Money Mindset

The secret to establishing stability and increasing wealth may all come down to attitude.

At Consolidated Credit, we believe that your money mindset can have a huge impact on how successful you are at getting out of debt and achieving your financial goals. We talked to five personal finance bloggers from all walks of life to get their thoughts and advice on how adjusting your mindset can make it easier to build the financial life you want.

Money mindset definition

A money mindset is an overriding attitude that you have about your finances. It drives how you make key financial decisions every day. And it can have a big impact on your ability to achieve your goals. If you change your mindset about money, you tend to make better choices about how to overcome challenges. In this case, the power of positive thinking really does matter.

Characteristics of a bad money mindset

Your money mindset is like emotional inertia – it drives you to take action. If you have a positive money mindset, you are more likely to be decisive and take the steps that you need to take to succeed. On the other hand, negativity breeds emotions that prevent action:

  • Fear or intimidation
  • Defeatism
  • Procrastination

If you don’t feel like you can succeed then you’re less likely to act or even think about acting. It seems easier just to ignore your finances because the challenges seem insurmountable. Seen in this light, it’s not debt or a low credit score or limited income that’s holding you back; it’s your perspective that you can’t do any better.

Samantha Gregory of Rich Single Momma continues, “Changing your mindset will move you from scarcity and poverty thinking to abundance and prosperity thinking. Money will no longer be a villain in your life but will become a tool to enhance your life. You will no longer see it as something that always leaves, but as something that always comes back to you. A new money mindset will help you achieve your goals with confidence!”
When you change your mindset about money to focus on the positives and what you can do, it’s easier to see the path forward. So how do you establish a positive money mindset?

Qualities of a positive money mindset

When you embrace positivity in finance, you come to recognize that no problem is insurmountable. Whether you have $5,000 in debt or $50,000, it can be eliminated. Your credit score may be 500, but no credit penalty lasts forever; it will get better!

When you have a positive money mindset you…

  • Look for opportunities instead of seeing roadblocks
  • Recognize that every financial situation is fixable
  • See the value of asking for help instead of struggling silently
  • Accept that even small steps add up to progress, even if it’s slow

Alexis Schroder of FITnancials says she can understand the tendency to make decisions about money out of n emotions like fear. “Most people are afraid to check their bank accounts, including me! But with this mindset of fearing money, I believe we have a much hard time holding onto money.”

Schroder says that overcoming these negative emotions to focus on the positive is the key to success.

Using a positive money mindset to overcome financial challenges

Positivity can be tough to foster when you’re in a negative situation, but it’s essential. Let’s say you have that $50,000 credit card debt problem mentioned above. There are likely several factors driving your negativity:

  • Your minimum monthly payments are around $1,250, so money is probably extremely tight
  • But in spite of paying that much, your balances never seem to go down
  • In fact, high interest charges are eating up 2/3 of every payment you make
  • As a result, if you stick to minimum payments it’s going to over 40 years to repay everything you owe

Turn your attention away from what’s wrong

Kyle Burbank from Money at 30 agrees that changing the way you think about money is the first step to paying down debt and improving your financial habits. “By focusing on what it will be like to live debt-free, achieve financial stability, and have the ability to spend your money on the things you value most, it’s far easier to stay motivated and reach your financial goals.”

If you focus on what’s wrong like all of the above, it’s almost impossible to get motivated. Instead, your financial focus needs to be aimed at finding solutions. You’re not the first person to be this far into debt. Look at some of the case studies we’ve gathered from clients around the country.

Start with what you know: minimum payments aren’t making enough of an impact, so you need a better strategy. Even if you just fix your payments at $1,250 instead of following the minimum payment schedule your situation drastically improves. Instead of 502 months to reach your payoff date, it would only take 62. Five years is actually a reasonable amount of time for a debt elimination strategy.

Fritz Gilbert of the Retirement Manifesto offers this advice: “If you want it badly enough, think  about the positive effects a healthier financial situation will have on your life. Establish some short- and long-term measurable financial goals and begin tracking your progress. What gets measured, gets done.”

And that’s just making one small change in your budget. If you look for other solutions instead of focusing on feeling stuck, avenues open up. For instance, if you’ve maintained your credit score then you have options for consolidation. If you take out a personal consolidation loan, even at 7% APR you could pay off your debt in 4 years with monthly payments of $1,200.

And what if you don’t have a good credit score? You’re still not stuck. You may be able to enroll in a debt management program, which put a whole team on your side. Credit counselors negotiate with creditors and work on your behalf. As a result, most clients see their total payments reduced by 30-50% and programs typically complete in 36-60 payments.

Scott from Personal Finance Junkie says that “if you want better results with your money, then you must first work on your mindset. Basically, by adjusting your mindset you will look for opportunity instead of focusing on all of the reasons you can’t succeed.”

Other elements of a good money mindset

Find Financial Balance

Attitude isn’t the only element of a successful financial mindset. You also need balance. Balance in your financial life is what fosters stability. If you spend all your time focused on debt elimination, you won’t have savings ready in case of an emergency. Or if you spend all of your time focused on your budget today, you can’t prepare effectively for retirement.

This infographic can help you understand how to achieve financial balance in your life:

Money Mantras: A daily money affirmation could be what you need to stay motivated.

Bringing change to your financial life is not always easy. The day-to-day grind of managing your money and controlling your household budget often wears you down. As a result, it can be challenging to move on to bigger and better things.

A money mantra allows you to keep a financial goal at the forefront of your mind. That makes it easier to take action to achieve the results you want. So let’s look at how to create a personal money mantra that works.

What is a money mantra?

A money mantra is a simple statement of what you want to accomplish in your financial life. It can either drive you to make positive financial choices or keep you from making bad ones. It works similarly to a daily life affirmation. You state what you want to manifest and the act of keeping that thought in mind pushes you to act.

The elements of a good money mantra

  • It’s positive – You want to motivate yourself to act and this is usually best done with positive affirmations. Even if you’re trying to break a bad habit, you put a positive spin on it.
  • It’s financial – You want to focus on a specific area of your finances with a money mantra. Whether that goal is to eliminate debt, save money or stick to a budget, your mantra needs that financial goal to focus it.
  • It’s simple – A good mantra of any kind is something you can easily remember and repeat to yourself. If your mantra is too long or complex, you won’t be able to easily recall it throughout your day.

How to make an effective money mantra

  1. Start by thinking of a specific financial goal you’d like to accomplish over the next six months. For example, let’s say you want to save money.
  2. Now think of a financial habit that you can develop that will foster that goal.
  3. Then take that thought and turn it into an easily repeatable phrase.
  4. Repeat your mantra a few times to keep it in mind
  5. You can also choose to write your mantra down and post it places where you’ll see it often – on your bathroom mirror, your fridge or on a post-it at your desk at work.