What do you think of when you think of good money habits or good financial habits? Do you think of someone who saves a lot of money? Someone who is fully funding their retirement savings? Someone who knows how to stick to a budget? Someone who knows how not to overspend?
What is a good money habit?
First, let’s start by defining what a good money habit even is.
Not the answer you were expecting? We often think of money habits as something that someone else defines as good. Habit creation based on someone else’s definition of what is good is a sure-fire way to fail.
Why you should not try to copy other people’s money habits
Anytime you are trying to create a new money habit because someone (whether it’s a personal financial advisor or a family friend) told you to, you are automatically making it harder for you to sustainably succeed. The key to success with your financial habits is not in the habit but in the money mindset.
Because you are trying to create a habit (the last part of the behavioral cycle) before you have connected it to your identity.
Money Habit Formation Cycle
Don’t feel badly if you have always thought that the key to success is changing your habits. You are not alone. Habits are hard to break!
The Habit formation cycle looks like this (starting with subconscious beliefs and working clockwise)
When we attempt to extract any portion of this process and try to change some aspect of our lives solely through that (in this case – habits) we tend to try and do it through sheer willpower and when we inevitably fail, we will think it’s because we were not “strong” or “good” enough. Forming good money habits is not just about the habits themselves but everything leading up to it as well.
No! It’s because we attempted to completely change an ingrained process without addressing all the other components that the process was deeply affected by. By focusing on habits, we accidentally set ourselves up to fail.
That doesn’t mean good financial habits should be ignored!
This is not a license from me to give up any attempt to improve your money habits. That is not the message. I do want you to stop beating yourself up for not being able to change your financial habits through habit change alone.
It takes deeper level work to sustainably change into good money habits and it starts with your subconscious beliefs.
Creating good money habits: Step 1
The first thing you need to do if you are looking for how to easily change your money habits is to identify the result you are looking for. Because creating a habit without understanding what you want it to do for you is a sure-fire way to lose.
So, identify the desired result you are looking to achieve. Ideally, identify the core EMOTION you are looking for. So often we set our “goals” based on numbers, and those numbers are… you guessed it, based on what someone else has told us we need.
Starting with emotions is not always simple but it is key to really starting at the right place in the habit formation cycle.
I will be transparent with you. Starting this deep can be challenging if you’ve never navigated through subconscious beliefs before. If you are doing this for the first time, I strongly suggest a supportive community and teacher to help you in your journey.
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Creating good money habits: Step 2
The next step to clearly identify your thoughts that around this belief. If you’ve identified what you want the result to be, next write down all the thoughts that come to mind when you contemplate achieving that desired result.
Doing this as a journaling exercise can be very cathartic. Write down everything that comes to mind, good, bad, not related at all, anything, and everything. Do this even over the course of several days (these things usually take a while for the real thoughts to surface and the longer you think about the desired result the more thoughtful your reflections on it become).
Once you’ve identified your current thoughts you can start the process of rewriting them into what you want to believe about your ability to get the result you want.
This part is key because if you are currently sabotaging your financial success with negative thought patterns your decisions will not be aligned and your goals will not be achieved.
It’s easier to rewrite your thoughts that your subconscious beliefs right off the bat so I always have my clients start with thoughts (hint: this is why many people find mantras to be helpful). Rewrite the thoughts you wish to have, repeat regularly until you believe them, back them up with small actions and decisions and you will be reprogramming your subconscious mind yourself.
Creating good money habits: Step 3
Next, think about how your desired result and your thoughts about your ability to accomplish this result translate into decisions that you’ve made with your money.
For example, if my desired result is to spend less administrative time in my business. My thoughts may be a range of emotions such as:
- “I’ll never be able to afford someone”
- “It’s cheaper to do it myself. I need to just suck it up”
- “Everyone else seems to be able to handle this, maybe I’m just not cut out for it”
- “Hey, didn’t that girl on Instagram just say she was launching Virtual Assistant offers?”
- “I wonder how much more money I could make if I didn’t spend so much time on admin stuff?”
- “I can always start with a small package and add more later”
Depending on which thoughts I have I will make different decisions, right? If I think down the first line of questions and never get past that, then I will not get my desired result (less administrative time in my business). If I follow the second thought pattern, I am more likely to get what I want.
And big news here, your decisions follow a predictable pattern when it comes to your thoughts. There are a reason people who are positive tend to have more positively correlated results.
Creating good money habits: Step 4
Now we get to the habits. And at this point in the cycle there is truly little left to do. Once you have rewritten your thoughts, repeated them and aligned your decisions to your new thoughts you then naturally start to change your habits because…
You have now thoughtfully and effectively changed the way you see yourself
That is the key to successful change, and it feels effortless because once you’ve done the deeper work the new habits arrive as a natural outflow of the new identity that you have thoughtfully created for yourself.
This is just the beginning of changing your money habits
The process I’ve just described for you is a 10,000-foot view of the deeper work that I do every day. If you are ready to approach your financial habits in a new (better) way that works, there are two ways that you can do that with me.
Money Mindset Membership is for those who are looking to make small, easy adjustments to their mindset that result in powerful shifts in their finances
Bulletproof for Life Program for those who are ready to go all-in, reprogram their subconscious beliefs about money and align their habits effortlessly with achieving their goals and walk away with a whole toolkit of financial strategies. This program covers every single aspect of financial management in-depth in either a self-study or a supported coaching format.