Want More Financial Success This New Year? Shift your Thinking!
Old money attitudes are ready for an adjustment.
There’s never a better time than now to lay the foundation for financial success. While setting a resolution of saving money or paying off debt is a great start, there is much more to financial success than just setting goals. A great way for families to increase financial success is by first shifting their thoughts around money and then evaluating exactly where they are financially. As your family sets financial goals for the New Year, consider the following money paradigm shifts and including your children in the ‘movement’ as well, if applicable.
Old paradigm: "Spending money makes you feel better."
New paradigm: "Money is a tool in your life; not a tonic or a tranquilizer."
Where did this old paradigm come from? Perhaps your parents gave you an allowance when you were very young in order to help you learn to "handle" your finances. Often, allowances came with very little financial guidance or instruction. We pass these same beliefs to our children. In the new year, let’s shift our thinking and see money as a tool or building block to accomplishing financial goals; small or large.
Consider involving your children in the planning and building process for a specific family financial goal and allow them to walk through every step of planning with you. For example, if you are considering buying a new computer or taking a family vacation to a theme park: sit down and discuss the specific goal, create a plan that considers the various steps involved and how you plan to implement and achieve them. You may use an app or old-fashioned paper and pen to choose the theme park, track the cost of travel and accommodations, cost of admittance, meals, etc. Consider how much money you need to put in your recreational savings account per month so you can have a magical time.
Old paradigm: "I do not have enough money."
New paradigm: "I already have enough to live well and happily."
The mere fact that you live in America or any western nation and make $50,000 - $70,000 per year means you are already wealthier than 90% of all people on the planet. Research shows family incomes that fall within this range have everything it takes to be as happy as the average millionaire as this amount allows families to do what matters most to their emotional well-being. Perhaps, a better approach to increased happiness this New Year is to really sit with this fact, let it sink in while on your quest to acquire more money. This paradigm shift is a very clear and financially healthy distinction to make.
Old paradigm: "I must have more money in order to be happier."
New paradigm: "The more I appreciate what I already have, the happier I am."
Let that sink in. We can be as happy as the super wealthy with our current income. The Guardian stated, "A survey of 1,000 Americans found that happiness rose in line with salary, but only up until people earned $75,000 per year." This data suggests that perhaps families earning $75,000 per year have reached the brink or maximum beyond which further increases in income no longer improves the average family’s ability to live a satisfying life or live like a millionaire on any budget.
Old paradigm: "Work harder, longer, to get wealthier."
New paradigm: "Thinking wealthier will make you wealthier."
We are already working hard, but I admonish you this year to think about the work you do and how you can do it differently, perhaps better, in less time. Are you able to earn more money on the side doing something you love? Of course, a new life begins with embarking on a new way of thinking. Perhaps this new year we will embark on a new way of thinking about wealth and how we achieve it.
Old paradigm: "Repeat what you are doing harder and longer in order to succeed."
New paradigm: "Take different action to get a different result."
This paradigm speaks to the idea that if we want something we’ve never had, we will have to do something we’ve never done. Take calculated, strategically planned activities this year to increase your financial well-being.
Adult attitudes and belief systems about money stem from childhood. Modeling strategic money management behavior and including children in financial discussions, where possible help them become financially literate and money savvy; skills more important than ever for all in our frequently changing economy.
It is more important than ever to have family conversations about money management and money matters whether you are a married couple with or without children. I highly recommend the importance of planning as a team. Remember that our thoughts shape our actions, so in order to develop financial success we must first shift our thoughts around money!
Timolin R. Langin is a teacher-preneur and author of "Mind Over Money, How to Live like a Millionaire Now." For more information visit LivelikeaMillionaireNow.com.