9 Common Financial Behaviours That Reflect A Poverty Mindset

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I don’t think there is anybody out there who has never had a thought that reflected a poverty mindset. Thoughts of lack of money come from our deep fears of poverty, abandonment, loss and death.

In ‘Think and Grow Rich‘ , Napoleon Hill talked a lot about major fears that people have, fears that convey a lack mindset.

He actually places the fear of poverty (or lack) among the biggest of all fears. He then goes on exploring this fear and how to overcome it. (BTW, if you’re a female entrepreneur or just someone who wants to succeed in life I recommend you reading ‘Think and Grow Rich’ and start putting in practice the advice given there)

Below, you will find the most common behaviours that stop you from managing your money wisely and creating the wealth that you deserve. If you find some of these fears in your behavior around money, take steps to remedy them by using the service of a financial psychologist or coach.

And remember that the first step to changing a negative behaviour is to acknowledge it.

1. Hoarding money

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During the Great Depression, one woman in Brooklyn, New York heard that there will be a shortage of coffee in the city.

This woman had enough coffee at home but was afraid that she won’t be able to buy any more coffee for months to come. Thus, she went from one shop to another and bought almost the entire coffee supply in her area.

We can say that she was hoarding coffee in her apartment. What happened next is gonna surprise you.

One night a burglar broke in her place and stole her entire coffee supply.

What does this story teach you? That hoarding money or goods never works out in the end. When you are afraid that there’s never enough, you accumulate stuff that will either be taken away from you or that won’t be used or enjoyed.

The limiting belief at the base of hoarding is ‘there is not enough money’ and the fear here is that of lack or poverty. You can talk about these deep-seated money fears with a financial psychologist or an EFT practitioner. EFT is a tapping method used to release old emotions and fears from one’s body.

2. Buying stuff on sale

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Buying on sale is a negative attitude towards money because it reflects a feeling of lack and unworthiness.

When you decide to spend £20 on a blouse that was discounted from £50, instead of £80 on another that’s in better shape, you are telling yourself you don’t have enough to buy it with the full price.

Psychologically, when you entertain thoughts of not having enough or being enough you depreciate yourself. You impose limits on yourself and perhaps you stop thinking of ways to afford that 80-pound blouse that will probably last you for years.

2. Overspending

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In my previous blog post I talked about not having boundaries in your spending. A lack of boundaries causes people to struggle with saving money. (thus they spend too much)

See, when you don’t know how to control your impulses and say stop! before purchasing new clothes, shoes or expensive dinners that are not in your budget you pave the way to financial stress and misery.

So how do I control my impulses to spend?

By practicing relaxation techniques. I bet you are stressed out if you over spend. Try to sit down daily and meditate for 20 minutes or more. Meditation is crucial to increasing relaxation and creating a better attitude about money.

When you are relaxed, you can take better decisions. And you will be less tempted to practice retail therapy as a way to cope with your emotions.

3. Under spending

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The other side of over spending is under spending. Some of you out there keep their hard-earned money so tight in your hands that your fingers begin to hurt.

A limiting belief that reflects this mentality might be: It is hard for me to spend money on the things I enjoy.

If you look at those entrepreneurs who earn a significant income from their business, you will see that they never deprive themselves of good experiences.

Take for example Ramit Sethi, the New York Time’s best selling author and badass financial expert. He is not ashamed of admiting that he spends thousands of dollars a month on cooking services. Due to the busy nature of his work, he can’t afford to spend time in the kitchen.

Instead, he hires professional cooks to come to his home and prepare his favourite meals. And he is not cheap-he’ll pay whatever it takes to eat rich and healthy meals (that probably look like works of art on a plate)

I know you’re not Ramit however, you can learn from him when it comes to enjoying the money you earn. Spend a small amount (or whatever amount you’re comfortable with) on extremely enjoyable activities.

If you don’t know what brings you joy, write down few ideas. For me, it’s s going to the cinema. I never look at the ticket price when I catch up the latest blockbuster. I also buy junk food to have with me in the theatre because.. what’s a movie without junk food? Right?

4. Under earning

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This is by far the biggest and baddest financial behaviour that is probably at the core of your ‘poverty mindset’. This subject affects people deeply because if their income is not enough to cover their needs, they won’t be able to enjoy life, feel good about themselves, pay bills or even think clearly.

Financial issues are common causes for depression and anxiety. Here’s a recent study that links depression to financial issues among students in the UK.

