We all have different attitudes about money. These viewpoints can develop unconsciously, as the result of one’s financial status, upbringing, or experiences with money. In honor of #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth, let’s talk about how we can recognize and adjust our money mindsets so that we can improve our relationships with money and even our mental health.

What is Your Money Mindset?

Your money mindset is your attitude about your finances. It impacts how you make financial decisions each day and influences your ability to manage and achieve your financial goals. 

Negative Money Mindset Explained

Negativity around finances spurs emotions such as procrastination, fear, a defeatist attitude, and even intimidation. In short, if your mindset tells you you can’t succeed, you won’t. You will always see your financial challenges or goals as insurmountable and impossible. Taking decisive action to change your money mindset can help you to overcome your fears and achieve your goals.

Developing A Positive Money Mindset

When you put aside a negative money mindset, fears about finances and what you can achieve often disappear. So, what techniques can you use to develop a positive money mindset?

Stop Thinking About What’s “Wrong”

Instead of worrying about what’s “wrong,” focus on how to make things right. Changing how you think about money is the first step toward learning how to better manage your finances and pay down debt. By focusing on attaining financial stability, you will be better able to stay motivated, spend money on those things you value most, and inevitably reach your financial goals. While the “wrong” will not go away overnight, maintaining a positive, goal-oriented focus will begin to shift the balance. If you’re overwhelmed by your goals, break them down into small steps and take 1-2 steps daily. This will diminish the mental strain.  

Find a Solid Financial Balance

As important as a positive attitude is, it’s not the only key element to a positive financial mindset. Another vital component is finding financial balance. Balancing your financial status allows you to find stability. If you focus 100% of your time on paying down debt, you won’t be able to set aside funds in case of emergency. Yes, debt is important to address; however, if you can’t afford to cover the unexpected, no amount of paid-off debt will help foster financial positivity. 

Develop a Money Mantra

Financial change is hard, especially in the face of debt. Developing a healthy money mantra or daily financial affirmation makes it easier to achieve your goals. A money mantra can help you keep your financial goals (big and small) at the front of your mind. Although this may sound complicated, a money mantra is simply a statement of what you want to accomplish financially. A mantra can drive positive financial decisions and help you avoid poor ones. A good money mantra has three elements: it’s positive, financially based, and straightforward. First, think of a goal and a financial habit that will help you achieve it. Then turn your goal and habit into an easy-to-remember phrase that you can repeat a couple of times each day. That’s all it takes. 

Be Open to Opportunity

As influential as your mindset can be, no amount of positivity can shift your progress without access to financial resources. While examining your money mindset, take a moment to consider the root of your financial circumstances. Does your current employment provide sufficient income to pay your bills? Can you afford to set aside money for savings or extracurricular spending? If the answer is no, consider how seeking change may help not only your financial standing but also your money mindset. There is nothing “wrong” or “selfish” about seeking a bigger, better career path.

A positive financial mindset is part of the foundation of discovering where you want to go financially and taking the first steps toward getting there. It doesn’t matter what your goals are. With the proper mindset about your financial goals and a strong understanding of the steps you need to take to get there, you can succeed. So define your goals, select your path, develop your mantra and live your dreams.

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