On the surface, the formula for financial success is easy – spend less than you earn. However, contrary to conventional wisdom; the actual process is far more challenging. Winning with money is rarely as simple as taking your income, subtracting out your expenses and saving the difference. In fact, becoming financially successful has much less to do with math than it does changing your money mindset.
The process of changing financial behaviors requires a level of dedication that runs counter to our own human nature. As a result, oftentimes the biggest roadblocks between us and the life that we desire is between our two ears!
Here are three common mental roadblocks that could be sabotaging your financial success and tips on how to overcome them.
“I work hard, I deserve it!”
When it comes to sabotaging your financial success, this is the downfall of many. Everyone wants to be rewarded for their hard work, and in some cases it’s justifiable. While it’s perfectly normal to treat yourself from time to time, if it’s not done in moderation, it can quickly develop into a sense of entitlement.
Here’s the thing, we all work hard! Well, most of us anyway. And the idea that you “work hard” shouldn’t be an excuse to spend without regard for your financial future.
Until you identify the root cause of your spending habits, it’ll be impossible to change the behavior. While you may attribute an occasional splurge as reward for a job well done, there’s often an underlying reason that is going unaddressed. Don’t fall into the trap! Although it’s easier said than done, rely on your budget to determine whether or not you should spend money on yourself. Perhaps you factor in specific goals that, as you reach them you treat yourself – just remember to keep the amount within reason.
We would all like to believe that we are just a few months away from that big raise, commission payout or lucrative new job opportunity, but this could be sabotaging your financial success. The reality is, life is unpredictable and as certain as something seems today, it could be gone tomorrow. I think the older generation used to say something about “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch” – I’m pretty sure that applies here.
Low-introductory rate credit cards and special financing offers make it easy for us to fall into the trap of thinking “I’ll be able to pay it off when ‘X’ happens”. The problem is, ‘X’ either never happens, or when it does, we’ve adjusted our lifestyles to the point that we can no longer afford to make the payment in full.
The lesson here is: don’t spend money you don’t have. Until the money actually hits your bank account, you simply don’t have it.
“The process is overwhelming”
When it comes to making a major life change (like adjusting your financial behavior), not only is a certain amount of fear perfectly normal, it’s actually helpful.
“Fear is the brain’s way of saying that there is something important for you to overcome” – Rachel Huber
While taking active management of your finances doesn’t come natural to many, it is possible to eliminate the fear by starting small. As an example, if the thought of choosing the right mix of investments for your retirement portfolio scares you, begin with low-risk steps like low-risk mutual funds, understand how they work and gradually work your way up to the harder stuff.
Use the same concept with budgeting and paying down debt.
For many people, one of the hardest parts of paying down debt is organizing all of the separate payments and staying on top of due dates. Do yourself a favor and take advantage of automation. By taking the time to put a system in place, automation can help you avoid repeating processes on a monthly basis and running the risk of missing an important due date.
Overcoming your mental roadblocks won’t happen overnight, but by establishing a specific plan of action; you can begin to eliminate the internal dialogue that is delaying your progress.
Are you sabotaging your financial success?? What mental roadblocks are affecting your relationship with money?
This post was written by Kelby from TheFrugalennial.com
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.