Popular author and entrepreneur Barbara Stanny talked about the dangers of underearning in her book ‘Overcoming Underearning’ and is convinced that if you follow her advice you can increase your finances so that you’ll earn what you desire.

Her book gives you a clear step-by-step formula to overcoming your underearning levels and maintaining a prosperous attitude towards money.

I don’t want to tell you that this book will heal your financial problems (it didn’t heal mine) but it motivated me to put on my big-girl pants and go after the clients and the jobs that pay big.

5. Hating money, fearing money

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If you’re hating or fearing money (because you think you can’t have enough) you obviously have a negative attitude towards money. When you are thinking negatively it is harder for you to follow your intuition and recognise opportunities that are all around you (opportunities that can increase your wealth).

The ‘Acres of Diamonds’ author, Russell Conwell who shocked America with his essay on attaining riches and success, believed that people have thousands of opportunities around them and that they’re actually sitting on lands of diamonds.

He proved through countless stories which his students recalled that, if one could change their attitude and put into practice valuable ideas that can bring forth successful businesses, one wouldn’t have trouble getting rich.

Looking at money as ‘opportunities that are everywhere around you even under your own feet’ (a story in the essay recalls a Colonel in California whose daughter discovered scales of gold while playing with wet sand on their ranch. The ranch brought home 38 million dollars from the selling of the gold) will bring you peace of mind and open you up to money-making ideas that you would laugh at in the past.

Your wealth is too near to you. You are looking right over it.

Russell Conwell

6. Complaining about prices

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It is very simple to complain about something you don’t like and harder to appreciate something you do like. True?

If you constantly tell people how expensive x and y is and how you can’t afford them, you are just making yourself miserable. And miserable people don’t make (plenty of) money.

Instead of using ever second of your day to think critically about the prices around you or the numberbon your paycheck, find a way to appreciate the fact that, there are expensive items in the world.

You are living in an abundant reality that could provide you shoes for your dog, electric blankets or noise cancelling headphones. How cool is that these products were invented, right?

7. Bitching about your job or the people in your life

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Again, talking negatively about the things in your life is gonna make you sadder and less open to the opportunities out there that can bring money.

If you find yourself in toxic jobs or toxic relationships, remember that you don’t have to tolerate them. Make a plan to cut these toxic circumstances out of your life and everything will improve. I promise you.

8. Blaming others for your mistakes

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Many years ago I had a passion for blaming everyone in my life for my problems except myself. I used to complain about my parents never teaching me about money and me ending up financially challenged as a result.

After a while, I read of all these great thinkers and entrepreneurs who came from a very poor background and made it big (Oprah Winfrey, Terry Crews, Jim Carrey, Joe Vitale etc) and realized that harsh begginings don’t need to negatively affect your ability to become successful. Sometimes you can even use your troubled childhood to make money.

Therefore, remember that you decide what you’re going to do with the things you were served as a child. You can do something about it or let those things stop you from healing and moving on.

9. Lacking goals in life

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Napoleon Hill used to say that there are two kinds of people: drifters and non-drifters.

Drifters are those who lack a goal or a purpose in life and are doing what others think hey should be doing.

They are controlled by the unhelpful amount of information they receive from their parents, school, mass media or churches. They do not think outside the box and are products of their environment.

On the other hand, non-drifters have a clear goal, a dream and follow it no matter what those around them think, do or say. They don’t consume popular information and think for themselves. These people are those who build businesses or create works of art that benefit thousands of people.

Not having a specific goal can put you in the ‘drifters’ category. However, you can turn this around by finding out what you want to do in life, making a plan and taking the first steps towards your goal.

It is detrimental to your financial health if you don’t have a specific direction in your life. That’s because not knowing what you want to do and the amount of money you want to earn is gonna make you choose those jobs that you’re not suited for. Those jobs that pay poorly or are even toxic to your mental health.

Thus, know what you want.

Put down your goal on a piece of paper and look at it daily. Look at that number every morning no matter how little you are earning right now.

This is gonna help you think more clearly and be motivated to pursue the things you love doing.

If you want a clearer, step-by-step formula on how to achieve your goal, reach out to a business coach. These guys are there to help you with whatever financial goal you have by going first to the root of your negative mindset around money.

Only by dealing with your negative money beliefs you can achieve financial independence.

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I'm a financial and wellness copywriter with a passion for travel and relocation. I am a Romanian at heart but an English, American and Finnish in many other ways.

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