Is your money mindset unhealthy? You can change it

Changing how you think and the environment in which you make decisions can put you on a path to greater clarity, confidence and control over your money.

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The first step to improving your money mindset is to identify the healthy beliefs you want to keep and the unhealthy ones that no longer serve you. Start with creating a list of the financial decisions you made in the last week or month (you choose the time period). For each decision, ask yourself three questions:

  • Why did I make this decision?
  • Did the decision align with my values?
  • How do I feel about the decision?

The goal is to reflect on your decisions and to gain awareness of what influenced them.

The first step is about reflecting on decisions already made and about being introspective on financial decisions you have yet to make. So before tapping that credit card or hitting “buy now” on your favourite e-commerce site, ask yourself the same three questions with the present in mind: Why am I making this decision, does it align with my values and how will this decision make me feel?

Examining your decisions before you make them can, over time, put you in control of the thoughts and feelings driving them.

Humans are creatures of habit. Think about all of the decisions you make every day and how many of them touch money. Now consider how many of those decisions you make without thinking about them.

As you go through your daily routine, take note of the moments where you’re being intentional about your decisions and the moments that often fly under the radar of your consciousness. Change requires us to be more intentional about the decisions we make.

Has anyone ever asked you what you’re thinking? I prefer to ask people how they’re thinking. What we think is often just an opinion or a feeling in the moment. How we think is the process we use for making decisions.

A decision framework includes defining the desired outcome, reviewing the information available to you (and the gaps in that information), developing alternatives, evaluating options and making the final decision. The more structure we have around our decisions, the greater clarity and consistency we can apply to our money.

Your environment is both physical (your actual location) and social (the people around you). Both act as invisible hands that shape your decisions. While your physical environment can influence your behaviours, I like to focus on the people we choose to include in our lives.

As self-help guru Jim Rohn once shared, we become the average of the five people we spend the most time with. Those people influence the way we think and act either positively or negatively. Who are those people in your life, and who are you becoming? More importantly, who do you want those people to be?

Your money map and the beliefs, values and attitudes that shape it influence every financial decision you make. Reflecting on your financial decisions, identifying your money habits and changing both how you think about money and the environment in which you make decisions can put you on a path to greater clarity, confidence and control with your money.

And remember, change takes time. We have decades of programming we have to recode. Simple actions, consistently practiced, will create lasting change. Get it right and you’ll unlock more meaning in your money than you ever thought possible.

This article was written by Brent Weiss Cfp®, ChFC® from Kiplinger and was legally licensed through the DiveMarketplace by Industry Dive. Please direct all licensing questions to

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