How to Change Your Thinking to Change Your Finances
My favorite things in life don’t cost any money – Steve Jobs
Money is a prickly topic. We are very sensitive about discussing our finances with others. Often we can feel shame at having upside down finances.
But finances are not just about money and how much we have or make. They are a mirror of how we see ourselves and the world around us. If we have a worried/anxious outlook, or if we doubt ourselves, we will also be more anxious about money and our ability to make enough.
Before anything can be done about improving our ability to raise our income, we must first establish a positive relationship towards money. We need to understand what it is and what it is not.
Above all, we need to begin to approach money with a new mindset, one that sets us free to live life the way it was meant to be lived – abundantly.
Here are 5 ways to help you change your money mindset.
Believe that You Have Enough
This idea is very freeing. We can actually change what we believe and, as a result, change how we feel about what we have. When we start to believe that we have enough, this will naturally flow into how we live out our life and the choices that we make.
We call this an abundance mindset. It is the opposite of the scarcity mindset that will have us believe that we never have enough. Telling ourselves that we have enough is not a magical formula. We still need to work hard. but, what it does do is allow us to see things from a different frame of mind – one that is satisfied.
We also have to let go of our past thought patterns and voices from our past that have kept us imprisoned in a scarcity way of thinking. And we need to stop listening to the messages we hear around us that tell us what we need to have and do.
Money is a relationship and, like all relationships, it needs to be cultivated.
Live with What You Have
We certainly can not live on what we don’t have for any length of time, although many people try to finance a lifestyle they cannot afford.
It’s not the man who has little, but the man who craves more who is poor – Seneca
In order to live with what we have, we need to know what we have and what we don’t have. If we do not know how much revenue is coming into our home and even less about where it is going, it is very difficult to gage what we actually have.
We need to make a decision once and for all to have a system to monitor what comes in and what goes out as well as what we are spending our money on. We can not make lifestyle changes if we do not have data to help us. We cannot make changes in our finances without data.
Now, for sure, some people might be struggling with real problems that do not allow them much wiggle room to save. But for most people, change will require asking tough questions and finding creative ways to make and save money. It will also require changing any negative habits and attitudes we may be holding onto such as pride, a tendency to shift blame or a spending addiction.
The bottom lineis: be content with what you have
Value Time over Money
How we value our time is reflected in how we make, save and spend our money. Unlike time, which can not be renewed, money is a renewable ressource.
We need to start regarding our time as very precious and hand it out wisely to others for worthy reasons. Who do we want to spend it with and what do we want to spend our time doing? These are important questions we should be asking ourselves.
When we work, we necessarily spend our time working. Let’s hope we get some satisfaction from our work other than just the salary we receive. There is nothing wrong with good work when it helps us to grow and serves others, but it should not become a burden something that we do only to make money. If this is the case, we could possibly say that money has become our master since we are working just for it.
The important questions to ask are – How much is our time worth? and How much of it are we giving away each day and to whom?
Reassess Spending Values
How we spend our money is a reflection of what we value. We all have our own reasons for how we use or spend our money. Ultimately, though, our choices will determine our results.
For some, spending money or even the thought of spending money brings a feeling of happiness and exhilaration. It is the activity of shopping, rather than the actual items they buy that procure them this feeling of happiness. Of course, we know this feeling does not last and the urge to once again shop will resurface.
Time is more valuable than money because you can get more money, but you cannot get more time – Jim Rohn
Remember that we said we spend our time to make (earn) money. So, if this is true, then our spending of money is actually a spending of the time it took to make the money. This is a critical reflection. How many hours of our time did it take in order to purchase that smart tv or new dress or whatever we are buying?
If we want to change our finances, we absolutely need to be asking ourselves this question. Is whatever we are buying something that will bring value to our lives or will it become a burden, something that needs to be maintained and that takes up physical and emotional real estate?
Remember that Nothing in Life Is Urgent
Many people go through life going from one crisis to another. They are hit by one calamity here and another disaster there. Yes, life happens to all of us, but we don’t have to live our lives in a series of mishaps and emergencies.
Life is all we have, but nothing in life is urgent because time is all we have. Problems will come up, but if we take the position that we will be as prepared as we can be, we can meet these crisis head-on.
In life, however, everything seems to come across as being an emergency. Bills need to be paid ASAP. People need things from us all the time. Everything needs to be done yesterday. It is crazy to live our lives according to what others want or expect us to do, but this is just what we do.
Similarly, in our finances we do not have to go from crisis to calamity. When we remember that all we have is time, we can have a non-urgent approach to our finances as well, making decisions based on time and not the crisis “du jour”.
All big problems, financial or otherwise, initially begin by being small. If we want to have fewer big financial problems, we need to take care of the problems when they are small.
Nothing in life is urgent, but living our life is.