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7 Faulty Money Beliefs Keeping You Poor

7 Faulty Money Beliefs Keeping You Poor

Chances are you have faulty beliefs about money, which keep you from coming into it. Here are 7 faulty beliefs you might have and what to do about it.

The first thing to get straight is this: Money serves you. You are it’s master and it is your faithful servant. Never get this the other way around. Money serves two purposes: It allows us to live comfortably. It is also a vehicle that lets us do good in this world. Let money serve you.

Money Isn’t Everything

Some people believe that money can’t buy happiness. They pretty much choose poverty over prosperity, thinking that happiness comes with scarcity. Yet, part of having an abundance mindset means the best of both worlds. After all, money is just an indicator of success. Poor and unsuccessful people have made it a habit to avoid doing things that improve their skills and this guarantees failure.

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On the other hand, successful people have a habit of doing things that help them progressively realize their goals and dreams. While you may want to remain static, the truth is you either create or disintegrate.

You Don’t Know How to Receive

How many of us know how to ask for money or negotiate salaries? How many of us know our true worth in the value we can provide? I sure didn’t. I had helped my friend remove malware from her shop’s computer. It took me less than an hour, and she wanted to pay me for my time. Yet, because I didn’t know how to ask for money or the worth of the knowledge I possess, I stupidly refused the money.

Luckily for me, my friend insisted. More importantly, she helped me realize that my knowledge and experience are not just for my employer. I can also help other people, and I should be bold enough to ask for money. After all, while it may have taken less than an hour to remove that malware, it’s taken me twenty years of constant study in front of the computer to build up that knowledge base and expertise.

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You Lack Gratitude for the Money You Do Have

Just as we don’t know how to receive, when we do receive, we don’t know how to express gratitude. Start off simple and express gratitude, when you find a dime on your garage floor or a dollar bill in your laundry.

Gratitude is a re-framing of our minds, which opens us to receiving and expands our awareness to possibilities. Possibilities increase our chances of success.

You Have a Poor Self-Image

You can only grow as far as your self-image will allow. If you ever want to make six-figures at your next job, then you have to first believe you can. Your bad self image makes you believe that you are undeserving and a fraud. Mainly, it’s been poisoned by other people’s beliefs.

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Once you believe you bring a unique value to this world that you alone can provide, you become aware that you deserve an abundance of happiness, health, and wealth. This accomplishment is something greater yet as it is an expansion of your awareness and true self-growth. Only when you are able to see yourself worthy and deserving of a six-figure salary, will your future employer see it too.

Money Tore Your Family Apart

If your parents worked many hours to make ends meet and lived from paycheck to paycheck, chances are you hardly ever saw them or spent time with them. Consequently, your relationship with them may be estranged.

Its likely that you subconsciously blamed money for creating a rift in your family. Because of this, you may be pushing money away without even knowing it, all in the name of “choosing family over money.” To change this harmful belief and be welcoming of money, start adopting the beliefs in this article.

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You Know Nothing

Our educational system fails us in a big way. It trains us to be good employees and help makes our employers dreams come true, jeopardizing our own dreams. It fails to teach us how to create wealth, how money really works, how to run a business and how to chase after what really matters. Too often, we’re told in school, “Stop daydreaming! Be realistic. Learn a trade and you’ll have the security of a decent living. ” Decent may be good, but great is even better.

So, it’s up to you to educate yourself in these areas. Make it a point to read at least one book on money a year. When you start digging deeper, you’ll quickly discover that most books about making money have nothing to do with actually making money. It first starts with changing your beliefs about money. These books are often a journey in self-improvement. In short, your success and wealth can only grow as fast as your willingness to improve.

It Starts With You

One of the common threads running through the 7 false beliefs has to do with blame and your willingness to take responsibility for your current results. Unsuccessful people blame their circumstances or other people. On the contrary, successful people accept their circumstances and take the initiative to improve what they can. Even if the problems seem insurmountable, they start acting from where they can.

To bring more money and success into your life, first make a decision to throw out these faulty beliefs. Be willing to accept new beliefs that are conducive to your goals. When we start educating ourselves, we also start expanding our awareness to what’s possible.

In the end, the decision to come into an abundance of wealth and success has more to do with setting goals and growing, than it is about the money. As you embark on this journey, kindly remind yourself from time to time that goals aren’t about getting. They are about growing.

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Benson Wong

Benson aspires to help people shift their paradigms and live a more fulfilling life.

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Last Updated on September 2, 2020

How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

Personal finances can push anyone to the point of extreme anxiety and worry. Easier said than done, planning finances is not an egg meant for everyone’s basket. That’s why most of us are often living pay check to pay check. But did anyone tell you that it is actually not a tough task to meet your financial goals?

In this article, we will explore ways to set financial goals and actually meet them with ease.

4 Steps to Setting Financial Goals

Though setting financial goals might seem to be a daunting task, if one has the will and clarity of thought, it is rather easy. Try using these steps to get you started.

1. Be Clear About the Objectives

Any goal without a clear objective is nothing more than a pipe dream, and this couldn’t be more true for financial matters.

It is often said that savings is nothing but deferred consumption. Therefore, if you are saving today, then you should be crystal clear about what it’s for. It could be anything, including your child’s education, retirement, marriage, that dream vacation, fancy car, etc.

Once the objective is clear, put a monetary value to that objective and the time frame. The important point at this step of goal setting is to list all the objectives that you foresee in the future and put a value to each.

2. Keep Goals Realistic

It’s good to be an optimistic person but being a Pollyanna is not desirable. Similarly, while it might be a good thing to keep your financial goals a bit aggressive, going beyond what you can realistically achieve will definitely hurt your chances of making meaningful progress.

