Friend of Papier Kalpana Fitzpatrick is an award-winning financial journalist and author of the book Invest Now. In our finance planners, you'll find helpful articles she's written to guide you towards finding financial wellbeing. To help you get started, read on for Kalpana's tips on shifting your financial mindset.
We all have deep-rooted beliefs that shape our attitudes towards money and drive the decisions around how we earn, spend, or save it. But do your beliefs always help you make the right choices? If you’ve never given much thought to how you feel about money, this is your opportunity to get curious about your finances. If you find it hard to think or talk about money, you’re definitely not alone. But when we begin to approach money with an open mind and learn how to manage and understand it, we also begin to transform our relationship with it.
It all begins with a reset of your money mindset. Start with these five simple steps.
1. Reframe your thoughts
First, let’s change what we tell ourselves about money. We repeatedly say things like:
“I’m bad with money...”
Saying this immediately sets you up for failure and tricks you into thinking you can’t make good decisions. This just isn’t true. Instead, open yourself up to learning about how to make smart decisions.
“Money doesn’t grow on trees...”
Of course it doesn’t, but it does grow in a bank. This saying simply gives you the perception of money scarcity. Instead see money as an interesting, enriching tool that you want to master and take control of.
“Money isn’t everything...”
That’s true – it isn’t. But it is really important and has a big impact on our lives. So, remember not to devalue money – be open to working with it instead.
2. Talk about money
Break the taboo. Despite what many of us have been told when growing up, it’s not rude to talk about money. Talking about it allows you to share the burden, ease money worries, and even avoid problems in the future. It may feel uncomfortable or awkward at first, but open up the conversation about money with friends and family. Whether it’s about bills, concerns or just to ask about salaries and company benefits, don’t shy away.
Concentrate on what matters to you. Too often we allow ourselves to be held back in fear of being judged or we get locked into comparing ourselves to other people. This can bring on feelings of shame around your finances, which might lead to poorer decisions. Reset your mindset and get a clear focus on what is important and realistic for you. Use your money to work towards your dreams and ambitions. Take the time to jot down what matters to you and where you want to be six or twelve months from now.
4. Be money mindful
To have a healthy relationship with money, you need to be comfortable with looking at your bank balance. No more hiding. Use your finance planner to note down how you spend, save and what your plans are with money each week, month, and year. To take away the fear of looking, try this:
Try to check in with your finance planner every day to keep track of your spending. Over time, you’ll build a picture of what matters to you.
There are so many free, empowering money resources out there – make time to tune in, enjoy and learn.
Review your spending and your life goals and make sure you’re managing your money to get you there.
5. Make a commitment
Money is a major part of your lifestyle. Think of the amount of time or energy you may put into other parts of your life such as career, home improvements, even your health or wellbeing. Yet most of us put almost no thought into actively managing and understanding our own money.
Change the script on money by investing in your money mindset growth – whether that is to learn more, save more, or come out of debt. Use your finance planner to stay motivated and help you take control of your financial future.