loose change on the sidewalk, buying coffee for a friend, and repeating certain mantras can transform the way you think about money — and, therefore, your entire financial situation.

Here are six ways you can change your money mindset from tight to right:

1. Write Yourself a Fat Reality Check

“Be thankful for what you have. You’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never ever have enough.” ~ Oprah

You’ve probably heard this before, but it’s worth a reminder: Over 1 billion people in this world live on $2.50 a day or less, according to FINCA International.

For those of us who aren’t part of that population, we’ve got to get into the habit of appreciating what we have.

You’re not wrong for wanting more, but a positive money mindset starts with appreciating what you do have — a roof over your head, food to eat, clean water, and a closet full of clothes. Spend more time appreciating what you have than worrying about what you don’t and you’ll feel abundant in no time.

2. Get an ATM

By “ATM” in this case, I mean an “Automatic Transformative Mantra.”

That’s a simple phrase you put on automatic repeat in your brain to transform your thoughts about money.

One of the simplest and most powerful changes I made to bust free from my own scarcity mentality was this: Anytime I part with money, whether paying a bill, making a donation, or spending money on myself, I say to myself, “There’s always more where that came from.”

This might sound silly, but there’s real power in the words we say to ourselves. Our rituals matter. An automatic transformative mantra is a simple way to retrain yourself to adopt new empowering money beliefs.

3. BYOL (Bring Your Own Luxury)

Who says you can’t have nice dinners at home? Or an exciting staycation? Or happy holidays and birthdays without fancy gifts?

You can turn any inexpensive dinner into a 5-star experience with beautiful plating, a few candles, and the right music. Put on a nice outfit, invite your main squeeze to do the same, and voila! An amazing dinner you’ll both remember.

Put in some extra effort to add special touches to your everyday activities. Surround yourself with people you love. When you delight in small moments, you’ll find yourself living a life of luxury without the expense (or the stress) that accompanies it.

4. Start a Fun Fund

Busting out of a scarcity mentality is something you have to work at, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyable. A Fun Fund can help.

This is a checking account, piggy bank, envelope, or money jar that you earmark for fun — and fun only. Set aside a little bit of money from paychecks or any extra or unexpected income and use it exclusively for the stuff you’d otherwise say you can’t afford, like:

  • Movies
  • Eating out
  • Happy hour
  • Friends’ birthday parties, baby showers, weddings, etc.
  • A wine-and-paint night
  • Yoga classes
  • Just-for-fun new shoes

An abundance mindset means focusing on what you can afford and letting yourself enjoy the fruits of your labors.

5. Build Your Knowledge Bank

Learn how to manage your money. It’s one of the most empowering things you can do.

Develop basic financial knowledge, like how to get out of debt, build an emergency fund, and manage your credit card bills every month. This sets you up for success no matter how much you’re bringing in or how much you’re spending.

I love learning about personal finance and money psychology.

These are some of my favorite books about money:

There are endless seminars, podcasts, newsletters, and blogs on the topic, so find a way you enjoy learning about money. Don’t let “I don’t know” be an excuse anymore!

6. Spread the Wealth

This strategy is a little bit counterintuitive, but works like magic.

Anytime you’re feeling a lack around money, give some away. Donate to a cause you believe in, or treat your friends or family to coffee.

This doesn’t have to be a huge amount. The point is just to adjust your thinking from scarcity to abundance. When you’re generous, you’re reinforcing the truth that there’s plenty to go around. There’s always more where that came from.

If you’re surrounded by scarcity, your own generosity can be a living demonstration — for yourself as much as for others — of a more abundant reality.

Not sure where to donate? We at Team Forleo love Kiva, an organization that lets you make loans to entrepreneurs and small businesses around the world. I’d be honored if you joined our Kiva lending team!

What’s Your Money Mindset?

If you want to achieve financial goals, start by making peace with where you are now. Appreciate what you have. Find small ways to be generous. Choose a more positive, abundant money mindset.

When you change your beliefs, you change everything.

Now, let’s turn this insight into action.

Grab a journal and spend 5 to 10 minutes writing your answers to these questions:

  1. What money problems in your life do you want to solve?
  2. What negative or scarcity-centered beliefs have stopped you from solving these problems until now?
  3. Now, write down all the reasons each of these beliefs is complete BS. Access the deeper, wiser part of you that knows they’re BS, and make an impassioned case against these beliefs.

You have the power to change your beliefs about money. Create an abundance mindset to transform your life from one of scarcity to generosity, which benefits all of us. The right beliefs about money just make cents!

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