If nobody else has already told you this, I will: if your emotions are all over the place, you will never get rich. Period.
Read all those articles on habits of the wealthy, take courses on creating passive income streams, whatever. If you believe deep down you don’t deserve riches, it won’t come to you. As in, you gotta feel like money is already there for the taking my friend.
When you train your mind to believe and get excited about being wealthy, opportunities will show up everywhere. You’ll be more open to try new things, get out of your comfort zone and make what once were hard decisions.
I firmly believe when you master your mindset, you’ll master your money. Here’s a handy dandy guide to help you get started.
Table of Contents:
- Give Yourself Permission
- Deal With Your Anxiety
- Forgive Yourself and Others
- Free Up Some Space
- Take Responsibility for Your Choices
- Be Grateful For the Flow of Money
- Get Super Specific
- Watch Your Words
- Live Out Your Values
- Party It Up With High Net–Worth Folks
- Keep Your Vision, Be Open to the How
- Turn Everything Into a Game
- Create Luxury Now
- (psst, if you don’t have time to read it all now, download it as a PDF and save it for later)
1. Give Yourself Permission
Nobody is more interested in your money than you. Not your spouse, your friend, your financial planner, or even your dog.
If you want to change your money mindset, it has to start with you. Nobody else.
Don’t tell me you have no idea how to increase your salary, get more clients or put more money aside for your retirement fund. Those are excuses, and excuses will get you nowhere.
If you want to earn more money, you have to be the one to ask for more.
If you want to go on a three week vacation to Europe, you have to be one to make those plans.
If you want to go into business for yourself, you have to be the one that gets the customers so you can eventually quit your job.
You’re reading this and thinking, I’m already doing all of this. I’m taking those scary steps. Cool. Know if you’re still nowhere where you want to be, there are parts of your life where you’re still asking for permission.
Take me for example. Last year I was still at a full-time job and moonlighting as a freelance writer. I was making enough to pay the bills and then some. Yet, I knew when it came time to end my work contract, I kept telling myself I would look for another job. Every weekend I would talk to my husband about quitting and getting angry at all the expenses we were paying for.
See what I’m doing here? I wanted my husband to tell me it was ok to quit my job and work for myself. Somehow, my husband giving me permission made it ok to strike it out on my own.
Instead, he told me to do whatever I wanted. It was then I realized if I wanted go for it, I had to be the one to make the choice.
When you ask for permission from someone else, you’re limiting yourself. You’re leaving your life (and money making status) in somebody else’s hands.
Give yourself permission to earn more.
Give yourself permission to buy those beautiful shoes you’ve saved up for.
Give yourself permission to start a part-time dog walking business.
Whatever you want.
So take a look at your situation right now. What is it you want?
Start by journaling it all out. Do something as simple as writing out declarations. As in “I want to earn more money” or “I want enough money to go on a vacation every year.”
Some people love to free write. Find a quiet spot where you’ll be undisturbed, sit still for a few minutes, mull over what you want and write whatever comes to mind for at least five minutes.
When you write things down, make no judgements. As in, don’t tell yourself if these things you want are right or wrong. They’re just things you want.
Once you have a list of things, tell yourself it’s ok to have these things. Brainstorm how you will get it.
If you’re feeling icky about the whole thing or you’re not feeling the whole money mindset mojo yet, use the following template and write it out. Read it out loud. Rinse and repeat until you feel this burning desire to act on getting what you want.
I want _____________ and that’s ok. I now give myself permission to do/have/be it. I am awesome and totally deserve [the thing you want]. I grant myself the right to be/have/do this. I no longer need to wait because I’ve given permission.
Loving Yourself: 21 Days to Improved Self–Esteem with Mirror Work – This free 4-part free video series helps you increase your self–esteem so you can finally start giving yourself permissionto earn more and be more
2. Deal With Your Anxiety
Thinking successful people don’t have their fair share of impostor syndrome is just false. Even the richest people in the world have negative money mindset thoughts from time to time.
