How to improve your money mindset? (12 ways to change the way you think)

There are a lot of things that you can do in order to improve your money mindset.

The most important thing is to become more mindful of your relationship with money. This means looking at your Spending patterns and begin to question why you spend the way that you do.

Begin to track where every dollar goes and see where you can cut back in order to save more. Automate your savings so that you are not tempted to spend it. Make a budget and stick to it. All of these things will help you to become more aware of your spending habits and give you more control over your finances.

In addition, start thinking about money in different ways. Instead of seeing it as something that controls you, start thinking of it as a tool that can help you to achieve your goals.

Shift your focus from what you don’t have to what you do have. And start thinking about ways to make more money so that you can reach your financial goals even faster.

In this article we will look at 12 things that will help to improve and upgrade your money mindset and set you up for success.

What has influenced your money mindset?

Basically, its the sum of your experiences around money for better or worse.

  • Successes and failures with money, yours or family and friends
  • How our parents and wider family managed and dealt with money
  • How our friends and frenemies talked and acted around money
  • The books, magazines, tv and ideas around money that we actively or passively exposed ourselves to over the years.   

All of these are also, of course, ongoing today again actively or passively. We can choose to concentrate or expose ourselves to more positive mindsets or not as the mood takes us.

How do you think about money?

How and what you think about money has a profound effect on the cash flowing through your life.

Do you see money as the end or merely the means to an end? Is it the prize or just a tool to reach your prize?

Research by financial psychologist Brad Klontz has identified four money scripts or ways you might think about money. Are you any of these?

  1. Money avoider: Do you avoid money either thinking it is evil or something to be wary of? Rich people must be greedy, so you want nothing to do with them or become one.
  2. Money worshiper: More money will solve all my problems. In fact, they will never have enough money, and the more money they have, the more happiness and power they will feel.
  3. Money status(er): Stuff, especially expensive stuff, will bring you more status. Status brands are the must “oh is that the time” you say glancing at your Rolex.
  4. Money vigilant: Are you like a hawk watching your spending and budgeting? Frugality is your middle name you like to save more than you want to spend.

Whichever one or more you are might help explain why you do what you do with your money.

Possessions vs experiences

Whether you want things that look like they are (or were) worth a lot of money might say a lot about your money mindset. Is the possession of expensive things what you really want to achieve, or do you want the memories of amazing times to be the legacy of your spending?

Some of us need to be able to hold something to feel like we have got our money’s worth. While some of us just need a memory of a good time to know what our money was well spent.

This is the age-old challenge of possessions over memories, and all depends on how you are wired to spending and the feelings the things or experiences you buy give you. Whether its inner satisfaction or the external satisfaction of having others look at what you have all indicates your money mindset and how or where you are likely to spend your money. 

Risk vs reward

Maybe you felt spending all your money was always worth the risk of running out of money as you got a massive kick from what you spent it on.

This is less risky when you can keep earning it, but as time and your luck run out, this becomes a more precarious scenario. Running out of money when you can’t make it back is going to be a painful lesson learnt.

Have a think about what it’s going to be like to run out of money when your old and limited in how you can start working again? Hmm doesn’t sound like fun.

Now at some point, you might well want to take some risk like investing in assets of one sort or another to get a greater return on your money. But this is likely to be a calculated risk after improving your financial literacy and with a higher chance of reward over the long term.  

Planning or living for the now

Likewise, are you planning how you will spend your money or just spending it unconsciously?

Do you ever hear yourself say “I don’t know where it all goes?” if so, it sounds like you don’t have a plan or at least not a very good one.

Want to have more money? You’re probably going to need a better plan.

If you want to have more money your going to need to learn how to keep more of the money you already earn.

Better to enjoy your money now while also planning for a bright future.

How can you improve your money mindset? 12 ways to improve your money mindset

Yes, you can improve your money mindset every day in every way. Maybe just a little bit here and there but gradually to set yourself up for financial success and happiness.

Improve your money mindset
Be kind to yourself

1. Forgive your past

First things first forgive your old self. What mistakes you made with money in the past should not keep dragging you back there. Take these mistakes as learning opportunities, i.e. you have learnt not to do them again.

Disastrous purchases, bad debts or painful losses must guide you on making better decisions in the future.

Try and remember what feelings you had at the time, the decision-making process you went through and figure out a way to learn from this.

