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Money Mindset 101 — Change the Way You Think About Money

Written by: Kristy Welsh

Last Updated: September 8, 2017

If managing money is a mystery to you, clue yourself in to this: Change your money mindset and you’ll likely be surprised at how money starts working for you.

Give your negative beliefs attention 

The more you try ignoring a thought, the more persistent it becomes. It’s there for a reason — to get your attention. So give it what it wants and move on.

Think you don’t have negative beliefs about money? See if any of these ring a bell:

  • There’s never enough money.
  • I don’t make enough money.
  • I’m bad with money.
  • If only I had more money, then...
  • I can’t afford...

If any or all of the thoughts on this list ring true for you, write them down. Add to the list any others that come to mind. If you’re still having trouble coming up with anything, try remembering any negative beliefs your parents had about money, as communicated to you via their words or actions growing up. What you may discover is that your parents passed their negative beliefs about money on to you.

Counter your negative beliefs with positive affirmations 

Once you’ve made your list of negative beliefs about money, it’s time to counter them with positive ones. Granted, they’ll be just thoughts to start, but think them long enough and they’ll eventually grow into beliefs.

Take another look at the list above of examples of negative beliefs about money.

Then take a look at the list below, countering each negative belief with the opposite (i.e., positive) thought:

  • There’s always an abundance of money.
  • I make more than enough money.
  • I’m good with money.
  • I have all the money I need.
  • I can afford everything I want.

Finally, for every negative belief you wrote down on your own list, write beside it your counter response. Yes, it might feel like a lie. That’s perfectly normal considering you’ve spent a lifetime believing the opposite is true. Just keep in mind it takes time for the mind to adopt something new.

Exercise your new money mindset 

You’ve done the digging (for negative beliefs) and you’ve planted new seeds (positive affirmations). Now it’s time to nurture the new money mindset that cannot grow on its own.

Every 30 days:

  • Choose one of your positive affirmations to work with.
  • Write it down and post it somewhere you’ll see it every day, multiple times a day.
  • Every time you find yourself having a negative thought about money, think or say aloud your positive affirmation instead.
  • Every time you engage in a financial transaction, from buying gas to taking money out of the ATM, think or say your positive affirmation aloud.

Once you’ve cycled through all of the positive affirmations on your list (spending an entire month with each one as you go), start over again from the beginning.

You can also strengthen your money mindset via:

  • Journaling.  Every time you have a negative thought about money, write it down. Then ask yourself the following series of questions. What if it’s true? What’s more likely true? How can this truth inform change?
  • Vision boards.  The more clearly you can see your financial goals, the more within reach they will feel. So make your goals as crystal clear as possible via vision boards. On a bulletin board or poster board, collage together whatever images and words support one or more of your financial goals.

For more in-depth ideas on changing your money mindset through journaling and vision boards (as well as positive affirmations), see 3 Creative Ways to Mind Your Money.