Money mindset mastery doesn’t mean you’re feeling the love about your cash all the time. You don’t run away from your emotions, even if they feel gross. When you fully embrace what you’re feeling, how you’re feeling and stop running away from it, that’s when the magic happens.
When you feel anxious or let the emotions get the better of you, you will not make decisions that benefit you. Imagine for a moment you’re up for a performance review at your job or are pitching for new freelance contracts. You’re going to a conversation about why you deserve a raise and/or why you’re a valuable team member.
What are you thinking about right now? Will you be able to clearly articulate all you do for the company? Or will you downplay or talk yourself out of asking for a bigger raise?
The key to a better financial future is to remove emotional triggers around money so you can make decisions from an objective standpoint. Yes, easier said than done.
However, there are many tools to help you process your feelings and emotions around money issues. Try the exercise below first.
Whenever thoughts related to money come up, embrace them.
Find a quiet place and write down your thoughts. There are great journaling apps that help you record how you’re feeling and any scenarios that may have triggered it.
When recording your thoughts, write what specifically you believe to be true about money. For example, you’re freaking out about going out for drinks with your friends because you only have $20 in your bank account. Deep down, you believe you don’t make enough and feel confused about the next steps. Write that down!
After doing this take a deep breath and tell yourself it’s ok to feel this way. The point of this whole exercise is to practice not running away when things get bad. When you learn to lean into the discomfort, you’ll be more willing to make the changes necessary to improve your financial situation.
Because let’s face it, change is hard and will test your emotions. So get used to it now.
–Overcoming the Poverty Mindset – Great article by Femme Frugality
–Momento – A free journaling app for iPhone
–8 Meaningful Ways to Stand Out as a Female Business Owner – Beautiful post by Carrie Smith of Careful Cents bout mindset and giving yourself permission.
3. Forgive Yourself and Others
Forgiveness is such an integral part of the money mindset mastery process. It’s all about clearing the mental space so you can invite better things to come. Forgiving someone or a situation is all about you, not them (unless you’re forgiving yourself #meta).
If all you’re doing is harboring feelings of resentment, anger and hate, you’re never going to fully allow yourself to create more wealth in your life. Also, when you’re angry with a person, a situation, or even the world, you’re living with a victim mentality.
Forgiveness isn’t about forgetting the events that happened. It’s about letting go of the negative or charged feelings so you can move onto more productive matters. Holding on to resentment means holding onto the past. Creating a better financial future for yourself means you have to look forward, and how to use your awesomeness to create it.
The hardest (and arguably most important) person to forgive is yourself. Think about all those decisions you made, the words you said, things you’ve done to hurt yourself and others. Releasing those thoughts and judgments helps to invite new thoughts, ones that can help you create cold hard cash.
When my ex-boyfriend broke up with me, I held onto so much anger and shame about the whole situation. As in for a good solid year. I finally forgave him and all the decisions I made leading up the breakup. Within a week, I paid off the rest of my credit card debt.
It’s also not enough to forgive and move on. This needs to be a daily practice. You will meet new people who cause you anguish or others already in your life that have caused you a lifetime of pain. If there are things from your childhood you haven’t properly dealt with, do you really think you’ll let those go readily?
Think of people or situations where you still feel anger or resentment towards (should be related to money in some way). There may be a lot and that’s ok. Nobody will look at this list except for you.
Pick one that stands out the most. Find a quiet place, sit down and visualize the person or the situation. Allow any emotions to come up.
Either visualize or say out loud, “I forgive you and choose to let these negative emotions go.” and physically feel yourself letting go of them.
Rinse and repeat.
–ForGIVEness by Iyalana Vyzant – A great book with detailed instructions on how a forgiveness process you can do in 21 days. I’ve tried it and it changed my life.
4. Free Up Some Space
Steps 2 and 3 literally help you clear mental clutter. Now it’s time to clear physical clutter.
