The way you answer these questions, and countless others, is a glimpse into your money mindset.
Your money mindset is your belief system about money that you have developed, consciously and unconsciously, throughout your life. It drives how you spend every dollar and make every decision about money.
The enlightened will take the steps to examine and improve their money mindset so they can re-write the parts of their stories that aren’t serving them. (For tips on how to get started on improving your money mindset click here and here)
The problem is, not everyone does this.
And these lovely people are also the most likely to have a lot to say about how you spend and earn YOUR money.
I’m sure you’ve heard one of these…
* I don’t get why you can’t go out to dinner with us! You have a good job??
* Renting is throwing your money away!
* You’re going to need a luxury car so you look impressive to your clients.
Maybe you can roll your eyes at these silly faux-pas but it gets scarier when the comments and advice run deeper and start to influence major life decisions like how to spend a big chunk of money, what career path to choose and how to make big investments, like a house.
It’s scary because anytime you are taking outside advice, even from close family members that have the best of intentions, you have no idea what their personal money mindset is and what might be influencing their advice.
Your Mom might want you to have the big wedding because she didn’t have it. Your CPA might recommended conservative investments because he lost money on a risky venture years ago. Your friend might talk you into the more expensive neighborhood under the guise of better schools, but really she just wants you to be her new neighbor.
I’m not saying you can never take advice from people, but it is important to remember no one cares more about your lifestyle and financial choices as you.
So what can you do to avoid being influenced by another’s bad money mindset?
1. Start by examining your own money mindset so you can be clear that you understand the drivers of your own behavior and can take steps to improve the ones that aren’t serving you.
2. Be grateful for any advice loved ones try to give you, most of the time they are just trying to help!
3. Recognize that after gathering multiple points of view, you have to sit with all the advice and choose the course of action that resonates for you, and you alone.
And remember, no one gets to tell you how to spend your money.
Or earn it for that matter.
At the end of the day all your decisions should feel right to you, deep in your gut. That is better than any financial calculator to gauge your progress towards your goals.
To make your own decisions, you have to be informed. To be well-informed you have to have good information. You get good information from tracking your numbers. See where I’m going with this? Sign up to get my free Budgeting Starter Kit and get on the road to making better decisions about money.