Becoming a master of our finances requires three ingredients: cast iron
skillet discipline, a sprinkling of skill and many, many years on a medium to high setting. Our money mindset will hands-down be the deciding factor between sticking or straying from the path to financial success. Mastering our desires and not following the crowd is tough for sure, but stick with it and your future self will never have to worry about money again. Now, imagine that.
What is a money mindset?
Cathedrals take a long time to build. Like, a seriously long time. Notre-Dame in Paris took around a century. Yes, that’s right – 100 years!
Sagrada Familia in Barcelona started construction in 1882 and as of now (2019), it is still not finished. It’s architect Antoni Gaudi died in 1926 and never got even close to seeing his work completed.
How is this relevant? Well, cathedral builders must have the unwavering belief that they are creating something so significant, that they may never see the end product in all its glory.
A stonemason working on a cathedral could spend their whole life working on a single section of one building, never to see how it all works out in the end. Cathedral builders are working on leaving a legacy and in many ways, this is similar to the way we build our financial legacy
The good news though, is that we WILL be able to build our financial legacy in our own lifetime and reap the rewards. Not only that, but we will also have built a legacy for those we leave behind, so they too never have to worry about money. Jeez, that sounds so like a cheesy funeral planning advert narrated by Judith Chalmers.
Get rich slowly
Have you noticed that we don’t really build cathedrals anymore? The modern world has a very short-term mentality which is not exactly condusive to helping us reach our financial goals. The way we look at the world and how we curate our financial future is all about our mindset.
Whilst we may like the idea of achieving total financial freedom, have we actually got what it takes? Can we really plan ahead? Not ‘next year’s holiday’, or ‘what’s happening at Christmas’ planning. I’m talking about whether you can chart a course for the next 10, 20 or even 30 years of our life ahead AND most importantly, stick to it.
Most of us can focus on short term projects like a diet; we set in place our 90-day plan, crush it in the gym, lose weight (hopefully) and feel great. But what then? Most of us slip back into previous bad habits, only to undo all that hard work and start the vicious cycle again.
Money Mindset – The single most overlooked money hack
The word ‘hack’ grabs headlines for sure, but what we really mean is that our long-term mindset is often one of the most overlooked parts of our financial journey. It will determine success or failure.
You might think you can get rich quick, but most people can’t. You might think you can buy Bitcoin today and retire in a year or two. Bad news my friend, that ain’t happening.
Let’s be very clear: you might have read stories about people getting rich overnight, but the chance of that happening to one of us is minuscule. Want a more sure-fire way of getting rich? Then consider changing the way you think about money.
Keeping up with the Jones’
How do you handle seeing other people get the things you want (or think you want)? Most people have grown up watching American TV shows where everyone has huge houses, great cars and no money worries whatsoever. Ah, the American dream.
TV is intended for entertainment. It’s not reality and here lies the problem. Unfortunately, Facebook, Instagram and other social media only make things worse.
Have you seen Saving Private Ryan? This is how I feel about advertising in the modern world. We are Tom Hanks and the bullets and explosions are advertising and consumerism firing relentlessly all around us.
We just need to make it through to the end of the day without getting maimed or killed (ie, buying crap we don’t need), all the while our friends are getting blown up around us.
The reality is, most people think the bullets are chocolate from Willy Wonka and rather than avoiding them, are actively trying to catch these advertising grenades! Man, that dopamine hit is powerful.
New cars, big TVs, branded threads. All the things we can’t afford without that free credit. It’s like a secret race to see who can financially cripple themselves quickest. Most people sleepwalk across the financial Normandy beach straight into the sights of the marketing snipers, without considering the long term implications.
So, how do we smell the roses? First, we need to be awoken like Neo from the Matrix. We must see the consumerism for what it really is:
How can our mindset save money?
It’s really hard to change. Temporary changes like dieting or being more positive are usually just….well….temporary. For change to be really effective, it needs to be long-lasting.
For example, money and fitness are extremely similar when it comes to mindset. Bodybuilding competitors, natty or juiced, will go through an intense few weeks prepping for shows and can radically transform themselves ready for show day.
Actors spend weeks and months getting ready for that shredded topless action show that’s filmed within an hour. What we don’t see is the 24 hours water fast and 10 reps of bench press before-hand for that ‘pumped’ look.
But the lifestyle demands required in the run-up to these events are not sustainable. Have you ever met a bodybuilder that looks like they did in that competition or on the front of a magazine? They may look good generally, but no way like they did for that one moment in time.
The exact same principles apply to achieving future wealth:
- Know in your heart this is a long game and give it enough time
- Regularly visualise how the end goal will make you feel
- Make the journey sustainable
The deeper you dive into the Financial Independence / Retire Early community the more you learn how important having the right mindset is.
Money and Mental Health
Money worries are the leading cause of marriages falling apart, according to a poll of over 2,000 British adults.Slater and Gordon
Do you worry about money? You’re not alone. I sure do.
Money worries have been blamed for divorce, skin problems and lying awake at night. They often stem from there being a lot of ‘month left at the end of the money’ and our debts that hang around our neck.
Taking control of essential expenses and basic budgeting can significantly reduce the likeliness of going into debt and maximise income to ensure it is not “wasted”.
Many think that good budgeting comes from discipline. But when we remove the need to keep up with the Jones and our self-esteem is not reliant on physical possessions, no discipline is required. It becomes easy!
If you are in serious financial problem and are struggling to cope please get in touch with Step Change.
Wealth = Money x Time
“Building wealth is a marathon not a sprint. Discipline is the key ingredient”Dave Ramsay
The journey to Financial Independence will require time and patience. In today’s society, these character traits are in short supply. Everyone around is pushing us to buy the next best thing. Whilst we don’t have to live like a monk in a tiny house, we DO need a plan and it has to start now.
Once saving and investing is underway, the rest is easy. Time to sit back and be patient. Building our own financial cathedral will take time.
Getting better every day
Adjusting to the mindset is a gradual process. Don’t beat yourself up for spending money and don’t think you have to change your life immediately, drastically and for ever.
Adopting the right financial mindset is about figuring out what you value and what makes you happy. Money is simply the enabler.
The people who have been most successful with Financial Independence have a long-term, humble, and meaningful mindset. A select few started out in life like this, but most have developed it through getting better every day and adopting a growth mindset.
By evolving our money mindset, we create something that is far bigger than us; freedom, peace of mind, choices and our own financial cathedral. Now go get building and let us know how you are doing. Good luck
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