It’s not about selling off items. It’s actually about clearing even more mental space when you get rid of physical items. Imagine when your house is clean and how differently you feel when it’s a mess. Same with having a massive pile of stuff you never use.
I ended up getting rid of 90% of my things because of my desire of freeing up space. Never did I imagine it would lead me down the path it did. I learned to forgive myself for all my past money mistakes and gave myself permission to be more and do more.
I’m not saying you need to go crazy like I did. Even clearing out your closet or curating your book collection is good enough for now. Seriously, your physical clutter represents your mental state. As in, are you afraid of letting go of old beliefs about money? Do you find it hard to declutter because you can’t make a decision to save your life?
When you physically make space, you mentally make space for new things too. If you want to make more money, you need to allow yourself to receive the money. As in, give yourself the space to do so by clearing beliefs that aren’t serving you. Specifically, ones that prevent you from raking in all that cash.
A cool side effect is that you may find lost cash. I’m not kidding. There have been so many stories of friends finding cash in boxes, coat jackets and books. I found a $100 bill when I was cleaning out my book collection.
Start decluttering a room or items you rarely use. Be ruthless. Will you use these again? If you use them on occasion, can you borrow/rent them instead?
Once you have a pile of things you want to get rid of, sort them by items to donate, toss in the trash and sell. If you’re selling items, give yourself a timeline. As in, if you don’t sell items by a certain date, donate them.
If you want to take it one step further, give thanks or express gratitude for the things you are letting go. They served a purpose at one point in time, and now you’re releasing it to the world for others to benefit.
If you have a lot of things to declutter, start slow. Tackle one room or category at a time.
How Minimalism Changed My Life – Amazing post by Simply+Fiercely
5. Take Responsibility for Your Choices
Nobody has the power to change your life but you. It doesn’t matter how shitty your situation is, how little you have in your bank account or how little you know about money management, it’s all on you. The important question is, are you ready to do the work it takes to transform your life?
Most people at this point will say yes but don’t really mean it. They’ll surround themselves with inspirational quotes and visualize their dream life, but don’t do a damn thing about it.
Why? Because they’re not ready to step up. Do the work it really takes to be rich. That means taking responsibility for your choices, good or bad. Doing what needs to be done to get ahead. Choosing to shift your perspective, whatever it takes.
All of this stuff is scary. Believe me, I’m scared most days. But I know that if I continue to take responsibility, stop viewing myself as a victim of my circumstances, there is no stopping me.
When you take responsibility, you understand that the power is in your hands. There is are so many opportunities to be rich and do to what you want.
So commit to changing your situation. You’ll see magic happen.
–Every time you feel like complaining, ask yourself if it’s something you can change. If not, let it go. If you can, ask yourself how you can solve the problem.
-Train your mind to solve problems. For example, you want to retire in 5 years. Figure out a solution (or multiple) on how to make this happen. Although it’s better to start small, say finding substitutions to ingredients in a recipe.
-If you can do this without judgement, find a past money mistake or a situation you found yourself in where you didn’t handle your money well. Brainstorm ways you could have handled it differently.
-Create a new habit where it requires you to push yourself. A good one is one where it requires you to physically exert yourself. For example, I have a yoga practice and am working towards doing handstands.
How Falling Into This Trap Will Limit Your Financial Progress – Awesome podcast episode from my friend Jen at Her Money Matters
6. Be Grateful For the Flow of Money
You’re probably wondering how you can be grateful for money that hasn’t come in yet.
First, you will trust that the money will come. Second, you’re grateful for the inflow and outflow of money.
Let me explain. When you’re grateful for all the money you have it invites more to come. That means you’re grateful for paying the bills. Grateful for getting a paycheck. Grateful for a meal your friend bought for you. You get the idea.
When you’re happy and feeling like you have more than enough, that’s when you’ll see magic happen. You’re open to more opportunities and creative solutions to your money woes.
