Is Your Money Mindset Helping or Hindering You?

A couple of years ago a well-known author, Rick Warren (The Purpose Driven Life) spoke about the success of his book. It sold millions and millions of copies. He had to work out what to do with the money that was flooding in. He outlined what he decided to do (with his wife) – he paid back his church all the salary he had received over the past 20 years and kept working for nothing the church, and set up a foundation. He didn’t go out and buy a new house or car etc.

I was impressed by the level-headed, clear money mindset that he had developed. He wasn’t captured by a mindset but was using money to serve his values and goals.

You might not choose to do the same things he chose to do. The question is: Do you have a money mindset that is serving you or are you serving it?

Money is one of the few taboo subjects left in our society. It seems impolite and nosey to ask someone how much they earn, how much they paid for their house, what investments they have etc.

Have you ever thought about the impact your mindset about money is having on your work and life?

There are many different mindsets we can have towards money. Money is….

… The root of all evil

… A necessary evil

… something not to think about it  – as long as I have enough

… I want more of but feel guilty putting time and effort into it

… A driving force in my life

I have had a long-term ambivalent relationship with money. This is primarily because I come from a family that has been deeply embedded in the not-for-profit world, and the modeling from my grandparents, which they pasted onto my parents. One grandpa who was working class (and always struggling financial), and the other was a banker for whom money was a very private issue. I have been taught to be private about money and suspicious of what money does to people.

Whatever your relationship to money, burying our heads isn’t the answer. This has essentially been my strategy for a long time. Money comes in, money goes out. I earn enough not to have to worry about if I’ll have enough to pay the bills (which is nice) but I have no plan, no budget, no philosophy.

There are 3 reasons that I have adopted this strategy up until now:

  • It is easier to do nothing – I would have to discipline myself
  • It is complicated to know what to do
  • I would have to face up to the future


We can ascertain our money mindset by listening to the words and phrases we use in relation to things.

In my vocabulary are phrases like:

  • “He has too much money” – I use this when I feel like someone who is ‘wealthy’ is wasting money.
  • “Money doesn’t bring you happiness” – This is true according to various research studies after you reach a certain level of income, which is less than you think.
  • “The root of all evil is the love of money”

What are the phrases you use? Any of these familiar?

  • “I don’t have enough”
  • “I wish I had more money”
  • “Money doesn’t’ grow on trees”
  • “Filthily rich”
  • “We can’t afford that”

The truth is that money is a shape shifter, it assumes whatever meaning or emotion we project on it.

Tony Robbins puts it this way, “In the end, money isn’t what we’re after…is it? What we’re really after are the feelings, the emotions, we think money can create…the feelings of empowerment, of freedom, of security, of helping others, and of having choices.”


Two of the topics that I teach and coach is about taking responsibility and living with the end in mind. I realized that money was an area for which I hadn’t taken responsibility and had never set any goals or intention about.

The other reason was that going into the business world created new dilemmas for me. I came to realize that not only was I not taking responsibility for my financial future (my mindset was, it will take care of itself), but I also hadn’t created a plan regardless of my financial position.



Examine your attitudes to money – you can tell your attitude by your practices and what you say.

Wondering about your money mindset? Here are a few clues to get you started:

  1. Does money cause you discomfort?
  2. Are you satisfied with your life?
  3. How do you view yourself? Are you successful, struggling?
  4. What are your earliest memories around money?
  5. Are you able to comfortably talk about money?
  6. What sentence best describes how you feel about wealth?
  7. Did you consider yourself rich or poor growing up?
  8. Was money a source of conflict growing up?
  9. Does money play a central theme in your thinking?
  10. How would you rate your level of stress around money?

Consider your answers.  If they indicate stress or discomfort, your money mindset might not be supportive of living a satisfying money life.  If your answers indicate comfort and ease, you’re probably on a pretty good track.



10 years ago I had not read or tried to educate myself at all about financial issues. Now I have read around 6 or 7 books, countless articles and podcasts.

I am by no means an expert. What I want to do is know enough so I can make informed choices and decisions. There are so many good books and information out there.

I have been reading a very interesting book by Tony Robbins recently. He has interviewed 50 of the best financial brains on the planet and distilled it down to 7 steps to build a financial plan. It is very helpful, practical (even if it is USA focused).


Once you have educated yourself make a plan. You can do this with a financial advisor or by yourself. Different personalities like more or less structure. You need to create a plan and system that is sustainable and will help you reach your goals.

One of the most helpful things I have done and learnt is to automate your savings. This might mean putting extra automatically into your superannuation or a separate savings accounts before you see it.

Action is king. Don’t just think about it, do something.

What mindset will serve you and your goals?



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