2. Focus on the future

Make sure you have a vision of an ideal future and keep heading towards that. Even if there are bumps and detours in the road, you should still be heading in the direction of your vision.

Write down what you hope to be doing in 1, 5, and 10 years’ time. The exercise of writing them down will help clarify them to you and allow you to reflect if that’s what you really want.

Writing them down will also help you to start thinking about how they might be achieved

3. Take your time

  • Can you spend more time thinking about your money decisions?
  • Can you consult with a trusted friend, coach, advisor (who is known for good money decisions)?
  • What information do you need to make a good decision?
  • What are the short term and long terms advantages and disadvantages of any current money decision?
  • Can you find it cheaper elsewhere?

4. Call Brian to improve your money mindset

If you’re about to make a big purchase think what would BRIAN do?

Think about the

  • Benefits– what are the benefits of this purchase?
  • Risks– what risks does this purchase have?
  • Information– do you need more information to understand if this is a good deal?
  • Alternatives– are there any alternatives to spending this money? Cheaper or better uses?
  • Nothing – what would happen if you did nothing for 24 hours, 30days or nothing at all? Would this help you not to spend the money or at least give you time to think?  

I am not sure where this acronym originally comes from. I first heard it at an NCT (National Childbirth Trust) class. However, at that time, BRIAN was more centred on different birthing options, not purchases.

5.Create a spending plan – including for fun

A spending plan sounds much more fun than a budget.

Where do you want your money to go? To your pocket or other peoples?

Can you give every one of your £/$/€ a job to do including building you your wealth?

By detailing where you want your money to go, you are going each pound earnt a job. Now that you know where they should be going, including to fun things, you can keep track of what is working or not.

improve your money mindset
Have a vision of you ideal future


Ongoing reading on personal finance will help build your financial skills and muscles. Adding a book on money, investing or self-development to your reading list will slowly expand your knowledge of the subject.

Even if you are a complete beginner, reading about personal finance will slowly expand your familiarity and knowledge of key financial terms and principles. Reading about how others overcame debt or started investing will help you see how you might do it.

Over time this accumulation of knowledge will have a massive compounding effect on your success with money. Just like bank interest, either the way you earn or pay it compounds, and so does your knowledge over time.  

You can read or listen to books now, so there are limited excuses for not reading more.

7.Create Good habits around money

Automating your finances might be one of the easiest ways to get on top of your money.

Set up an automatic monthly savings amount and live off the rest of the money left over. This is the idea of paying yourself first before sending your money to everyone else.

Automate your bills and repayments so you don’t have to think about it anymore; it’s all done for you. This will free up your time and stress from having to do it manually every week, month or year.

As your positive money habits get stronger, it will help to improve your money mindset.

8.Track your finances

There are now numerous apps that can track your expenses for you. These will help provide daily, weekly or monthly check-ins to see where your money is going and if you’re happy with that.

Have a yearly check-in on your finances to see if you can get cheaper utilities, gym memberships or other subscriptions you have signed up to. Most companies are counting on your inertia just to keep paying no matter the price.

Set up a calendar day or week to review them and find a better deal. Don’t agonise over getting the best deal. A good deal will likely be good enough.  

9.Set financial goals

How will you ever get where you want to be without any goal or at least a vision? You might even end up someplace you don’t want to be.

You don’t have to have concrete goals if you are an anti-goaler type of person. However, at least a vision of what you would like your life to be would be helpful to keep checking yourself against.

A vision of a good life might help you figure out how far away you are and how to get to where you want to be.

A clear and present danger we all face is drift. Slowly but surely drifting into debt, higher and higher spending and no financial safety net for us now or in the future.

If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.

Yogi Berra

Yogi Berra

The further you drift, the more difficult it will be to correct yourself and get back on the right path. Better to stick to the proven path of financial happiness. Enjoy your money now whilst also saving and investing for a brighter tomorrow.

Set financial goals that you can work towards. Ideally SMARTY ones

  • Specific – What do you want to achieve?
  • Measurable – How will you know you have achieved it?
  • Achievable – Could you really do this?
  • Relevant– is it what you really want, what you really really want?
  • Timebound – By when?
  • Joy- Is this going to be an enjoYable goal? (Taken from A Good Plan)

An example might be:

I will save £8,000 over the next 12 months to pay for an around the world trip. I will do this by automating my savings, cutting down my expenses and tracking all incoming and outgoings over the period.

10. Be grateful and happy with what you have

This is the quickest route to happiness but possibly not the easiest.

