Do you feel financially secure or do you worry about having enough to make ends meet?
I'm not asking about how much money you make... I'm asking how you feel about the money in your life. Talking about money can be very hard, especially since for many it is a source of stress and fear. Yet, for others, it's a tool that can provide joy and relief. How can people have such polarising views on the topic of dinero?
What is a money mindset?
It starts before we even hold money in our hands. What we believe about money is often influenced by what how our early caregivers (e.g. parents or grandparents) interacted with the stuff. According to PBS, money habits are set by age 7 as children see their parent's financial behaviors. This mindset is a complex thing to unravel and unpack, yet your beliefs about money is crucial to how your life unravels.
I was once told "True wealth depends on your money mindset" and I believe that now with every fibre of my being. Your “money mindset” is your set of beliefs — usually subconscious — about financial matters. All of your money habits stem from this mindset (e.g. how you approach earning a wage, saving, and spending) and the overall messages you've internalized about money boil down to two belief systems: scarcity or abundance.
What is a scarcity mindset?
Scarcity is this irrational fear that we simply don’t have enough and never will. Do you find yourself constantly anxious about money even though you have money in your savings account? Do you find yourself utterly consumed by competition and comparison? Can't be happy for other people's "wins"? You might be acting out of a scarcity mindset.
At the root of this scarcity mindset is fear. Don't be worried when I say that - it seems that most of us, no matter our background or culture, is cut from the same cloth when it comes to this fear. Really dig into your fear: what are you fearful of? Why? Keep asking yourself these questions as you reflect on your relationship with money.
What is an abundance mindset?
An abundance mindset is the complete opposite, where one operates in a midnset that there is enough resources and successes for all to share. This may sound like, "I can take charge of [insert situation]," "I am enough just the way I am," "I love learning about [insert topic]," etc. It sees an opportunity to grow in every challenge.
Remember that a mindset - whether abundant or scarcce - is malleable. You can change your beliefs once you identify where they come from and aim for growth!
steps to HEALING YOUR MONEY RELATIONSHIP AND SCARCITY MINDSET
1. Practice Gratitude
Oprah once said, “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.” Don't forget to be appreciative of what you already have - a roof over your head, food to eat, clean water, clothes, access to education, etc. - while working towards your goals.
2. Romanticize Your Life
Who says you can't live a grand life with what you have? Find a fancy recipe to try at home and dress up to eat it! Create an exciting staycation at home. Instead of buying that new book you've been eyeing, get it at the library. If TikTok and Instagram have shown us anything, it's that if you put in some extra effort to add special touches to your everyday activities, and surround yourself with loving people, you will have a very rich life.
3. Start a Fun Fund
It can be really hard to see your hard-earned money go down the drain... trust me, I struggle with that still. However, a "fun fund" has helped me out tremendously with this. This is a bank account where I set some money aside every week to use when I go out with C or my friends. This covers movie tickets, eating out, new shoes, a yummy smelling perfume, a new incense holder, etc. Let yourself enjoy the little things in life... within your budget, of course.
4. Build Your Knowledge
By developing basic financial knowledge (e.g. getting out of debt, building an emergency fund, what expenses you need to think about when buying a house, etc) you can get on top of your finances and squash that scarcity mindset. Here are some books that have helped my friends and I:
How have you healed your relationship with money?
Hi! I'm Melissa, an Australian-based Latina science educator, podcaster, and freelance writer. I spend a lot more time on Instagram and Twitter, but blogging is my first love. Thanks for stopping by — I hope you stay a while.
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