When money is tight and worries set in our mindset changes. We start to think in the “why did I?” and “what if?” frame of mind, which not only adds negativity to the situation but also doesn’t help us escape from it. There’s no doubt that making mistakes can teach us lessons. However, if we dwell on the past and worry about the future, we’re not focusing on the present which is where we need to be in order to make positive change.
If that sounds too “new age” or “spiritual” for your liking, then you can instead think of it as a simple “reality”. I’m sure you’ve seen it in action yourself – focus on the negative and the negative increases. Focus on the positive, let some light in and things gradually get brighter and better. Think about when you’ve dwelled on the past and couldn’t let something go. Did it undo itself? No, it just continued to make you feel miserable. And yet, when you finally did let it go and focused on ways to feel better, you actually did.
So how does this guru-like introduction help to increase your wealth? Read on and see how changing the way you think about money and finances can change how wealthy (or not) you could be.
The road(s) to prosperity
There are quite a number of ways to obtain the money we need to live a prosperous life. In the end, however, a large part of it comes down to how we think about money because that has a huge influence over how we manage money. See what you think about the ideas that follow and if any of them might help you reach the level of prosperity you’re after…
Spending vs. Paying vs. Saving.
When you get your paycheck, what do you do first? Most people spend some, pay bills and then save what’s left. If you want to build wealth, it’s a good idea to start reversing that way of thinking. Save first, pay bills and then spend the remaining money. This ensures that you’re putting money to work for you while not allowing yourself to spend frivolously when you have the most amount of money in your pocket. Remember, you don’t have to save an enormous amount at first – just enough to get you into the habit of saving. Once you see that start to pay off, you’ll be encouraged to continue that behavior.
Set, See and Feel your Goal.
Okay, we’re heading back toward a bit of spirituality here, but if you read the books by some of the greatest self-help teachers, they’ll tell you to set, see and feel your goal. First determine where you want to be (the dollar figure you want in your bank account or investment funds), then “see” that amount – that could mean writing it down over and over or keeping it on a slip of paper in your wallet to look at whenever you need a lift. Last but not least “feel” the goal – imagine what it would feel like physically and emotionally to reach that goal. And once you’ve seen it and felt it, do it again and again until it becomes a reality.
Make and Follow the Rules.
In a special report written about nature vs. nurture regarding spending and borrowing habits, there’s something called “heuristics,” which are rule-of-thumb strategies we come up with throughout life. Two examples might be: “I will only buy a car and never lease one,” or “I will never have more than one drink at a party”. We can do the same for financial decisions. “I will not dine out more than once a week,” or “The max I will spend on a pair of shoes is $65”. By creating these heuristics (and following them like we do our everyday ones), we can develop good financial strategies and habits that help us save money and build future wealth.
Save Like You’re Retiring Tomorrow.
When we’re in our 20s and 30s retirement is just a word… a far-away place that we’ll worry about when we get there. Ask anyone in their 40s or 50s about retirement and they’ll tell you how quickly time goes and that you’d better start saving now. If you don’t start saving until your 40s, you may have to put away double the amount each month as you would in your 20s—just to generate a similar return. Listen to your elders! Time goes quickly, so start planning (and saving) for tomorrow, today.
How do others who want wealth think about money? Find out at the myFICO forum.