Change Your Thinking About Money

How do you view money? If you see it as something you’ve got to struggle to earn or hang onto, you might want to change your thinking about money. This isn’t some woo-woo idea either that’s going to make more money magically appear in your life.

Instead, it’s pretty simple.

When you change your thinking about money, you’re changing your point of view. People with different outlooks not only see things differently — they act differently.

One point of view

Take this example. Suppose you’re working on creating an emergency fund. It’s been a struggle so far, and it feels like every time you sock away an extra dollar, another emergency appears. In fact, just recently you got a huge medical bill in the mail; a bill that’s more than your entire emergency fund. Naturally, you feel depressed and discouraged. You may even want to give up. You’re just sick of the whole thing. Money is not a pleasant experience for you.

But if you can change your thinking about money away from the struggle and toward the things that are going right, you’ll be in a better frame of mind. Instead of being depressed and discouraged, you’ll be more likely to actively make the changes necessary to truly get ahead.

A different perspective

Let’s rewrite the earlier example into something seen from a different perspective. Suppose you’re working on building up an emergency fund. It’s been a challenge so far, but challenges can be exciting. Every time you sock away an extra dollar, you’re better prepared. Instead of going into the hole when an emergency appears, you’re that much further ahead. You wouldn’t have been that prepared before; so you feel good about what you’ve done so far and decide to take it further by starting to track spending.

That huge medical bill you got shocked the heck out of you, and you’re determined to make sure that you’ve got enough insurance for the future. In the past, you might have been tempted to give up when confronted by such a large bill, but things are different now. You decide to call the billing department and set up a plan for repayment that won’t break the bank.

Outlook influences action

The way you look at things really does determine how you choose to handle situations. Two people in the exact same situations can choose to act and react very differently. Once you change your thinking about money to something positive, it becomes easier to take steps that will further improve your financial situation. And you’ll feel even more positive then.

What do you think? Have you always had the same view of money, or has your point of view changed along the way?

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15 comments

  • I was just thinking about this earlier today. Instead of being upset that all your hard work building your e-fund is now being spent, you can just be grateful that it was there to help you through a tough time.

  • You’re exactly right… the way we think (our perspective or outlook) has a huge impact on our actions. If you ask anyone how much more $ they think they need, 99% will say “just a little bit more.” Perspective is everything when it comes to finances.

  • My change in money perspective hit me a few years ago. When I was single, I was always able to save money each month. After I got married and had kids, things like a bigger mortgage payment (for the house we bought), bigger health insurance costs (higher premiums because of stingy company policies and additional family members) plus a couple of years of no raises, that *easy* saving was gone. Suddenly, being able to stash away money every month wasn’t automatic. It definitely changed the way I looked at spending money, that’s for certain!

  • I’ve had to learn that lesson myself in the past couple of yrs, and this is with a nice household income and large nest egg.

    • I think we’ve all had something go wrong at some point or another, but how you think about it during and afterward can make a difference.

  • I’ve heard that when you drive and your eyes wander to the side of the road, you tend to steer that way.

    The same is true of our thoughts – as you note in this post. If we think about something (like money) with self imposed limits, we tend to act on those thoughts. If we think about something (like money) with an open mind, big expectations and ideas, then we tend to act a different way.

  • My change in perspective came from realizing that incoming cash flow isn’t guaranteed (lay off did gave me that education) and that as we get older we have increased responsibilities and financial obligations. In other words, things don’t come easy so don’t make assumptions and take things for granted!

  • It’s like you wrote this right out of my life! I always had that perspective when an emergency would stop me from building up savings; but lately, I’ve just been grateful that I had the savings to prepare me for the emergency! That change in thinking has made a huge difference for me!