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3 Practical Tips for Changing the Way You Think About Money

3 Practical Tips for Changing the Way You Think About Money

It’s no secret that the super-wealthy think about money in a much different way than the rest of us.

Money is something they have plenty of, have seemingly little problems acquiring, and aren’t afraid to spend.

From the outside looking in, it’s real easy for us to say that their mindset of wealth is a by-product of the amount of money they have. But, what about before they became filthy rich?

While some of the super-rich were born into fortunes, many had to acquire their wealth on their own and battled countless setbacks. There’s a countless number of self-made millionaires in the world today. Many of whom started their stories in households whose average income was at, or below, the poverty level. One such person that immediately springs to my mind is Robert Herjavec.

Robert Herjavec immigrated from Yugoslavia with his family at the age of 8. Arriving in Halifax, Canada, it’s said that they arrived with $20, a suitcase, and no understanding of the English language. Robert’s ambition and determination lead him to becoming an extremely wealthy businessman who’s boasted business sales that reach as high as 9 figures. This determination and business savvy has allowed him to acquire a massive, personal fortune.

I’ve always had a keen interest in studying the mindset of the wealthy and, in this post, I’d like to share with you 3 tips that I’ve learned that will help you change the way you think about money, so you can get more of it.

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1. Think of Money as a Tool, Not a Result

    For many of us, money is viewed as a result. Something we gain for going to work. Something we lose when it’s spent.

    We use it to pay our bills and maintain our lifestyles, but rarely do we actually think of money as a tool. It’s simply something we have to acquire in exchange for our time and energy. To the average person, the acquisition of money is a zero-sum game.

    One of the most prominent differences between the mindset of the wealthy and the rest of us, is that they simply do not view money in this way.

    Pretty much every successful person that I’ve ever studied has had a mindset that views money as nothing more than a tool. A tool to be used to acquire and do more of what they really want. The best venture capitalists in the world understand this concept better than most. Their success is dependent on their ability to view and use money as a tool for investments.

    Here’s a quick example to better illustrate this idea:

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    Let’s say you have an extra million dollars lying around and you decide you want to finance a new car. The car payments average out to be about $800 per month.

    Most people would simply buy the car outright or just start making the payments out of the extra million they have lying around.

    But, those with a mindset for wealth, who view money as a tool, might do something as simple as this: Place the million dollars in a savings account that yields a 1% return and then use the $833 per month accumulated interest to pay for the car.

    Instead of spending money on the car and taking away from that extra million, the wealthy get to keep their million dollars and get the car too.

    While a very crude example, it effectively illustrates the difference in how money is viewed and used by those with a focus on wealth. When we start to view money as a tool, that allows us to grow our wealth and do more of what we want in life, we’ve come one step closer to having a mindset of prosperity.

    2. Focus on Prosperity – Not Debt

    This goes back to a basic principle of personal development. Focus on the solution, not the problem.

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    Many people get stuck focusing on paying off their bills and debt. It’s such a powerful theme in their lives that all their attention, in regards to money accumulation, is centered around paying bills and reducing their debt.

    While it’s great to pay your bills on time and reduce your debt, you can’t let it distract you from creating wealth. This is why you hear so many financial advisers tell people to set up an automatic debt payment plan and to just start focusing on savings, prosperity and growth.

    I think Bob Proctor, from The Secret, said it best:

    “Most people have a goal of getting out of debt. That will keep you in debt forever. Whatever you’re thinking about, you will attract. You say, “But it’s get out of debt.” I don’t care if it’s get out or get in, if you’re thinking debt, you’re attracting debt. Set up an automatic debt repayment program and then start to focus on prosperity.”

    Law of Attraction aside, that is great advice. Simply for the fact that it emphasizes taking your focus away from the problem and on to the solution. Your bills still get paid, but your mind is now free to focus on prosperity and growth.

    3. Don’t Put Money on an Emotional Pedestal

    If any of you are like me, and have grown up without a lot of money, you may have developed some pretty strong negative emotional stances concerning money.

