Ready to change your financial mindset? Would you believe me if I told you the solution is in your head and you already have the tools to do it? It’s true! You have the power to change the way you think about money. Let’s begin.
The consumerist reality we live in has gotten us to the point where money means everything and nothing at the same time.
Most of the times we don’t really need things we excessively spend our money on. On the other side, not having that a certain shirt or gadget makes us feel anxious and unhappy for some reason. Moreover, these situations can lead to anxiety and can have a destructive effect on someone’s morale and well-being.
There is one important thing we all need to remember: that for the most part, it’s just all in our heads. Apart from the fact that we all need a certain amount of money to get by every month (for food, utilities and all the necessities), spending money on all the atrocities of the postmodern age is just unnecessary.
So, is there any way that we can break free from the chains of consumer society?
The answer is yes. We will just have to change our current state of mind and try to stay awake at all times. For some of us, a target is way out of sight, but it’s reachable.
Read on and I’ll give you advice on how to change your financial mindset in order to put control of your finances back in your hands.
1. Develop Your Own Perspective Of Value
Prices of certain products are heavily distorted today in the market. Buying a smartphone for a thousand dollars is more a question of prestige rather than function.
For example, an iPhone X will set you back more than a thousand dollars, yet you can find a used iPhone 5 for a quarter of that price. The main functionalities are the same: browse the web, take pictures, send text messages and oh yeah! talk on the phone.
But before you get on my case on why they’re not the same thing, I must first disclose that I own an iPhone X! I’m not preaching that you should shun expensive items. I am just preaching that you should develop your own perspective of value.
If an iPhone X is something that is truly valuable to you, then by all means buy one. But let it be valuable to you for the right reasons. For example, I wanted a larger screen and a faster phone. I could care less what the outside world thought about my purchase.
In fact, when I got the phone I actually felt like hiding it from the public because I didn’t want to come across as a show off. I just genuinely wanted the phone for its features.
Another reason I splurged on a thousand dollar phone was because I work on my smartphone every single day. In fact, I am writing and dictating parts of this post from my iPhone X! So you see, I am using my phone to work and make money. Something I spent a lot of money on is actually helping me generate more money.
This is how I can justify this expense in my eyes. In my own eyes, it is worth it because I can justify it myself. Now, I ask you, can you justify your splurges? Are they a necessity or do they fulfill a real need?
If you just spent money because you were emotional or because you wanted to impress someone you hate, I think you’ve ended up hurting yourself.
It is common that these types of purchases don’t bring value to your life. At least they may only bring temporary value. They make you feel good the moment you buy them, but it quickly wears away. Where is the value in that?
A little trick I use when I buy something is I do not take off the tags or throw away the box until one full week has passed. If after one week I still want this item or product, I will then discard the box, take off the tags and begin using it.
This tactic has saved me a lot of money and grief. We’re not all perfect and sometimes it can take a while in order to determine the true value of what you have purchased.
With that being said, the best thing you can do is to develop your own value metrics.
That is, you should learn how to set yourself aside and how not to be influenced by external factors.
On the topic of cars for example, the price that a car dealership is selling a car is almost irrelevant. What should matter is how much that car is worth to you.
I know people who have junk cars that can’t be worth more than $5,000. Yet, they will refuse, even for a $10,000 check to part with this car. They don’t know nor do they care about the Blue Book value of their vehicle. It just means a lot to them because it runs and surely there has to be some sort of emotional attachment at play.
I know it’s happened to you before when you see an expensive car being sold for $25,000. You take one look and say how disgusting! I wouldn’t be caught dead in that thing. Well, then that means you’re doing a good job at evaluating the true value, or what an item means to you.
Finally, if you think that some products are overvalued, you should simply restrain yourself from buying them. It doesn’t matter what a celebrity thinks of an item. Do you know that their perfumes they hock are the same as the other cheaper ones? Did you know that the handbags are also the same quality? You need to think more about the functionality and less about the quick-lived prestige of owning an item.
On that topic I also wanted to get off on a tangent here about these things. I find it absurd how a celebrity who has done nothing more than get in front of a camera and act is revered as some holy figure. So great that we must throw our money at them to buy something that has their name on it. I think we all agree they have enough money as it is. Our money should be going to fund a small local business who sells similar products but without the celebrities’ name on it.
Anyways, on the topic of value, analyze the price you will pay and how this item will help your life in the future and make a smart decision.
2. Think Of Money As A Tool
You work for money, right? But does your money work for you? If you earn money, spend it all, then accrue debt and pay interest – sorry to say this but you’re doing it wrong.
Money is the tool that the rich use to generate wealth. Let me say that again, the rich are rich because they use money to make money.
You can’t expect to become well off by just going to work every day. That will just leave you stuck in the rat race until you retire in your 70’s. If you want to be financially independent you need to think of money as a tool.
Make sure to come up with ways of how to invest your money in a smart way, ideally in a way that will make your money multiply in the long term. That means avoiding get rich quick schemes and risky investment strategies.
Investing in stocks with a proven track record is one way to grow your money and keep it relatively safe. But if you instead want to invest in something else, why not invest in yourself?
You can choose to use your money to fund your side gigs. If you want to start a photography side business, you can use your money to buy the equipment you need for starting off, like a good camera, tripod, business cards and initial advertising money.
Remember: In order to get more money, you need to let go of it first. Stuffing it under your mattress is a bad idea. If the rats don’t eat your money away, inflation sure will.
Of course, if you want to invest your money and make it grow exponentially, you need to have money in the first place. Contrary to what most losers believe, you don’t need to be rich to start. You just need to have a source of income, like a job. Then you’ll need to analyze your spending habits.
Overspending is a disease of a modern age. I ascribe to minimalism and have shunned consumerism for the most part. Sure, I might buy a name brand here and there, but I make sure there’s real value behind the product I’m buying.
Before you buy something you have to ask yourself if this item is going to help you become rich. I mean, you managed to live this long without this item, right?
3. Find Alternative Ways To Solve Money Problems
People usually go with the flow and take the reality the way it is. But people who are good with money are finding solutions for their current financial hardships. They’re not just sitting there whining about how bad things always seem to happen to them.
You need to change how you think about your money problems in order to get rid of your money problems.
To become a problem solver and not just the one that’s accepting things as they are, you’ll need to stop believing stuff that you hear from the people around you.
For example, paying off debt just with your salary is not the only route possible to pay it off. You can get a second job, you can become a freelancer, you can do odd jobs for friends and family members.
You can also refinance your debt into a lower interest loan if your credit has improved.
You can ditch your cable or switch your data plan to cut costs.
You can even downgrade your living situation by moving to a smaller house to accelerate your debt payment plan.
There is always something else you could be doing to help your situation out.
Ready To Change Your Financial Mindset?
Changing your financial mindset can have drastic effects on your every day life. It sounds cliché but it’s true: it all starts from within. You must be the change.
If you want to be successful with money you must use that brain of yours to change how you think about money. Only then, when you think proactively about your money, will you be able to take your finances into your own hands and win at life.