This is a guest post from Trish Wagner. I really like her take on figuring our your money mentality in order to help you change your financial behaviors.
How do you feel about money? Most people see money in terms of black and white, either you have enough of it or you don’t. Of course there are many levels of “have it” or “don’t” but let’s assume you fall into one of those categories. How does your attitude or feeling about money affect the rest of your life? Can changing your attitude change your financial status?
What is your money mentality?
Your attitude toward money is formed over a lifetime of financial experiences. It starts when you are young and can be greatly influenced by your upbringing. Children learn from example; if your parents had a negative attitude about money or wealth you might be more inclined to mimic those feelings. Have you ever heard or perhaps spoken the following phrases in regards to money?
- This is the way it has always been
- The rich get richer while the poor get poorer
- We can’t afford that
- There is never enough to go around
- Our family has always been poor
While money may not buy happiness, it does pay for housing, clothing, food and other necessities that many people struggle daily to maintain. For some individuals financial security is still viewed as a dream that can never be achieved.
Change your attitude to change your life
If you feel you are “destined” to be poor or that you will never have enough money to live comfortably you could likely fulfill that prophecy. A common factor that contributes to generations of families living hand to mouth is the belief that you have to have money to create wealth. While in theory this is somewhat true, it does not mean that you have to start out with money in order to be successful financially. What you do have to have is a positive attitude, short and long term goals and a plan to reach those goals. There are endless rags-to-riches stories about individuals who overcame growing up in poverty who turned their lives around. You can, too, by doing the following things:
- Believe in yourself and your ability to find success. Nothing in life comes easily and changing a lifetime of negative financial experiences will prove to be hard work. You must truly be ready for change and committed to the hard work required to achieve success.
- Debt is a four letter word that makes it almost impossible to achieve your financial goals. There are several methods to get out of debt and you will have to examine your own situation to determine what method is right for you. Whatever route you take reducing or eliminating your debt is imperative to your financial success.
- Set short and long term financial goals. Once you eliminate your debt you can begin to focus on establishing financial goals. To break the cycle of debt you must have money set aside in savings for unexpected expenses. Learn about the importance of emergency funds, saving for retirement and investing.
- Do not set yourself up for failure by expecting overnight results. Unless you win the lottery or find yourself the recipient of some other windfall, changing your financial status will require hard work, sacrifice, determination and a strong desire to improve your situation.
Keep in mind you are limited only by yourself. Regardless of how you ended up in your current situation, you are the only person who can change the path your life takes from this point forward. Remember: Finding real wealth is not just about financial success, but also maintaining healthy relationships, improving yourself as an individual and helping others to do the same. If you can achieve these goals you will truly experience a life of wealth.