Comparison will be the bane of your life and keep you perpetually unhappy if you are not careful. There’s nothing wrong with being restless and wanting to achieve more but not if it’s eating away at you.

Let’s face it; someone will always have more than you. Be happy and grateful for what you have while you are working to better yourself and your family.

One idea might be to keep a journal. Here you can write down goals and action steps to achieve them.

You can also record things you are grateful for. Small things or large things that make you smile. Once they are written down, you will be able to look back at all the good things that happened and hopefully be a little more able to put things into perspective.

Improve your money mindset
Drink the positive cool aid

11. Realize money is a tool and nothing more.

Money can take you many places good and evil. Throughout your money travels, make sure you remember that you are the driver and not just a passenger along for the ride.

Make sure you use the money to build the things that align with your goals—using money to achieve what you really want, buying a house, travelling or allowing part-time work. These and many other things are far more positive uses for your money and likely to lead to more happiness than mindless spending.

If you use money as a tool to achieve your most significant goals, you will find looking after it much less time-consuming. It might even be fun to see how managing your money is getting you closer to your targets.    

12. Get some help improving your money mindset

Books, podcasts and YouTube are full of great life and money insights. You just need to filter out the cat videos.

Your local library will have many books on money and mindsets for free.

You could even think about getting some face (Zoom) time with a money coach like me!!

Summary: What can you do to improve your money mindset

Improving your money mindset is a process and not an event. Looking back to what has formed your money mindset and then working on turning it around will take time.

  • Forgive your past
  • Focus on the future
  • Set some financial goals
  • Consider your options before launching BRIAN. 
  • Track your expenses
  • Create goo habits around money
  • Build your financial knowledge through books, podcasts and coaching. 
  • Be kind to yourself.
  • Get some help

You can’t run a marathon the day after you decide to do one. It takes time to get fit through training, diet and working on improving your mindset, i.e. can you really run 26 miles in one go?

Build yourself some training blocks, reading about money, listening to podcasts and planning your finances will play an important part in improving and strengthening your money mindset.

Upgrade your money mindset

Forgive your pastLet go of past financial mistakes and focus on the present.
Focus on the futureShift your mindset towards long-term financial goals.
Take your timeUnderstand that developing a money mindset is a process.
Call Brian to improve your money mindsetSeek guidance from Brian or a trusted expert to enhance your mindset.
Create a spending plan – including for funDevelop a balanced spending plan that includes room for enjoyment.
Self-developmentInvest in personal growth and knowledge to improve your mindset.
Create good habits around moneyCultivate positive habits that support healthy financial behaviors.
Track your financesRegularly monitor and evaluate your financial situation.
Set financial goalsDefine clear goals to work towards and stay motivated.
Be grateful and happy with what you haveFoster a mindset of gratitude and contentment with your current financial situation.
Realize money is a tool and nothing moreUnderstand that money is a means to an end, not the ultimate goal.
Get some help improving your money mindsetSeek professional help or guidance to enhance your money mindset.
Money Mindset examples

FAQ: How to improve money mindset

How to improve your money mindset

When it comes to money, a lot of people have what’s known as a “scarcity mindset.” This means that they believe there’s never enough money to go around, and that it’s always a struggle to make ends meet.

If you want to improve your mindset about money, the first step is to become aware of your thoughts and beliefs around it.

Do you find yourself thinking things like “I can’t afford that” or “I’ll never be able to retire”? Those are signs of a scarcity mindset.

Once you’re aware of your thoughts, start challenging them. Ask yourself if they’re really true. Are there any evidence to support them? If not, start reframing your thoughts into a more positive outlook and look for the actions to change your behaviour around and with money.

3 simple things you can do today to improve your finances

-Make a budget and track your expenses.
-Automate your finances by setting up bill payments and investing through direct deposit.
-Increase your income by making more money or reducing your expenses.

What your money mindset says about your career potential

Your money mindset is a reflection of your beliefs and attitudes about money.

It can greatly impact your career potential, as it affects your ability to earn, save, and invest money.

If you have a negative money mindset, you may believe that you’ll never make enough money or that you’re not good with money. This can hold you back from advancing in your career or taking risks that could lead to greater success.

On the other hand, if you have a positive money mindset, you believe that you can make as much money as you want and that financial success is within reach.

This positive attitude can help propel you forward in your career and give you the confidence to seize opportunities when they arise.