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    Money was always viewed as a source of stress. Something that directly dictated whether or not I was going to have a good day. I used to feel strongly (and still do, at times – it’s a work in progress) that my personal self-worth was directly related to what kind of clothes I was wearing, what kind of car I was driving, and how nice my apartment was. All of this pointed right back to how much money I had in my bank account.

    Money should not be such a major thing in our life that it is able to dictate our emotional state or determine our own self-worth.

    This closely relates to the first tip that I listed. If we’re able to view money as nothing more than a tool for us to wield, we become the ones in charge of our lives – not the money.

    If we’re emotional about money and allow it to dictate our mood, how can we ever begin to use it effectively as a tool? I mean, you don’t get emotional over a vacuum cleaner, do you? Emotions will cloud our judgement and cause us to make poor choices with our money.

    The wealthiest people in the world will tell you, “Don’t get emotional about money.” While this is sometimes easier said than done, it’s very solid advice. Learning to take money down from that emotional pedestal and put it in our hands, where a good tool should be, is a key step for moving our mindset towards that of wealth creation. And that puts us in the driver’s seat.

    Featured photo credit: Growth of Money on Napkin via Shutterstock and inline photo by Philip Taylor PT via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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    Last Updated on January 2, 2019

    How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

    How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

    Do you know what mental health experts point to as the biggest cause of stress in the United States today? If you said “money,” then ding, ding, we have a winner!

    Three out of four adults today report feeling stressed out about money at least part of the time. People are either worried about not having enough money or whether they’re putting the money they do have to use in the best possible way.

    Your money is either in charge of you or you’re in charge of it, there’s no middle ground. Using some type of personal finance software can help alleviate some of that money stress and better allow you to manage your money effectively. Without it, you may just be setting yourself up for constant financial worry. Life is already tough enough and there’s no need to make it more difficult by simply hoping your money issues will all work out in your favor. Hint: they won’t.

    This guide will help you to understand how personal finance software can better assist with both accomplishing long term financial goals and managing day-to-day aspects of life.

    Whether it’s tracking the savings plan for your child’s college fund or making sure you won’t be in the red with the month’s grocery budget, personal finance software keeps all this information in one convenient place.

    What Exactly is Personal Finance Software?

    Think of it like the dashboard in your car. You have a speedometer to tell you how fast you’re going, an odometer to tell you how far you’ve traveled, and then other gauges to tell you things like how much gas is in the tank and your engine temperature. Personal finance software is essentially the same thing for your money.

    When you install this software on your computer, tablet, or smartphone, it helps to track your money — how much is going in, how much is going out, and its growth. Most personal finance software programs will display your budget, spending, investments, bills, savings accounts, and even retirement plans, levels of debt, and credit score.

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    How It Leads to Financial Improvement

    It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but people who regularly monitor their finances end up wealthier than those who don’t. When you were a kid, keeping track of all of your money in a porcelain piggy bank was pretty easy. As we get older, though, our money becomes spread out across things like car payments, mortgages, retirement funds, taxes, and other investments and debts. All of these things make keeping track of our money a lot more complicated.

    Some types of personal finance software can help make things a little less complicated, setting you up to meet financial goals and taking away some of the stress associated with money.

    Even if you already have a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) some type of personal finance software can be of great benefit. Whereas CFPs focus on the big picture of your money, they don’t handle the day-to-day aspects that determine your overall financial health.

    It’s also not nearly as complicated as you might think and can take out a lot of the tedium that comes with doing everything on an Excel spreadsheet or with a pad and pencil.

    Types of Personal Finance Software

    When it comes to personal finance software, it generally fits into two categories: tax preparation and money management.

    Tax preparation software such as Turbo Tax and H&R Block’s software can help with everything from filing income taxes to IRS rules and regulations and even estate plans. Plus, there’s the benefit of filing online and getting your refund check a lot faster than if you were to mail off your forms after waiting in line at the post office.

    For the purpose of this article, however, will be focusing more on the personal finance software that aids with money management.

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    Money management personal finance software will help you to see the health of your cash flow, pay down debt, forecast for expenses and savings, track investments, pay bills, and do a host of other things that 30 years ago would have practically required a team of accountants.

