This is part three of my eight-part series on how you can beat the banks at their game and get yourself out of debt.
What do you think determines financial success? A high income? Your parents’ wealth? Luck? The answer is none of these things. It is your money mindset that determines your financial future.
Your money mindset is a culmination of your attitudes and beliefs. These often work at a subconscious level. They can lead you to make poor choices and establish damaging habits. They urge you to buy those shoes you don’t need. They make you take out your credit card to pay for holidays you can’t afford.
It doesn’t matter whether you earn $30,000 a year or $300,000-plus. If you don’t have the right mindset, you can easily fall into a vicious cycle of credit card debt. Your mindset creates habits that are hard to break – but they can be broken.
Confront your weaknesses
Identifying your addictions allows you to control them. No matter what your weaknesses are – designer clothes, weekends away, expensive wine – you can overcome them.
Where you are right now is a consequence of all the choices you have made due to your weaknesses. You’re at a crossroads. You can choose to continue the way you always have, or you can let go of your past mistakes. You can forgive yourself. You can start a new chapter in your life – one where you adopt a new money mindset, make clever choices and get yourself out of debt.
What are your money beliefs?
To change your money mindset, you must understand your beliefs. Take a look at the following list. Do you hold any of these general beliefs about money? Why? What impact do they have on your financial decisions?
• Money is the root of all evil.
• Money is a force for good.
• Money doesn’t buy you happiness.
• Money makes life easy.
• Money gets you all that you desire.
• Those who make too much money are greedy.
• Those who don’t have money are lazy.
What personal money beliefs do you have that impact your day-to-day living, either positively or negatively?
• Saving regularly is a good thing.
• It’s important to live on a budget for household expenses and holidays.
• I pay my taxes so when I get old, the government owes me.
• I work hard for my money and I deserve to enjoy doing what I want with it.
• The more money I make, the better my lifestyle.
• I seek and listen to advice from experts.
• I only buy what I need.
• I know how much money I need to retire on.
It can be quite confronting to uncover your money beliefs. You may be surprised at how limiting your assumptions really are. But now that you are aware of them, you can see where you need to make changes.
How do you create change? Adopting the following values will help you:
Determination: How determined are you to reach your financial goals? Your financial future requires thought and planning every day, not just once a year.
Resilience: Do you crack under pressure? When the going gets tough, it’s important to never give up.
Responsibility: If you fail to take responsibility for your decisions and habits, nothing will change.
Self-belief: You are worthy of abundance. You have the power to make real, positive changes in your life.
Courage: It takes guts to confront long-held money beliefs and habits. It’s OK to feel uncertain, so long as you can re-group and move forward.
Trust: Believe in your abilities. You have what it takes to transform your consumerist mindset to a Money Intelligent one.
Collaboration: You can’t change your financial future without the help of others. Establish partnerships (with your partner, friends, colleagues, adviser) that allow everyone to work to their individual strengths to create win-win solutions.
With these values, you can create a positive money mindset. Adopting effective money behaviours will come more naturally to you – eg. saving for contingencies, sticking to a household budget, paying bills on time, restricting eating out and budgeting for holidays. And you won’t be so quick to take out your credit card.
Download the first three chapters here: http://www.moneyintelligence.com.au/free-stuff/
Stay tuned next week for Part 4: Take Calculated Risks – The Devil is Hiding in the Detail.
Susan Wahhab —CPA, SMSF Specialist, Entrepreneur, Working Mum, Small Business Supporter— is Australia’s leading Financial Strategist and Money Mentor. Susan is the founder and managing director of Accounting and Financial Services firm Winner Partnership Pty Ltd www.winnerpartnership.com
Susan is the author of the transformational and practical book Money Intelligence® - Anchored in Values. She believes that people can become financially liberated by developing a healthy relationship with money. Learn more about being money intelligent www.moneyintelligence.com.au