It’s important that you keep your goals realistic, as it will help you stay the course and keep you motivated throughout the journey.

3. Account for Inflation

Ronald Reagan once said: “Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hitman.” This quote sums up what inflation could do your financial goals.

Therefore, account for inflation[1] whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far into the future.

For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years from now, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is a mere 3%. Always account for this to avoid falling short of your goals.

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4. Short Term Vs Long Term

Just like every calorie is not the same, the approach to achieving every financial goal will not be the same. It’s important to bifurcate goals into short-term and long-term.

As a rule of thumb, any financial goal that is due in next 3 years should be termed as a short-term goal. Any longer duration goals are to be classified as long-term goals. This bifurcation of goals into short-term vs long-term will help in choosing the right investment instrument to achieve them.

By now, you should be ready with your list of financial goals. Now, it’s time to go all out and achieve them.

How to Achieve Your Financial Goals

Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a two-step process:

  • Ensuring healthy savings
  • Making smart investments

You will need to save enough and invest those savings wisely so that they grow over a period of time to help you achieve goals.

Ensuring Healthy Savings

Self-realization is the best form of realization, and unless you decide what your current financial position is, you aren’t heading anywhere.

This is the focal point from where you start your journey of achieving financial goals.

1. Track Expenses

The first and the foremost thing to be done is to track your spending. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you will be surprised by how small expenses add up to a sizable amount.

Also categorize those expenses into different buckets so that you know which bucket is eating most of your pay check. This record keeping will pave the way for cutting down on un-wanted expenses and pumping up your savings rate.

If you’re not sure where to start when tracking expenses, this article may be able to help.

2. Pay Yourself First

Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classic mistake when setting financial goals. We pay ourselves last!

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Ideally, this should be planned upside down. We should be paying ourselves first and then to the world, i.e. we should be taking out the planned saving amount first and manage all the expenses from the rest.

The best way to actually implement this is to put the savings on automatic mode, i.e. money flowing automatically into different financial instruments (mutual funds, retirement accounts, etc) every month.

Taking the automatic route will help release some control and compel us to manage what’s left, increasing the savings rate.

3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick With It

Learning to create a budget is the best way to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be organized

Nowadays, several money management apps can help you do this automatically.

At first, you may not be able to stick to your plans completely, but don’t let that become a reason why you stop budgeting entirely.

Make use of technology solutions you like. Explore options and alternatives that let you make use of the available wallet options, and choose the one that suits you the most. In time, you will get accustomed to making use of these solutions.

You will find that they make it simpler for you to follow your plan, which would have been difficult otherwise.

4. Make Savings a Habit and Not a Goal

In the book Nudge, authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein advocate that, in order to achieve any goal, it should be broken down into habits since habits are more intuitive for people to adapt to.

Make savings a habit rather than a goal. While it might seem to be counterintuitive to many, there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

  • Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Weekends are more expensive.
  • If you are a travel buff, try to travel during off-season. You’ll spend significantly less.
  • If you go shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

The key point is to imbibe the action that results in savings rather than on the savings itself, which is the outcome. Focusing on the outcome will bring out the feeling of sacrifice, which will be harder to sustain over a period of time.

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5. Talk About It

Sticking to the saving schedule (to achieve financial goals) is not an easy journey. There will be many distractions from those who are not aligned with your mission.

Therefore, in order to stay the course, surround yourself with people who are also on the same bandwagon. Daily discussions with them will keep you motivated to move forward.

6. Maintain a Journal

For some people, writing helps a great deal in making sure that they achieve what they plan.

If you are one of them, maintain a proper journal, where you write down your goals and also jot down the extent to which you managed to meet them. This will help you in reviewing how far you have come and which goals you have met.

When you have a written commitment on paper, you are going to feel more energized to follow the plan and stick to it. Moreover, it is going to be a lot easier for you to track your progress.

Making Smart Investments

Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However, savings, when invested wisely, can do wonders.

1. Consult a Financial Advisor

Investment doesn’t come naturally to most of us, so it’s wise to consult a financial advisor.

Talk to him/her about your financial goals and savings, and then seek advice for the best investment instruments to achieve your goals.

2. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about the common ones, like a savings account, Roth IRA, and others.

Just like “no one is born a criminal,” no investment instrument is bad or good. It is the application of that instrument that makes all the difference[2].

As a general rule, for all your short-term financial goals, choose an investment instrument that has debt nature, for example fixed deposits, debt mutual funds, etc. The reason for going for debt instruments is that chances of capital loss is less compared to equity instruments.

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3. Compounding Is the Eighth Wonder

Einstein once remarked about compounding:

“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… He who doesn’t… Pays it.”

Use compound interest when setting financial goals

    Make friends with this wonder kid. The sooner you become friends with it, the quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

    Start saving early so that time is on your side to help you bear the fruits of compounding.

    4. Measure, Measure, Measure

    All of us do good when it comes to earning more per month but fail miserably when it comes to measuring the investments and taking stock of how our investments are doing.

    If we don’t measure progress at the right times, we are shooting in the dark. We won’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not, whether the financial advisor is doing a decent job, or whether we are moving closer to our target.

    Measure everything. If you can’t measure it all yourself, ask your financial advisor to do it for you. But do it!

    The Bottom Line

    Managing your extra money to achieve your short and long-term financial goals

    and live a debt-free life is doable for anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort. Use the tips above to get you started on your path to setting financial goals.

    More Tips on Financial Goals

    Featured photo credit: Micheile Henderson via unsplash.com

    Reference

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