The Money Mindset
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This post is based on what our culture has taught many of us about money and its’ use. It also reviews how the ego contributes to personal debt. Whether the debt is maintainable or not, the ego causes us to dig deeper financial holes than we should. In addition, this blog will briefly describe the purpose of money and its use. However, this information will come from two different mindsets. We will get into that shortly.
I’d like to begin with a few rhetorical questions:
- Do you really need that huge house you will never finish the mortgage on?
- Do you really need that fancy, fast car?
- Do you really need those expensive clothes and shoes?
- What about the purse that cost you about 5 months’ worth of gas?
Many people will say, “I bought it because I wanted it! I will spend my money any way I choose!”
That’s not an issue at all! No judgment here! However, there is always a point in a person’s life when they say at least one of the following, “I’m not getting paid enough!”, “I’m tired of working!”, “I can’t take care of myself because I’m always at work” “I can’t quit because I need my job!” and the famous, “I can’t stand my boss!”
Ok, what’s my point?! My point is, the “almighty dollar” seems to be worshipped, praised and loved. It’s also viewed as a necessity for those living from paycheck to paycheck. What about those who find nothing wrong with piling on more “controllable” debt for themselves whenever they get a raise or a promotion? Let’s not forget the spenders who insist on following the trend. If people knew money’s true strength and power, hardly anyone would throw it away on meaningless superficial materials that don’t pay you back. That’s just my opinion.
Many people cannot hang onto, or manage money productively, because of the ego. They are heavily concerned with impressing other people or to strengthen their self-esteem. Every high dollar item has an emotional tie to it.
Here’s an example:
- A fancy and fast car is often tied to, “Hey, look at me!”, “Looks good doesn’t it?!”, “I’m going to get so much attention!” Not true? Ok then, explain why you didn’t simply buy the used Kia, which will still get you from point A to point B, and is significantly cheaper?
The sense of pride, accomplishment, and conceitedness are due to the ego (sense of self-esteem or self-importance).
Culture has a lot to do with the mindset of what money is and its use. As a child, the only thing I was taught about money was, “save it, spend it wisely, and put it in a bank.” Although those weren’t bad tips, it wasn’t nearly enough to prepare me on how to live a stress-free life.
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Many can’t get beyond the thought of working at a 9-5 job for various reasons. I was taught that working grueling hours that are full of dealing with someone else’s crap and frustrations was the “way of life!” Next, become a responsible adult so that you can have nice things. I call this becoming financially stuck because of so much senseless debt. For example:
- Car payments
- Other financed items
- School loans
- Personal loans
- Credit cards
I can recall an old acquaintance making the following statements to me, “What are you saving money for? It’s not like you can take it with you once you die! You earn it so that you can spend it!” This was her cultural mindset about money.
This seems to be the world we live in. Many people continuously spend money on the things that are pretty. However, these pretty things will never pay you a penny back in return.
Ever noticed when some people receive a pay raise or a job promotion? Instead of living the same lifestyle and setting productive goals for themselves, they decide to upgrade (buying bigger and more expensive things). Spending makes a lot of people feel good about themselves, lives, current situation, etc. Typically, the euphoria over that brand new, beautiful, shiny, and elegant object will eventually become old news, and left to collect dust…while earning you nothing in return.
When it comes to searching for a place to live, many people would rather rent because they feel that a mortgage would be more expensive than rent. Let me note, as a real estate investor, this is FAR from the truth. I used to think the same exact thing. But, by expanding my knowledge in the field, I quickly understood why renting was a total waste of money. For example, there are tons of decent homes on the market that can be purchased, while paying a mortgage that is significantly less than rent!
Many cultures have taught us to get a good education, get a really nice career with benefits, buy a nice home, build a family, reward yourself by purchasing nice things, continue to work hard until the age of 65 and collect a pension, 401k, and or collect social security. That’s how the old sayings go, right? There’s nothing wrong with this if it’s what a person chooses to do. However, what about those common statements mentioned earlier “I’m not getting paid enough!”, “I’m tired of working!”, “I can’t take care of myself because I’m always at work”, “I can’t quit because I need my job!” and the famous, “I can’t stand my boss!?
I am willing to take a leap of faith by saying, most people would quit their jobs in an instant if they could still get paid!
We blow huge amounts of money on taking care of people who fail to make an attempt at taking care of themselves. We blow hundreds of dollars in bars and clubs impressing people. Many feel that money is a material with a value that is used to live and be entertained. Again, there is nothing wrong with this concept. However, if you are one of the people who’s making the following statements “I’m not getting paid enough!”, “I’m tired of working!”, “I can’t take care of myself because I’m always at work!”, “I can’t quit because I need my job!” and the famous, “I can’t stand my boss!” then you may want to consider doing something different.
I’ve learned from experience that this mindset has gotten me nowhere. Overall, I’ve made some good decisions that have led to some great opportunities. Although I have nothing to complain about career-wise, I often made those common statements too, “I’m not getting paid enough!”, “I’m tired of working!” …………I think you get the point. Needless to say, I’m happy that I finally decided to take a leap and make a change.
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Currently, as an investor, I own several rental properties. In addition, I am the owner of “Widen Your Perspective” Life Coaching. I mention these accomplishments not to boast, but to make it clear that I now understand TWO different perspectives on money and its purpose.
I feel it’s safe to assume that everyone will agree that money is meant to be spent. But, what separates perspective #1 and #2? HOW and WHERE the money is spent. Let’s label the consumers that are comfortable with liability, debt, and working hard to sustain and fulfill those financial obligations as Perspective #1. On the other hand, Perspective #2 will refer to the thinkers, inventors, creators, and innovators of opportunity.
Establishing your own business can start off extremely slow but grow to be successful. For example, someone could purchase a website to blog, or sell things, like materials to make jewelry, yard equipment to service people’s yards, tools to become a contractor, pencils or paint to become a freelance artist. If you have a ton of life experience, you could earn certifications and become a coach, a counselor, an adviser, etc.
From my current perspective, money is a tool; a process of money making more money!
Think of all the money you’ve spent on expensive objects, high interest, rent, clothes, or possibly on people who haven't given you anything back in return. With that amount of money, you could have initiated at least 3-5 small businesses, maybe more depending on your interests. Food for thought; had they all failed, you could still be financially afloat because not all small businesses are expensive to start and operate! Those failures would have taught you valuable lessons that would have provided a better chance of succeeding in the next endeavor.
I call perspective # 2 “The Money Mind.” It is a thought process that will enable a person to think of money, opportunities, health, and life in a unique way. Again, having lived both perspectives allows me to understand why many people feel as though they can’t get ahead in life. Often having to deal with an unwanted situation because they are “financially stuck”.
What are you passionate about?
Are you good with your hands?
Are you a thinker, a creator?
Do you enjoy solving other people’s issues?
Identify anything that you are naturally good at. Then get online and search for “Jobs that require using your__________” (Fill in the blank with one or all of the questions above). You will see that you are more than qualified to start your own business, earn your own money and live your life the way it’s supposed to be…stress free! Next, research what you need, then calculate how much it will cost to get it started.
Your knowledge and expertise will ALWAYS serve a need and there will be someone who’s willing to pay for it. It's never too late to start viewing money from a “The Money Mind” perspective.
Thanks for taking time out to read!
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