Even if you don’t buy into it, try doing something as simple as saying thank you when you pay the bills. Imagine the the money is helping you keep the lights on, or provide electricity to your stove so you can cook meals. When you go grocery shopping, think about the hundreds (yes, really!) of people you’re helping, from the farmers to the people who deliver produce, to the people who stock merchandise at the store. Pretty wild, huh?
You want to get away from a place of lack (aka a scarcity mindset) and step into a place where the universe can deliver the goods. It all starts with you believing it can.
- Start a gratitude journal. I like to use this one, and it only takes me five minutes each time.
- If you meditate, focus on something you’re grateful for.
- Every time you receive or give something away (like paying the bills), say “thank you, there’s more where that came from.”
- Imagine or brainstorm all ways you enjoy receiving or spending money.
5 Minute Journal – Great guided questions to get you on the gratitude bandwagon.
CHA-CHING! A Money Coloring Notebook – If you prefer pen and paper, use this one with fun money images while you’re jotting down thoughts.
7. Get Super Specific
On my first wedding anniversary, I desperately wanted my husband to get me flowers. He kept asking me weeks leading up to the day what I wanted, and I kept telling him I wanted it to be a surprise, secretly thinking he’ll get me flowers.
So the day comes. He lets me sleep in. Surprises me with brunch at the Shangri-la hotel. Takes me to all my favorite shops. Cuddles with me in the couch, letting me pick whatever movie I wanted.
And yet, I burst into tears. My husband, dumbfounded, asks me what’s the matter.
“You didn’t get me flowers.”
So here’s the deal. If you want more money, you gotta not only ask for it, but you have to be super specific. I had a great first anniversary with my husband, but if I wanted those damn flowers, I should have mentioned it.
How are you going to get what you want if you will not take the time to figure it all out? It’s not enough for you to say you want more money, you need to declare how much, from where and when. Or, do what I do, get super specific on the amount you want and what it’s actually for.
This has to do with manifesting yes, but it was more to do with your intentions. The more vague you are about something, the less likely you’re going to go for it. Being specific also helps you visualize whatever your heart desires. You can see it, feel it, get excited about getting it. Therefore, it’ll come to you a lot faster.
- Brainstorm your ideal lifestyle or something you’re really after. Figure out how much money it’ll cost. Add in a little more just for fun.
- Pray, talk, meditate or whatever it takes for you to start a conversation with the universe about what you want.
- Keep reminders about the specific thing you want. Brainstorm ways to get it
- Visualize what you want everyday. Get excited about it. Believe you’ll get it.
8. Watch Your Words
You’ve probably heard the phrase complaining is draining. Not only does it zap your energy, but it zaps your money making mojo.
When you’re too busy complaining or thinking about what you don’t have or can’t do, you’re taking time away from working on solutions to earn more. Also, if you’re constantly telling yourself you can’t be rich, you’ll believe it. And you’ll find all sorts of ways to find of evidence of what you believe.
Start noticing the internal dialogue you have in your head about money. Notice the words you use around others when you talk about money or achieving your goals.
Here are a few to watch out for:
- I should (Just because someone is, doesn’t mean you need to)
- I have to (nobody’s forcing you to do anything)
- I can’t (really?)
- I wish (saying this makes you feel like it’s out of reach)
- It’s too hard (duh, work is hard)
- Maybe (either do something or don’t)
Noticing and changing the words you use trains your brain to open up to solutions and the possibilities to have more money. It’ll help motivate and inspire you to take consistent action, because that’s the only guarantee you’ll be able to make more money.
- If you’re feeling adventurous, challenge yourself to stop complaining for a week. See how long you last.
- If that sounds too daunting, just notice the things you say around money. Journal it out or write commonly used phrases.
- Change those commonly used phrases into something more positive. For example, if you tell yourself you can’t afford something, ask yourself how you can afford it.
- Here’s a neat little trick if you constantly are negative: wear an elastic band on your wrists. Snap it every time you catch yourself thinking or saying something negative about money.