    When to Use Personal Finance Software

    So far we’ve gone over what exactly personal finance software is and how it can be a benefit to your money. The next logical step in this whole equation is determining when it should be used and how is the best way to go about getting started using it.

    Below are four of the most common and practical ways to use personal finance software. If all or any of these apply to you and your money, then downloading some type of personal finance software is going to be a smart move.

    1. You Have Multiple Accounts

    There’s a good chance that when it comes to your money, it’s in more than one place. Sure, you probably have a checking account, but you may also have a savings account, money market account, and retirement accounts such as an IRA or 401k.

    If you’re like the average American, you probably have two to three credit cards as well. Fifty percent of Americans also don’t have loyalty to just one bank and spread their money across multiple banks.

    Rather than spending hours typing in every detail of every account you have into a spreadsheet, many programs allow you to easily import your account information. This will help to eliminate any mistakes and give you a bird’s eye view of everything at once.

    2. You Want to Automate Some or All of Your Payments

    Please don’t say that you’re still writing out paper checks and dropping each bill in the mailbox. While it’s noble that you’re doing your part to keep postal workers employed, we’re 18 years into the 21st century and you can literally pay every bill online now.

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    There’s no need to log into every account you have and type in your routing number either.

    With personal finance software you can schedule automatic payments and transfers between all of your imported accounts. Automatic transfers will help to make sure you have the necessary funds in the right account to ensure all bills are paid on the appropriate date. Late fees are annoying and do nothing but cost you money. It’s time that you said goodbye to them once and for all.

    3. You Need to Streamline Your Budget

    Perhaps the best feature of personal finance software is that it allows you track everything going in and out of your virtual wallet.

    Nearly every brand of personal finance software out there has easy-to-read graphs and charts that allow you track every cent you spend or earn, should you choose. You might be pretty amazed when you see just how much you spent on eating out last month or if you splurged a little more than you should have on Christmas gifts last year.

    Every successful business on the planet has a budget and using personal finance software can help you trim the fat on your spending in ways that affect your everyday life.

    4. You Have Specific Goals to Meet

    Maybe it’s paying off debt or saving for up something like a European vacation. Whatever your financial goal is, whether it’s long-term or short-term, personal finance software programs are one of the savviest ways to go about reaching those goals.

    You can do everything from set spending alerts to notify you when you’re over budget to automating what percentage of your paycheck goes to things like retirement investments. The personal finance software that you choose should show you exactly how close you are to hitting those goals at any given time.

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    How to Get Started

    From AceMoney to Mint and Quicken, there ’s no shortage of personal finance software apps out there. Many of these programs are free to download and will allow you to pay bills, invest, monitor your net worth and credit profile, and even get a loan with the swipe of a finger.

    Other programs may only offer you limited services and will require a one-time fee or subscription to unlock all that they offer. These fees can often vary from as little as two dollars to 50 bucks a month.

    It’s best to start off with the free version and then gauge whether you’re able to accomplish everything you’d like or if it’s worth exploring one of the paid options. Often times the subscription programs come with assistance from financial planning and investment experts — so that can be a real benefit.

    When deciding which personal finance software program to use, it’s also important to look at how many accounts you wish to monitor. Certain programs limit the number of accounts you can add. Be sure that if you have checking, credit card, and investment accounts to monitor, that you choose a service that can monitor them all.

    Finally, when looking around for the right personal finance software that meets your needs, make sure that you’re comfortable with the program’s interface. It shouldn’t be expected that you recognize every single feature instantly, but if the features don’t seem readable and manageable to you, then you’re not as likely to use it and get the full benefits.

    Final Thoughts

    Personal finance software can go a long way in helping you to take control of your money and meeting your financial goals. It’s important to note, however, that some focus more on budgeting and expense tracking while others prioritize investing portfolios and income taxes. Explore several different programs and read reviews to find the one that’s right for you.

    In this day and age, managing one’s personal finances in a secure manner that allows the user to have a real-time visual representation of their money is easier than ever before. With the numerous applications that are out there — both free and subscription-based — there’s no reason that every person can’t take control of their money and ensure they’re making smart money moves.

    Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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