Your Mindset is Making You Poor

January 25, 2016

Connect Member

Personal finance expert at Creative Money: a resource for gaining clarity & confidence about money.

I know: The title of this post seems really harsh. But for some people, maybe it needs to be. The point is, if you keep making lame excuses as to why you aren’t reaching your money goals, you’ll likely never reach them.

Excuses are goal killers. For example, when I set a goal to lose weight, I had to rid myself of  excuses, and prioritize exercise and healthy eating to achieve it. The bottom line: There are no magic beans. Weight loss is solely a function of calories in; calories out.

The same is true of building wealth: I know everyone wants to believe there is a magic investment, but the majority of wealthy people have simply mastered the practice of spending fewer dollars than they bring in. Wealth is solely a function of money in; money out. Poor is a function of more money going out than coming in.

Priorities Are More Powerful Than Excuses
If you feel like building wealth, wiping out debt, and getting financially on track is out of reach for you, then I would ask if you are really making these things a priority. Are you doing absolutely everything you can to reach your goals, or are you giving up before you even get started? Ask yourself: Where does wealth-building fall on the priority list? And continue to challenge yourself with these questions:

  • Are you actively engaged in spending less than you’re bringing in?
  • If not, what is your excuse?
  • If you made wealth-building your number one priority for the next 90 days (let alone the next year), what do you fear will be neglected?
  • Are you willing to suspend disbelief and move forward in uncertainty?

There is one point about money that is more important than any other, and that’s to understand what is required to generate wealth. Financial planning only matters if you have the potential to produce money in the first place. You must make your own wealth a priority.

Know Your Priorities and Set Your Intentions
Becoming wealthy is not a one-time event. Gaining actual wealth is about re-evaluating your life and behaviors so you can continue to make it easier on yourself to increase your savings.

Once you know that you want something and have made it a priority, you’ll more consciously notice the disparity between what you want and what you have. You may discover that you’ve been settling for less than you deserve, a common fault with people who keep their heads down and passively accept their fates. Sometimes it feels like it’s easier to accept your circumstances. Change is uncomfortable. You might have to change jobs, careers, relationships, or your environment. But once you set the intention to obtain something specific, like more money, the path gets clearer.

Think about your financial past and ask yourself where you have been waiting for permission to earn what you deserve. Next, take stock of your life (not just from a financial standpoint) and decide where you have been settling for less than you deserve. Identify one step you can take to upgrade in that area. Finally, declare your goals. Write down everything you want to fund in the next year and, next to each item, write approximate dollar amounts for what it will cost to do so. I find that the clearer people get on what their lives cost, the faster they start making more money.

If you’d like more information about how to shift your money mindset, check out my brand new book, Personal Finance That Doesn’t Suck. It’s been ranked first in the Amazon personal finance category, and I’ve already heard from dozens of people that it’s been helpful to them.

Mindy Crary is a member of the DailyWorth Connect program. Read more about the program here.