A group of five individuals seated in chairs against a wall decorated with colorful, motivational phrases promoting a positive money mindset. From left to right, a man in a brown cardigan, a woman in a white blouse, a man with a beard holding a hat, a woman in a yellow scarf, and a woman in a blue dress, all looking upwards thoughtfully, perhaps engaging in a money mentors workshop focused on financial well-being and empowerment.

How to Shift Your Money Mindset in 5 Easy Steps

Embarking on a journey toward financial wellness often begins with a deep dive into our perceptions and beliefs about money. This exploration is crucial, regardless of the season or stage in life, as it paves the way for fostering a more positive and healthy relationship with our finances.

Navigating through life’s ups and downs can sometimes leave our money mindset less than optimistic. However, it’s important to remember that our approach to money significantly influences our financial health and overall well-being. Acknowledging past financial missteps is the first step toward transformation. By releasing these burdens, we open the door to not only mend our financial situation but also to cultivate a future where our decisions support our financial dreams and goals.

What is a “money mindset”?

Your money mindset defines how you think about money and influences how you save, how you spend, and how you manage your debt. It’s your core beliefs about money and your attitude towards it.

This includes:

  • What you think you can and cannot do with money
  • How much money you think you deserve
  • How you believe you should manage your money (spend, save, share)
  • How you believe you should manage your debt
  • Your ability to grow your wealth
  • Your overall financial confidence

Money mindset quiz

To help you determine whether you have a positive or negative money mindset, answer the questions below as either True or False:

  1. I am fearful of my finances and feel anxious just thinking about it.
  2. I don’t feel in control of my money.
  3. I feel pessimistic about my financial future.
  4. I feel intimidated by my money and how others handle theirs.
  5. I fear I’ll never understand my finances or learn to manage it.
  6. I tend to procrastinate with financial decisions or actions.
  7. I don’t know how to grow my wealth and don’t think I ever will.
  8. I only deserve what I currently have and nothing more.
  9. I will never reach my financial goals or get out of debt.
  10. Money will never be my friend.

If you answered mostly “false” to the questions above, congratulations―you have a generally positive money mindset! However, if you answered mostly “true,” there is some work that needs to be done. Luckily, you’re in the right place.

Scarcity mindset vs. abundance mindset

Another way to think of negative and positive money mindsets is to relate them to scarcity and abundance mindsets.

Signs of a scarcity mindset include:

  • Living paycheque-to-paycheque
  • Feeling overwhelmed by, apathetic towards or depressed by your finances
  • Feeling guilty of past financial mistakes
  • Feeling jealous of how others handle their money or how “wealthy” they seem
  • Feeling upset with your current financial situation
  • Believing there isn’t enough to go around (money, opportunities, jobs, etc.)
  • Living in the short-term because you don’t see a long-term option for you

If you resonate with any of the signs above, it’s time to shift your scarcity mindset to one of abundance. (It’s possible!)

Master your money mindset

Master your money mindset and learn how to go from scarcity to abundance with the following five steps.

Step 1: Reflect on your financial perspective

Before you can change anything in your life, including your finances, you have to take a moment to reflect on your past so you can see how it’s influenced your present. Think about your experiences with money up until this point:

  • How were you raised?
  • What did the adults in your life teach you about money?
  • What messages about money were instilled in you from a young age?
  • Were your parents/guardians spenders or savers?
  • Did your parents/guardians struggle with money or did it come easily to them?
  • How was their relationship with money?
  • How did you approach your own money as you entered adulthood?

Think about everything that has played a part in the way you view money today. But remember, this isn’t the part where you blame your parents for all your financial mistakes and negative money mindset. Yes, the adults in your life played a part in how you view money today, but only just one part. Please refrain from calling them after this first step.

Step 2: Adopt a positive money mindset

Shift your perspective on finances and adopt a positive money mindset through financial affirmations. The way you talk to yourself plays a very big role in how you address your finances. Pay attention to what you say to yourself when:

  • You come into money (like from your salary, bonus, promotion, an unexpected windfall, etc.)
  • You direct that money towards necessary expenses (like bills, food, healthcare, transportation, etc.)
  • You spend that money on self-deemed splurges
  • You make a financial mistake
  • You talk to or spend time with others around you

If any of these situations result in negative self-talk, it’s time to re-write the script. How can you change the way you speak to yourself so it feels more positive? Some money mantra ideas are:

“I’ll never get that promotion.” “All I can do is ask and prove my worth. If they say no, I’ll try again in six months. I know my value.”

“I’ll always live paycheque-to-paycheque.” “I can readjust my budget to feel more comfortable with my expenses and not feel so drained at the end of the month.”

“I’m a failure with money.” “Everyone makes mistakes and I’ll use this as a learning opportunity for tomorrow.”

“I’ll never have as much money as my friend.” “We all are at different stages in life and there’s no right or wrong place to be. It’s all relative. I’m where I’m meant to be right now.”

Step 3: Shift your mindset to save money

Next, take a moment to determine your financial values and goals. These will help guide your money and shift you into a saving money mindset. What is important to you and where you would you like to see yourself in one, five, 10 and 20 years? Write these financial values and financial goals down as a reminder for those days when money feels hard.

Now that you’ve determined your goals, use this as an opportunity to clearly define those goals. How will you make them happen? What steps do you need to take to reach those goals? Really get down to the nitty-gritty so your financial goals feel more attainable.

Step 4: Monitor your spending

The best way to learn more about your money and how to adjust your money mindset is to monitor your spending for at least a month. This includes monitoring your emotions while managing, spending and saving money.

  • How do you feel when you get paid?
  • How do you feel when you pay your bills or use money for expenses?
  • How do you feel when you spend money for yourself or others?
  • What are your spending triggers?

Download our free Weekly Money Diary to help you get started!

Step 5: Commit to changing your money habits

Now that you are ready to change your money mindset, it’s time to do the work and commit to changing your money habits. This is the chance for you to learn more about managing your money. Get inspired by reading about the success of others who overcame their financial struggles, such as Ryan who paid off $9,200 by changing his money mindset. Commit to learning through books, podcasts, blogs, online courses, workbooks, videos and resources to help you learn more about your money so you can adjust the way you approach it. How can you create a new budget that reflects your new mindset? What steps do you need to take to implement this new approach to your money?

Remember, you are in control of your finances. Believe in your worth and find ways to be grateful for the stage of life you are at and where you are headed. Just keep going―we believe in you!


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Have questions?

Need more information or want to talk to an accredited financial counsellor for peace of mind? Let us help.
Call 1-888-294-0076 or book an appointment. It’s free for all Albertans.

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