Why can’t I be better with my money?
You can’t help but wonder sometimes (psstt…. I think about it too).
But that elusive millions seems like such a far reach. Meanwhile, you’re struggling to pay down that debt. Or earn more. Or feel better about your current financial situation.
Listen, you’re not alone. It’s not just me saying it this time.
I’ve asked 30 people to talk about their struggles and crucial mindset shifts they had to make before they were able to master their money.
Ok, maybe I was being a bit selfish asking them because it’s a question I’m going to explore in my newly launched podcast Beyond The Dollar. But the lessons and a-ha moments I’ve gotten are too good not to share with y’all
Ready to dig in?
Amanda Abella //AmandaAbella.com
One of my biggest money aha moments happened in 2017 when I realized I had to shift my focus from managing money to earning more money. Up until that point, I thought management was the most important aspect – yet I still wasn’t reaching my goals fast enough. It was then that I realized that in order to live the way I wanted, I needed totally shift my focus to earning more.
It was uncomfortable at first because it required taking risks – investing in mentorship again, creating a group coaching program for the first time, asking for a lot more money, going harder with my marketing and making HUGE life decisions – but I did it anyway.
Fast forward a few months and five-figure months are becoming the norm, I moved into my dream apartment and I’m having a lot more fun – all while still saving and investing. Now whenever I feel out of my comfort zone I just say to myself “Remember, you can always earn more.”
Garrett Philbin // Beyond The Dollar
The shift happened when I started asking myself “what is the need I’m trying to satisfy with the money I’m spending?” If I spend a bunch of money going out to bars, and yet I could have as much fun spending time with my friends at a picnic in the park for way less money, why wouldn’t I do that? Asking myself what the underlying need was helped me get much more intentional with my money, and got me a much higher ROH (return on happiness) for my money.
Ruby Escalona // A Journey We Love
I changed my mindset about money because I got too addicted to shopping. This was when I had my first job straight out of college and I had more money than I could have ever imagined. Every payday, I would end up going to the mall and buying crap that I didn’t need.
Soon enough, I realized I was living paycheck to paycheck because of my shopaholic tendencies.
I started reading more personal finance books on how to curb my spending. Without that little episode in my life I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Now, when I shop, it is for something that we need, and well, I also stock pile on non-perishable items that are on sale. Heck, we make it a point to not pay full price for most things anymore!
Kevin H. // Financial Panther
For me, my mindset shift came when I realized what money did – it bought freedom and flexibility. I ended up starting my career in a job that wasn’t a great fit for me, but because of student loans, I had to stick it out for 3 years before I could make a switch. Once I realized that money bought my freedom, I realized that I needed to go all-in with understanding how money works.
Tracie Forbes // Penny Pinchin’ Mom
My aha moment came about a bit differently. I remember paying bills and noticing how I was pushing off payments, yet again and trying to juggle all the balls in the air. I kept thinking we HAD to find a way to make more money. This was no longer working and was absolutely exhausting. It also happened to be on the day when my husband told me to go to dinner with some friends.
During that meal, we started talking about money. Our son’s godmother talked about how they were getting out of debt. I knew they made what we did. I realized in that moment that this was not that we needed to make money, we just had to figure out how to take back control. I went home and shared what I learned with my husband and we began our debt free journey the next day – and have never looked back.
Sometimes, the strangest things happen that open your eyes. For me, a simple dinner night out with friends changed our lives forever.
Jerry Brown // Peerless Money Mentor
One day I came home, and my ex fiancée’s bags were packed. She decided to move to another state with her mom because we were having financial issues. Although we were not married, our finances were tied together. Her leaving meant I would no longer be able to afford to live in the apartment by myself. As a result of this terrible experience, I decided to never shack up with someone again. It is a terrible idea to move in with someone to split the cost of living. If you can’t afford the place on your own, don’t move in with a potential life partner!
Melissa Berry // Sunburnt Saver
My ‘aha’ moment when I realized I needed to master my money was cat food. As in, I didn’t want to be eating cat food when I got older.
I don’t say that to be casual at all – it’s a serious concern for me.
I’m an only child and my husband and I don’t plan on having children. Therefore, I don’t have the “safety net” that others may have with children checking on them when they get older.
I realized a few years ago no one is going to take care of me when I get older (as, statistically speaking, I’ll outlive my husband) so I have to be proactive now so that I can afford a nice nursing home when I need one.
I guess it’s a little weird for someone my age (I’m 30) to be thinking this far ahead, but my parents had me late in life so I already know a lot about quality nursing homes vs. very bad ones, and I know exactly what I envision my future quality of life being when I’m 70+.
Jennifer Jackson // ADLT101
When I first graduated college I didn’t fully understand how interest rates and debt worked. It was super confusing so I avoided it. It wasn’t until I had been making payments for a while that I realized my balance wasn’t really moving. I finally became tired of making all these payments without the balance moving and set aside a whole day to learn about interest rates and calculate my pay off date. I took it as a challenge to beat that date and began to make 10 times my minimum payments to move the debt. Once I did that I was able to pay off over $20,000 of debt in one year.
Sarah Bettencourt // Monday Morning Mimosas
I realized I had to shift my mindset when I was still part-time employed, broke, living with my parents, and had a two year old baby. At that point I set out to learn as much as humanly possible within a 12 month period to set out and start my own social media marketing firm. Two years (now almost three) into it, I’ve done pretty damn good. I left my desk job in 2015 and by December 2017 I have tripled my income and can afford all the specialized therapy my son needs.