How do I get rid of money scarcity mindset?

To get rid of a money scarcity mindset, start by identifying your beliefs and thoughts about money.

Challenge any negative beliefs you may have, replace and reframe them with positive ones.

Create a budget and stick to it, practice gratitude for what you already have, and seek out education and resources on personal finance.

Surround yourself with positive and supportive people who have a healthy relationship with money.

Remember that changing your mindset takes time and effort, so be patient and persistent in your efforts.

What are 5 good money habits?

Here are five good money habits that can help you manage your finances effectively:

Budgeting: Creating a budget is an essential money habit that helps you keep track of your income and expenses. It allows you to plan for your monthly expenses, save for the future and avoid overspending.

Saving money is crucial for financial stability and long-term goals such as buying a house, starting a business, or retirement. Make saving a habit by putting aside a portion of your monthly income and avoid dipping into your savings unless it’s an emergency.

Investing can help you grow your wealth over time. Whether it’s through a retirement plan or individual investments, it’s important to start early and be consistent with your investment strategy.

A good money habit is avoiding high-interest debt and paying off any existing debt. Try to pay off your monthly credit card balances, and avoid using debt to finance things you can’t afford.

Living within your means is key to maintaining a healthy financial life. Avoid overspending and impulse buying, and prioritize your needs over wants. Consider alternatives such as buying used items or borrowing instead of buying new items.

How is a money mindset formed?

A money mindset is formed through a combination of factors, including our upbringing, cultural and societal values, personal experiences, and education.

Our upbringing and the attitudes towards money that we observed from our parents and family members can significantly impact our money mindset. For example, if our parents were frugal or cautious with their money, we may adopt similar beliefs and behaviors.

Cultural and societal values can also shape our money mindset. For instance, some cultures may emphasize the importance of saving for the future, while others may emphasise spending money on experiences.

Personal experiences such as job loss, financial struggles, or windfalls can also shape our money mindset. These experiences can reinforce positive or negative attitudes towards money and influence our financial decision-making.

Education and financial literacy are also significant factors in shaping our money mindset. Those who receive financial education and learn how to manage their money effectively are likelier to have a positive money mindset and make better financial decisions.

Overall, a money mindset is formed by a combination of factors and understanding these factors can help us identify and change any negative beliefs or behaviours that may be holding us back from achieving financial success.

What is a poor money mindset?

A poor money mindset is a negative set of beliefs or attitudes about money that can prevent an individual from achieving financial success. Some characteristics of a poor money mindset include:

Scarcity mentality: The belief that there is never enough money, leading to constant worry about finances.

Fear of money: The belief that money is evil, or that having a lot of money will bring negative consequences.

Living paycheck to paycheck: The inability to save money or plan for the future, often resulting in debt and financial insecurity.

Impulsive spending: Making impulsive purchases or overspending without considering the long-term consequences.

Lack of financial literacy: Not understanding basic financial concepts such as budgeting, saving, and investing.

Believing that money will solve all problems: The belief that having more money will solve all problems, leading to a focus on earning more money rather than developing healthy financial habits.

A poor money mindset can harm your financial well-being and prevent them from achieving your financial goals.
It’s important to identify and address any negative beliefs or attitudes about money and develop a positive money mindset. This can be done through financial education, budgeting, and focusing on developing healthy financial habits.

Take Action on your life and finances now!

Are you in your 40s and feeling the financial squeeze? You’re not alone. This can be a challenging time financially, as you may be:

  • Juggling mortgage payments 🏠
  • Managing family expenses 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦
  • Planning for retirement 🏖️
  • Saving for your children’s college education 🎓
  • Paying off lingering debts 💳

It’s time to stop the stress and start your journey to financial happiness. Financial coaching can provide the tools and guidance you need to navigate these challenges. With coaching, you can:

  • Create a realistic and manageable budget 💼
  • Develop a clear and achievable savings plan 🐖
  • Learn effective strategies for debt repayment 🔄
  • Understand and plan for future financial needs 📈
  • Start saving and investing for financial independence 💰
  • Gain peace of mind knowing you’re on the right track 😌

Don’t let financial worries cloud the prime of your life. Schedule a call with me today at Financially Happy Money Coaching, and let’s turn your financial stress into financial success!

Together, we can build a plan that aligns with your goals and sets you on a path to financial freedom. Let’s make your money work for you, not vice versa. 💪💰

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