Money Minded: Six financial attitudes to cultivate

money minded

The way we think and feel about money can have profound effects upon our financial behaviour. That’s why it’s so important to cultivate healthy, helpful attitudes – why make things more difficult for ourselves during a time of austerity?

Think smarter, act smarter, and hopefully you’ll soon feel a little richer too.

Here are some of the most helpful attitudes to boost your personal finance prospects:

1. Never despair

However bad a money situation might seem, there is always help. If your debts seem inescapable, know that you can turn them around and eventually become debt free. Even if you’re declared bankrupt, that situation will become resolved after a set period of time, and life will go on.

Feeling helpless and hopeless can lead to a miserable downward spiral. Debt charities can give you moral support as well as practical assistance with your money troubles, so don’t be scared to reach out if you’re in a bad place.

2. Don’t say “I’m useless with money”

If you repeatedly say something negative like this about yourself, it will seriously impact upon your behaviour over time, eroding your self confidence along with your cash. It could also lead to others treating you in a certain unhealthy way, either to exploit you or to take over for you.

If you’re starting from a point of low financial knowledge and skills then it’s okay to feel a little insecure, but if you commit to learning as you go along then things will start to improve. It’s more helpful to think something like this: “I’m on a learning curve and I’m getting better with each week that passes. I can do this.”

3. Be someone who sets goals and makes plans

People who set specific money goals tend to end up in better financial shape than their peers who don’t do this. In particular, people who write down their goals and sketch out specific plans to achieve them have the most impressive results.

Hoping wistfully, or saying you’ll get around to it at some point in times like these really isn’t going to cut it. Like they say, ‘if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.’

PS winning the lottery isn’t a viable plan – there’s a huge difference between an actionable plan and a rare random event…

4. Be self reliant

Being self reliant means taking charge of your situation, rather than putting up with situations that could easily be improved or expecting somebody else to come and rescue you. Rescue yourself, it feels great.

If your level of financial self-confidence isn’t too high at the moment, commit to improving it. Many highly effective money plans can be written down on the back of an envelope, and you don’t need a degree in economics to write one.

5. Commit to doing your research

Many companies get away with overcharging us or even cheating us because we simply don’t take the time to find a better deal, untick an important tiny check box on an online form, or read through the small print. Time to start doing our research properly, and not rushing through or putting it off.

Knowledge is power, and in some ways it’s never been easier to find it.┬áRemember, if somebody’s trying to sell you something, read around the subject rather than blindly trusting them.

You don’t have to find it thrillingly exciting. Just think of it as an everyday chore, like doing the laundry or putting the bins out – it needs to be done.

6. Run your finances like a business

Trim the fat, look for ways to earn more, invest in yourself and aim for success. Keep records, have long and short term plans, don’t take on too much debt, keep yourself accountable, and monitor and evaluate your progress.

In other words, if you take it seriously and have a businesslike attitude, you can build yourself a nice little nest egg. Yes, it’s still possible even if you have a modest income.

There you have it, six of the most useful attitudes that can improve your finances, although of course there are a few more that aren’t mentioned here. Do you have any other healthy money attitudes that have helped you to become better off? Or is there something on the list that you’re going to try?

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  1. I’m ashamed to say that at the age 49 I have always fascinated as to how other people are so financially balanced whereas as we have always hobbled from one financial crisi to another!
    It wasn’t until I discovered your book and website that financial secure meant is not just luck but a long term plan.
    I bought the books, I joined jump start January and loved it!
    For the first time in my life I get it!
    Roll on the next tenner week!

  2. Hi Nikki, thank you so much for your kind words. It’s so fantastic to see that you’re making all this progress, and it’s been a privilege to be a very small part of it. Keep going!

    Penny x

  3. Great advice Penny! Love that this is so concise. These are all tips we’ve used ourselves to grow our travel savings over the years. I especially agree on changing the mindset “I’m not good with money”. Being financially smart is hugely attitude dependent, which many don’t realise until they make the switch. Thanks for the read!

  4. Hi Jen – welcome to the site! Thank you very much for your comments.

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