Has there ever been a time in your life when you know you really screwed up with your money? Maybe you took out a loan that you didn’t need or you consistently blew through your income and didn’t have enough money left at the end of each month.
Listen, I get it. I’ve been there. We all make mistakes. We all do things that we wish we could go back and change. You are not alone, friend.
And I’m giving you permission to forgive yourself and change the way you think about money.
Before we jump into changing our mindset with budgeting and money, let me paint a quick picture for you. Back when I was in college living the LIFE, the idea of tracking my expenses and writing a budget made my skin crawl. I mean, why would I want to force myself to own up to my takeout and shopping problem? But sometimes, you’re forced to face your truth.
Throughout college, I took out student loans. (Back then I saw this as free money. Oh, how I was mistaken!) I had a set amount of money to last me through the semester, but it was gone within 3 months. It all came crashing down when I spent my last penny on my rent check and didn’t have enough money to buy groceries for the week. That’s when I had to do make the
walk call of shame. I had to call my mom and admit to her that I had blown through my money. I needed her help.
She agreed to give me money but forced me to come home and finally take control of my finances. We started by sitting down together to track my expenses for the past month. Boy, was that a wakeup call. I could not believe how much money I was spending on eating out and clothes. Got a good grade on a test? Go to the mall and buy a new outfit as a reward! Need to study? Head to the coffee shop and buy coffee, a sandwich, and dessert. All of that added up and I wasn’t even noticing.
Thus began my love-hate relationship with budgeting and financial awareness. I loved tracking my expenses, but I always felt that I was limited and couldn’t do what I wanted! What I realize now is that I needed to change my mindset with money and budgeting. And I’m guessing that you might need to change your mindset too.
YOU are in charge of your budget!
If you feel like budgeting will hold you back and control you, then you have to shift your mindset. Instead of seeing the budget as controlling you, you have to control the budget. Here’s the thing, you are in charge of what your budget says. If you want to spend money at the mall and indulge in too many mocha lattes to count (guilty here) then you can! All you have to do is have a plan for your spending in advance.
You might be wondering about spontaneity. Life is so boring without those spontaneous moments where we just go with the flow! Well, you can plan for spontaneity too. Our family has a category in our budget for “Fun Money.” This is money set aside strictly for whatever arises. We don’t feel guilty for doing something fun that wasn’t originally planned in advance because we technically planned for it already!
Change the way you think about money!
I once confessed to my good friend that I was worried that I wouldn’t make enough money to take Inspired Budget full time. This was a big confession for me to make because it was full of all my insecurities and fears. She sat across the breakfast table from me and told me something that I’ll never forget. She said “Allison, there is enough money in the world for you. You need to have an abundance mindset.”
Wow. I couldn’t believe it. Here I was thinking that I always had a positive outlook or a great mindset when in reality I had such limited beliefs. I’m so thankful that she called me out on it because having an abundance mindset is so freeing. It means that instead of saying “I don’t make enough money” you say “There is enough money for me. I attract money.”
I’m a firm believer that when you continually think something over and over that it will become a belief that is ingrained in you. Start changing your mindset today. Challenge your negative thoughts about budgeting and money. Over time you’ll be amazed at how it becomes a natural habit!
Still having trouble shifting your mindset?
Take a look at these examples below and see if you can relate:
Thought: Making a budget will take control away from what I want to do.
Mindset Shift: Making a budget gives me control over my money so that I can do what I want to do.
Thought: I have already blown my budget. The whole month is ruined. Might as well spend whatever I want!
Mindset Shift: I forgive myself for this misstep and I will put a plan in place today to be more disciplined with my money. I am capable of sticking to my budget.
Thought: I need (insert item/experience here) to be happy!
Mindset Shift: My happiness does not stem from possessions or experiences. My happiness comes from within.
These are all examples of where I started many years ago. Over time I learned that budgeting wasn’t the problem, I was the problem. And good thing I’m in control of myself because if I am capable of change then you are too!
Have you ever struggled with changing your mindset when it comes to finances? I’d love to hear in the comments!