Jen Hemphill // Her Money Matters Podcast
I will never forget. It was 10 years into my marriage when it really hit home that not only did I have a negative mindset around money, but the extent which it was impacting our financial life. After years of doing all the things the financial experts told me I saw how little the needle had moved. We were still in debt, our bank accounts still looked the same, we continued to deplete our emergency funds and we even tapped into our retirement a couple of times. Then what divine timing when the book by T. Harv Eker called The Secrets of the Millionaire Mind crossed my path and marked the beginning of the transformation of our financial life. We have been better for it and have not looked back.
Todd Tresidder // Financial Mentor
Investing and growing your wealth doesn’t work the way it’s commonly taught. Instead, it’s an actuarial discipline determined by the mathematical expectancy and future value equations. This isn’t just a non-readable slogan. This is the math of how money works. It’s inviolable. That means all of your investment strategy and personal financial management is ruled by this math. One of the important implications is how you can tilt the expectancy equation in your favor through disciplined risk management. When you understand this deeply it changes how you manage your personal finances, your investments, and your life.
Tara Falcone // ReisUP
My aha moment came just a few months before college graduation. After spending my entire undergraduate career preparing to go to medical school, I realized that I would have to go into debt just to pay for the application process. Having grown up in a debt-burdened family, I knew I didn’t want to go down the same path. So I applied to finance jobs on Wall Street instead and committed to learning how to manage money and how to make it grow. Since deciding to be proactive instead of reactive with my money, my mindset has never been the same
Karen Cordaway // KarenCordaway.com
My aha money moment came once I got a little woo woo and made a vision board. Though creating a board and staring it wasn’t enough to make things happen. I took it a step further and translated the ideas on the board into actionable items. For instance, there’s a swanky hotel about an hour away that serves as what I call a ‘summertime’ getaway in the winter. There’s 10,000 square foot solarium, indoor pool surrounded by palm trees. A day after putting that on my board, I called and made reservations to stay there with my family.
I felt more motivated to save for a goal this way. I knew that if I estimated the cost of the trip and tucked money away for it, I could experience fun-filled bucket list adventures such as going to a musical on Broadway or attending a big sporting event. If that meant skipping dinner and the movies a few times until the trip, it didn’t feel like deprivation. I felt like I was creating a path to spend my money on things that were important to me.
Germaine Martina // My Dream Finances
My mindset shift happened when I realized that stuff didn’t equal success. This faulty thinking is what caused me to go deep into debt to buy things, like high end handbags, that I didn’t need in order to prove that I was successful to the people around me. Once this mindset shift occurred my husband and I were able to plow through $200,000 in debt.
Misty // Simple Organized Lifestyle
My biggest aha-moment that led to a shift in mindset about money, that it’s just a tool. I grew up hearing “we can’t afford that” and “money doesn’t grow on trees” on a regular basis. I used to view money as something only for the rich. I became passionate about personal finance and figuring out how to become rich. As it turns out, many people I thought were rich were just in a mountain of debt. Those who were truly rich had learned to use money as a tool. When I adopted this same mindset, it changed everything for my finances and my future. Now, I tell my money where to go and what to do and the results have been an instant return on investment.
Rocky Lalvani // Richer Soul
As an immigrant child my parents always taught me to save and negotiate everything. However, at the time everything was done manually and you had to consciously make decisions with money. The automating of savings was accidental but as I look back that decision has allowed me to achieve massive success in spite of me doing stupid with money! Automate and forget – Automate paying yourself first and forget about the money you are setting aside. Over time it will compound and grow and the next thing you know you’re a millionaire!
Rachel Hernandez // Adventures in Mobile Homes
Growing up, I was taught by my dad that in order to make money I had to work a lot. So in college, I had a resume writing service. My rate was low compared to the competition. Had too much business. And I soon found out the hard way, making money depended on me. Working a lot. To make a long story short, I got burned out. From this experience, I learned the value of making money work for you- not the other way around. So I went into real estate investing. Though I do work and put time to manage my business, it’s not dependent on me. Obligating others to pay me in exchange for a place to live has given me a great lifestyle. One where I have the time to do the things I want to do, not have to do.
Tracy Ma // Financial Nirvana Mama
I used to work 70+ weeks, sometimes past midnight and occasional overnight shifts just to pay off student debt. That was me, an engineer, model and tutor.
I decided I had enough. My new motto became ‘Work Smarter not work harder’
So I invested in real estate in my spare time, reached financial bliss and gained courage to leave my engineering job after 13 years.
Jessica Moorhouse // JessicaMoorhouse.com
One of my big “aha money moments” actually occurred to me about a year ago. I was waffling between staying at my day job or quitting to focus on my online business. One of my biggest concerns was that it was irresponsible of me to leave a well-paying, secure job for the unknown. Also, I always had this idea in my head that self-employment meant living on a tight budget, having no financial security, and would put a big black mark on my resume preventing me from ever getting hired again.
Still, in my gut, I knew I needed to do it. And I did. A year later I know I made the right choice, and all of my fears were proved wrong. If anything I felt more financially secure. Instead of relying on just one paycheck from my employer, I had 7 different income streams. And I knew that if I needed to earn extra money, there was a handful of things I could do to increase my revenue. Did it put a big black mark on my resume? If anything, if I were to go back into the corporate world, I’d be even more qualified to pursue higher-level jobs from all of my experience and projects I’ve been able to accomplish.
Not only that, I earned more on my own than I did at my day job! That motivated me to work even harder, take bigger risks and set myself up for success.
What’s Holding You Back?
I know those negative money beliefs are hard to get rid of. I also know that you’re probably feeling like you can’t relate, that perhaps your day will never come.
Please, let these stories strengthen your belief that your hard work will pay off.
It’s worth it to keep going.
So keep paying down that debt, learn about saving money and how to maximize those retirement accounts.
Your day will come, I just know it.