Part 1 – Introduction to Money Mindset
**This is a BETA Course**
That means it isn’t perfect; I’m still learning and polishing as I go.
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Money is a tool, just like a hammer. If you use it wrong, it will bite you.
So many of us have a complicated relationship with money. A lot depends on the conversations our parents had about money and how they felt about it. Maybe these statements were common in your household:
“We can’t afford it.”
“Put it on the credit card.”
“Money doesn’t grow on trees.”
“Let’s go shopping.”
Like most of our behaviors, we learn without even trying. If Retail Therapy was the solution to a bad day, we might do the same thing. If money was free-flowing, we might have learned to spend, whether we had money or not. If we constantly heard we couldn’t afford it – we might have veered the other way and are in a constant state of worry. It messes with our heads, and until you unpack it, it might still be doing that.
Growing up, my household was middle class, we could afford to live comfortably, but spending was controlled. My mother was the controller. She carefully wrote each check, balanced her checking account, and did the banking. I remember my dad having cash in his wallet, but I don’t recall him being in charge. I wasn’t told we couldn’t afford things, but I was also encouraged to earn my own money to buy things that weren’t on the household budget.
My school clothes budget was limited to what mom was willing to buy. If I wanted different clothes, I had to buy them myself. Beginning at age 15, I did.
By 18, I had saved enough in tips to furnish a small house.
By 20, I was broke-food broke, dropping by my parents for meals unannounced.
At 22, I had my first real job; in my exuberance, I overspent, money was flowing.
By 28, I had turned a house back to the bank.
By 31, my bills were finally all paid each month.
By 36, I had let my boss go four years without giving me a raise.
By 38, I was finally paid what I was worth.
By 47, I retired from the money job to pursue my passions.
I have made mistakes aplenty as I came to terms with my money mindset.
Poverty vs. Abundance Mindset
For years I held a Poverty Mindset. Always looking for the next thing to break, the next thing to go wrong. The next thing needing an influx of cash that I didn’t have. I did a few things right along the way, simply because I am nothing if not consistent. So I always saved for retirement. I usually made good investments. I didn’t have to keep up with the Joneses. I was never house poor.
Somewhere along the way, I made the switch to an Abundance Mindset; I wish I could tell you what triggered it. I learned that, for me, the Universe was generous and would provide what I needed. That didn’t keep me from wanting more, but it almost always knocked me back a peg when I started to be stingy with the Universe.
I found that the more generous I was with people. The more money flowed to me. The more I thought about what someone needed, the more I was rewarded.
If you think Abundance happens without working for it, you are mistaken.
But, Abundance is a mindset.
Have you ever known someone that can’t seem to catch a break. Just when they get into a house, their truck breaks down. Just when they get a new car, they lose their job. I’ve known plenty. The Hard-luck Charlies of the world. The kind that say, “if I didn’t have bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.” That is a mindset, and the Universe delivers.
There are others who always seem to be smiling, going about their business, and everything is coming up roses. That, too, is a mindset. The same mindsets that apply to money – Poverty vs. Abundance,
Let’s unpack where you are with your Money Mindset. This first exercise is to establish a baseline to decide if more work needs to be done. Money is relationship-based, just like food, just like people. Only you can decide where you stand; only you can decide if you want to change your relationship. I will provide you with tools to use, but the tools are far more effective if you can embrace money as a tool. Let’s put money back in its place. It is not the harbinger of success nor the cause of destruction. It is a tool; we choose what we do with it.
Money Mindset Worksheet:
When you have answered these for yourself, please go HERE and answer them for me.
Because this is a BETA workshop, I want to be sure I’m delivering what you need. The survey is anonymous. It will record your answers but no identifying information.
Be sure to complete the Worksheet before reading the answers!
Take a look at your answers to Questions 1-4
Did you consistently answer A?
You might think that money buys happiness. It doesn’t matter if you have enough money to do all the things you want to do; it matters that you are emotionally attached to the outcome. You spend money to bring joy to yourself and others, but without much consideration as to whether they appreciate the thought. You may not feel worthy if you can’t spend freely.
It’s time to apply that generosity where it counts. If you can truly afford what you are spending, that’s great. That also doesn’t change the fact that you are trying to buy happiness. Instead of going all-out every time, let others pay their way, be generous to those in need. Think thoughtful gifts instead of lavish. Next time you are feeling sad or deflated, find an alternative to spending. Exercise, read, call a friend, just don’t spend to compensate.
Did you consistently answer B?
You might have some of the same desires as those in A above, but you’re not buying things, you’re buying fun. You want to be seen as the life of the party; you celebrate moments rather than stuff but don’t give enough thought as to where the money comes from to have that fun.
When the day is done, you have created some memories, but the hole in your bank account still exists. Planning for your future might be a bit stressful. Consider setting a budget for nights out and getting a handle on that budget. If I were guessing, I’d bet you indulge a bit too – food, drink, etc. There was never enough money for fun when you were a kid; dinner out was a special occasion only. You are trying to make up for lost moments.
Did you consistently answer C?
Money was tight when you were a kid. You resolved never to have to say, “we can’t afford it,” to your kids. So now, you bypass some of the fun. Your kids don’t go without, but you do. Instead of living in the moment, you are always planning for the future; just so the money doesn’t run out. You’ll retire with more than enough but likely won’t want to spend it then either. You live with a Poverty mindset, giving is planned and never spontaneous.
Did you consistently answer D?
You’ve mastered your relationship with money; now it’s time to master the tools.
What do you think? Did the description fit you? How are you feeling about that? Sometimes unpacking things from our childhood has negative effects. That’s psychology in action. I’m not a therapist, if you need one, maybe that’s the next call. Sit with the answer for a bit. Try not to just brush past it, you have been hauling this around for years – it has an impact.
The easiest way to make a change though is to know what you’re changing from. Hold that space open, it may make using the tools that much simpler.
We often only think about getting better with money when we are already in over our heads. The Money Tools Workshop has participants from ages 23-83, so everyone is at a different place in their lives with money. Some of the sections won’t apply to you – that’s ok. Skip them for that week.
Each Monday, until we’re done (remember this is a BETA, so I’m not sure when that is), I will release the next lesson. They can all be found HERE.
Each lesson will have a Call to Action, a Quiz or Questionnaire, or a Survey. Complete at your own pace.
Remember to send Feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org