7 MONEY BELIEFS THAT MAY BE HOLDING YOU BACK
Guest article by Marlene Schmidt, founder of Insight Spending Planners
We all have ingrained beliefs about money instilled in us since we were around seven years old. Our beliefs about money started forming in childhood when we saw how our parents dealt with financial issues. Some of these unhelpful money beliefs and their associated behaviours have an impact on our ability to achieve financial success.
By acknowledging and understanding your money beliefs it’s possible to shift your mindset and improve your relationship with money. A change in our financial situation starts with a change in how we think about money. Your most powerful asset is your mind and you can train it to view money and wealth as a good thing.
It’s time to put money in its proper place by looking at some of the negative beliefs that may be preventing you from gaining the wealth you want.
- Money can’t be controlled – Many of the incredibly smart and strong women I work with have shared with me that they felt powerless about money. If you feel like money has power over you, remember that money is just a simple piece of paper and we control it. Money is a tool, it is a means to an end and nothing else. The truth is that the problem isn’t money because, without you, money is useless. You are the one with the power. You determine how money will be used. So take control of your finances and start living the life you desire.
- Money makes people do terrible things – Money isn’t good or bad and it only has power if people give it power. It can be used for good or evil and having lots of money will simply reveal and amplify the type of person you are. What matters is that we're good stewards of our money and use it in a way that aligns with our values.
If you want to support worthy causes you won’t be much help to them if you’re broke. Imagine the good you can do with more money and success in your life.
- It’s not polite to talk about money – Many of us grow up learning that money is one of a few topics — like politics, sex and religion — that you should avoid in polite company. You don’t brag about your net worth. You don’t share your salary with colleagues. You don’t admit to others that you’re struggling to pay down your debts.
Even though money, plays such an inextricable role in our lives, it’s still a taboo subject for many adults. But one of the reasons so many people struggle when it comes to managing and dealing with money is because no one’s talking about it. We’re discouraged from talking about money at every turn. If you want to fix your financial situation, talking about it is necessary.
As women we are stronger when we collaborate. Discussing your money issues with other women can be great for building confidence, finding accountability and shifting your mindset. In families, open communication around money stuff can actually bring you closer.
Consider talking to a financial coach. Money coaching provides financial education without conflicts of interest. Because a money coach is impartial, they can quickly see opportunities for you to save money that you’ve likely missed and they will bring up different aspects of your finances from an unbiased, detached and non-emotional perspective. When you have a good understanding of the basics of money management you’ll be able to trust yourself to make smarter money decisions.
- Money causes conflict – Realise that arguments about money aren’t really about money. They are about our dreams, our fears, and our inadequacies. The emotions that come up when you start thinking or talking about money can make discussions heated and hurtful. Everyone’s emotional responses to money are different, so the way you react to a certain situation might be completely different to how your partner feels in the same situation.
Money is blamed as the leading cause of divorce but again it’s not the money but our different belief systems, attitudes and behaviours around money that cause problems.
To move past these arguments, have an honest conversation with your partner about your feelings about money. You can then work together to create understanding and a shared meaning around money that brings you closer, rather than pushing you apart.
Sometimes two people have different ideas as to how money should be managed and it’s a recipe for disaster unless they can work out a compromise that allows each one to have input into where the money goes and the priorities. The best way to achieve this is to regularly set aside time to talk about finances with your partner and create a financial plan together. This will allow both of you to see that your individual “needs” and “wants” are being met as far as possible and that there is an overall bigger plan decided in collaboration together. It gives you joint ownership of the larger vision for your life together. After all, you both work hard for your money and you want to feel like you both are using it in a way that supports your life together.
5. I’m no good with money – Many of us hold onto the belief that we’re rubbish with money. Our subconscious mind believes every word we say, whether it’s true or not. And every time we make a mistake, it confirms the belief that we can’t manage our money and ingrains that belief even further. The other problem is that this belief assumes that you can’t learn new things which is simply not the case!
The fact is that we all make mistakes and this is okay because that’s how we learn. I guarantee that there’s not a single person who has never made a mistake with money.
If you haven’t forgiven your financial past you may find the same issues repeating themselves. This is because if your mental self-talk keeps saying “you’re going to fail,” then this will result in you taking actions that sabotage your success.
Rather than beating yourself up, be grateful for your mistakes. Take a look at where you think you’ve gone wrong in the past and see if you can learn how to do it better in the future. Educate yourself about money and improvements will follow naturally.
- I’m not smart enough to be wealthy – It’s common to think that finances are too difficult to understand. And it doesn’t help that most of us weren’t taught how to manage our money at school. We look at poor money skills as something to be ashamed and embarrassed about which can keep us stuck and feeling “dumb” when it comes to money.
I have had clients who earn over $400,000 per year and "just can't shake the $50k credit card debt". Now, if you're not that smart - you wouldn't generally earn that type of money. So it proves that money and wealth have everything to do with habits and behaviour - not intellect. What behaviours can you change to start to improve your money life?
The fact is there’s an awful lot of jargon in the world of finance but you don’t need to understand most of it. You don’t need a finance degree. All you need to master are a few key principles and these days the internet gives us access to all types of helpful resources at our fingertips. Take some time to read articles, grab a good book or meet with a money coach to learn more about your options. It’s your future after all, and financial ignorance doesn’t lead to financial bliss.
- You need luck to get rich – Wealthy individuals don’t get rich by random luck, but rather by responsible money management. Having a high income or winning the lottery does not automatically make you rich; having a low salary does not automatically make you poor. All that matters is how much debt you have and how much you save out of your earnings.
In fact wealth means that you have money, not that you make money. In reality, watching your spending, living below your means and investing the saved money in assets that raise money for you is the only way to get wealthy. You can’t get wealthy by earning $1m and spending $1m.
Opportunities arise when you practice healthy money habits. This opens the door for you to bring in even more money and grow your wealth because it will be looked after, not squandered.
A healthy money mindset is key to achieving success with money. The sky is the limit on what you want out of this life! All it takes is a willingness to change. Are you ready to rewrite your money story?
Marlene Schmidt is an expert Money Management Coach and Certified Spending Planner who wants to live in a world where financial stress and overwhelm is the exception, rather than the rule.
Prior to starting her coaching business, Marlene worked for over 30 years for a diverse range of organisations in the private sector and government agencies. Marlene’s varied background in human resources management, business systems improvement, coaching and training provided the perfect foundation for her business.
Drawing on over 20 years’ experience in managing her own finances successfully using spending plans (a smarter system of budgeting that actually works!), Marlene now teaches others how to take control of their finances, achieve their goals and eliminate money stress.
Marlene is passionate about empowering others to achieve financial independence and develop a healthy money mindset by providing a safe, non-judgmental and confidential space for them to learn and grow.
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