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3 Influences of Money Thinking and How to Think Different

Needless to say, your success in a given situation often depends as much on the way you think as it does on your actions.

For example, if you play a sport, you probably won’t get very far if you decide beforehand that you can’t beat your opponent. Same goes for approaching your financial health.

Perhaps you tend to avoid your financial problems until they get too big to ignore. Or you may feel guilty about your debt but continue to spend too much to keep your lifestyle going. You may want to build a financial structure for yourself but just don’t know where to start.

Take some pressure off first. Believe it or not, your current attitude towards money (if it̵

7;s negative) is not entirely your own creation. Influences shape the way we think about money – and if left unchecked, they can lead to bad habits.

Reshaping your money mindset so you can develop better and more consistent habits is the first step in achieving financial health. It’s also not as difficult as it may seem.

Here are some factors influencing the money mindset and how you can regain power on your financial journey.

Just as you might make coffee like your mother or learn vocabulary from an older sibling, the family can have a huge impact on how you view and manage your finances.

And since many of us aren’t taught personal finance in the classroom as children, much of what we know about money comes from what we learn at home.

It doesn’t mean you are meant to repeat all of your family’s mistakes, but it does give you perspective.

Start thinking differently:

  • Take the time to evaluate your current money habits – how much you’re saving, how you’re managing credit card bills, what your budget (or lack of it) is. Then try to trace them back to their origins.
  • Identify a few ways you can implement small changes that can bring you profits. Can you adjust your budget to include weekly expenses instead of monthly expenses? Can you cancel some subscriptions here or there to save $ 50 to $ 100 at the end of each month?

Find new methods that work for you today instead of continuing what you may have learned years ago.

Whether you fall victim to impulse buying or are bitten by the FOMO spending monster, your emotions can easily guide your money decisions. The problem is that when the feeling disappears, the financial fallout lingers.

Especially in times of high stress it is natural to want to look for sources of comfort quickly. However, giving in to emotional spending can be a quick way to miss your financial goals.

This is where discipline comes into play. You don’t have to rule out every fun purchase or small thing, but it is important to put in some spending guidelines in order to stay on track.

Start thinking differently:

  • Set up automatic transfers to your savings account every time you get a paycheck so you can save before you even spend.
  • Use your credit card like a debit card and never spend more than you can afford to pay off in a day.
  • Spend only with the money in your wallet.

Know your limits and create a game plan for yourself so your emotions don’t interfere with your hard-earned progress.

We all spend a fair amount of our time scrolling our favorite social media feeds and commenting on our IRL friends’ posts – but there are some sneaky mental and financial pitfalls to watch out for.

It is dangerous to let what you see on social media influence your financial decisions. No matter how minor the impact, think about how your feeds can make you feel.

For one, a lot of what we see on social media doesn’t reflect everyday life. On the other hand, an unhealthy comparison is just a waste of time. Obsession with how a coworker could afford the down payment for a new home or envying an influencer’s jet setting lifestyle won’t help you.

No, there is nothing inherently wrong with seeing something online that you like and wanting it for yourself. But when these thoughts take root and grow without proper perspective, it can lead to a harmful money mindset.

Start thinking differently:

  • Check out some of your feeds to see if they don’t feel that good.
  • Set realistic goals based on your personal interests and decide how you can achieve them with responsible money management.

Once you’ve identified some of your negative influences on the money mindset, you can work towards familiarizing yourself with some new, proactive approaches.

Ways to start your new money plan:

  1. Specifically, define your goals and how your money can serve you better over time.
  1. Take a look at your current financial picture and identify ways you can potentially save more or put more money in debt. Consider an expense plan and automation.
  1. Work on your financial literacy by learning about debt, savings, and investing from financial professionals and credible online resources.
  1. Establish some new habits with little effort: start an emergency fund to secure a 6-month spending buffer, use a percentage of your paycheck to tackle high-yield credit card debt, or put a small amount into a retirement account.

A new mindset can help you redefine what is possible. However, real improvement in your situation comes from hard work and sustainable habits.

Realize your influences, take control of your situation, and start devising the plan for lasting financial health.

Kendall is a personal finance journalist for NextAdvisor in partnership with TIME. Previously, she was a financial writer and credit card reporter at Bankrate, where she covered industry news and consumer advice. You can find more financial advice on her health on Twitter.

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