A Simple Experiment to Change Your View of Words– Amazing article by Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist
More Money in Your Life – Great post by Steven Aitchison. It’s a simple exercise where you put money in your wallet and how it can help you attract more money. Like he says, “If you are open to receiving money you will receive it. If you are open to receiving money you will receive it.”
9. Live Out Your Values
Your values are crucial to you becoming rich. When you don’t take the time to assess and live out your values, you won’t be happy. When you feel miserable, upset or like something’s off, you’ll end up spending money you regret.
Those who are or have been in consumer debt are not living out their values. In fact, debt is a serious sign that something is wrong. As in, you’re wasting time and energy on things that don’t matter or contribute to your overall happiness.
When you live in accordance to your values, you’re more discerning of how you spend time and energy. You’ll notice you spend less money and find more enjoyment in your career. Or change careers altogether. You’ll feel like your life has more purpose which motivates you to keep going.
Your values help you grow and develop as a person. Or grow and develop a positive money mindset. It gives you an internal guide to move towards all the wealth you can possibly imagine, and then some.
Figuring out your values is easy. It’s how you carry them out in the real world that’s hard.
- Do a free write exercise about what you would spend on if money were no object.
- Group common items and see if you can figure out your values from there.
- Make a list and prioritize them from most important on
- Once you’ve got that list, make another list of things you’ll stop spending money on.
- Make another list of things you want to spend money on, and make a goal to earn enough money to get it.
(psst..if you need more guidance I have a values based exercise spending guide to help you in the recommended resources below.)
Values Based Spending Guide – A series of exercises to help you figure out your values. Fill out the form below to grab it:
- The Authentic Budget – Work on using your values to create a money management system that works
The Secret to Mindful Budgeting – A great article by my friend Kate at Cashville Skyline
10. Party It Up With High Net-Worth Folks
You’re probably tired of hearing the phrase about you being the equivalent of the people you hang around with the most. People say it so often because it’s true. There’s only so much internal work you can do, and if you’re surrounded by crappy people, you will be dragged down with them.
If you want to be rich, hang around rich people. Or at least people who have a higher net–worth than you do. If you can’t find them (or have no clue just how much money they friggin have), seek people who a) openly talk about money and b) will talk about how they’re working towards wealth.
Don’t use the excuse that your town is too small/conservative/full of poor folks. The internet is your oyster. Seek out online forums. Start a book club. You wanna be rich? Do whatever it takes to find those rich folks my friend.
One thing I’ve found to be super effective is to read personal finance blogs. There are tons out there with normal people just like you willing to share their goals, struggles and inspirational stories of getting out of debt, retiring early and so forth.
Online forums and meetup groups are another great way to find people. Lots of cities have real estate investing meetups. Even if you’re not interested in investing in real estate, you’ll at least be able to find some high net–worth people there.
- Go to Meetup.com and look for groups that openly talk about money. If not, head over to an online forum (like Rockstar Finance) for blogs you can read or others you can talk to online
- Reach out to personal finance bloggers and start a conversation.
- Distance yourself from some of the really negative people in your life.
11. Keep Your Vision, Be Open to the How
When I took my freelance writing side hustle full-time, I envisioned writing blogs and essays all day long. While that has been fun so far, most of my writing hasn’t been blog writing.
Whenever a client approaches me for anything other than blog writing, I used to turn them down. Needless to say, I was really frustrated at the amount I was NOT making.
One morning, I looked at monthly income goal and was $1200 shy from it. I had two days to make this goal. Before turning on my computer, I came up with 20 article ideas I could pitch to existing and new clients.
I went to check my email there it was, an offer for $1200 from an existing client who wanted me to be the managing editor of one of their publications. I accepted, thanked the universe and realized I need to stop being so bullheaded.
When you work towards getting more money, don’t worry about how you will do it. Or don’t get too stuck in one way and not be open to other ideas. The only thing to remember is always keep to your vision. As in, what kind of life do you envision? How do you want to feel? What sorts of experiences and things do you want?
