We have such a complex relationship with money — both with how it impacts our lives as well as how it influences our everyday decision making. In my career as a business mentor and trainer, I’ve discovered from working with all types of people that, no matter what, changing the way we think about money is vital for our success. Here are some of my favorite tips:
- Examine your financial past. Improving your money mindset begins with analyzing your past. What did your learn about money from your parents? Did they spend lavishly or teach you to be extra frugal? Or maybe they told you that money was the root of all evil. Perhaps you have some financial baggage that you’ve been carrying around without realizing it; maybe you racked up a lot of credit card debt or filed for bankruptcy. If so, these experiences could be limiting you today. The first step in turning your money mindset around is to recognize these damaging thoughts and learn to let them go!
- Get rid of your fears. Are you worried about your financial future-such as living from paycheck to paycheck or not having enough money when you retire? You’re not alone. Eradicate those fears by getting control of your budget and learning to bootstrap (doing more with less and hunting for bargains). Divide your expenses into those things that you need (food, shelter, transportation and utilities) and those things that you want (entertainment, treats and extras). Look for ways to reduce splurging on items that you want, but don’t necessarily need, and regularly allocate a portion of your earnings to savings or investments.
- Learn to talk about money. We’re often taught that money is a taboo topic and one that we should avoid discussing. But, in reality, it’s okay and absolutely necessary to talk about money. You must get active in conversations about your financial future because it’s your future- don’t be a bystander. Say, for example, a friend invites you to participate in an activity that you can’t afford (an expensive trip, dinner or party), practice financial transparency by telling them that you don’t have the funds to do so. Never feel any pressure to keep up with others in your circle. It’s not always possible or financially responsible to do so.
- Teach yourself to love money. Wealth is good- it’s just a matter of using it the right way. With financial success comes the opportunity to utilize your money to help others and to take care of yourself and your family. There’s nothing wrong with being wealthy so come up with a money mantra to repeat to yourself such as “I deserve money and success,” or “I will attract more wealth today.” Keep reinforcing that idea while building your financial confidence because you deserve to be wealthy, you really do.
I hope that you’ll put these money best practices to good use. If you’re interested in learning more about budgeting, bootstrapping and improving your financial future, check out my new book, Launch Your Inner Entrepreneur.