Get clear on those, and let the universe do the work to bring it to you.
- Work on Step 7 and 9 and use those to help you craft a vision for your super rich life.
- Keep doing the work and open your eyes and mind to signs to how you will get the moolah.
- Take advantage of those opportunities.
The Desire Map – A great workbook by Danielle Laporte that helps you get you the feelings you want to create in your life. Use it for how you want to feel about money, seriously!
12. Turn Everything Into a Game
Making money doesn’t have to be serious. You’re improving your money mindset here, meaning that the more positive vibes you’ve got going your way, the more everything is gonna flow in your favor.
One way to keep motivating you and help you move forward is to turn it all into a game. Instead of all these serious goals, try and see what would happen if you had fun quests, bonuses for upleveling, and secret codes to make gold fall down from the sky.
Let’s say your goal is to earn at least 6 figures this year. Is there a way to reward yourself, say if you earn $1,000 more than you did last month, what bonuses did you earn? Can you partner up with a partner or colleague to see who can make more, like a friendly competition?
I set a goal this year to write a book on money management, just to see if I could do it. I took the money I earned from the first three months of sales and bought something that brought me joy. I made enough to take my son to the zoo, purchase supplies for my garden, and purchase a few gifts for my friends. Needless to say, I’m working towards more income from books.
- Pick a goal that seems daunting. Break it down.
- How can you gamify it?
- Try it out for 30 days and modify if necessary.
Habitica – A cool app that helps you gamify your life
Chime Bank – Rewards you for saving money and no account fees. Get a bonus for signing up.
SaveUp – Earn points whenever you make a good money move. Use points to play instant-win games with prizes worth up to $2,000,000.
13. Create Luxury Now
Disclaimer: I’m not advocating that you get into any consumer debt over the lifestyle you want to create.
Creating luxury now is all about not only being grateful for all you have, but achieving the lifestyle you want right now.
My big dream is to own a large edible garden, at least 10 acres of land. In fact, I want it to have an onsite gardener and a place to raise chickens. However, I live in an apartment with a tiny balcony.
I denied my desire to have a garden for a full year before realizing that I can create a mini garden on my balcony. I may not raise chickens, but I can certainly grow plants in containers right?
It may not look perfect, but I bought seeds of produce I buy often at the grocery store. I also germinated seeds from avocados I ate. It may not be the garden I envision, but it’s a garden nonetheless and it makes me happy. Every time I look at those plants I keep thinking about my vision for the future.
What’s the point of all this? It’s to help you imagine the possibilities. When you take little steps to create a luxurious or rich life, you’ll start to feel it’s possible. When that happens, you get excited about your goal. You’ll starting finding ways to keep going.
And that my friends, is the point of mastering your money mindset. You want to psych yourself into believing and feeling like you already have your deepest desires. It’s all within reach, it’s just up to you to get it.
If you haven’t done it already, come up with a list of things you want to purchase if money were no object. Don’t hold yourself back!
Look at this list then work backwards. As in, what do you need to do before you get to your final goal/purchase/luxury?
Keep working backwards until you reach the first step. What is the bare minimum you need to reach the goal/purchase/luxury you desire?
Here’s a quick example:
Once you have that mapped out (get as detailed as possible), assign dollar amounts to them. How much will it cost for each step? Then take inventory of the money you have and what you can reasonably spend on right now.
Go make the purchase, feel how great it is that you have this awesome thing/experience. Remind yourself that this is only the beginning of the amazing things that will come.
Vision Board App – This free app can help you keep your eyes on the prize and look for possibilities to upgrade your life now.
Download The Guide
Whew, that was a lot to dig through, wasn’t it? These are steps that even people with millions of dollars in their bank account still work through. As in, I’m suggesting that you keep this for future reference.
Go ahead and download this post as a PDF so you’ll never be without it again. You’re welcome