5 Steps to Shed Toxic Money Mindset Patterns

Jenna Kutcher 

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March 17, 2021


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Over the years, I have been able to shift my money mindset into a MUCH more positive light, and it’s transformed so many aspects of my life. I feel like I’ve finally learned to trust myself, think strategically about my money, and live in a more abundant mindset. 

Before I dive into talking about money mindset, it’s important to recognize that there is a huge disparity of wealth in this country. Even having the platform to just speak about mindset around money when there are people who are forced to constantly think about money in reference to their survival or keeping the lights on or making their rent payment this month, is a privilege. Economic inequality, whether measured through the gaps in income or wealth between richer and poorer households, continues to widen. 

I won’t pretend that you can just go and manifest a million dollars and there it will come, I know that there are so many people who are really struggling right now with basic needs. This episode isn’t created to fix the bigger problems created by broken systems, systems that I am committed to helping change, but I do hope that it helps for you to look at money through a different lens that invites more freedom or understanding in your life and for the role money plays in it. 

So with all of that, and knowing I’m certainly no financial analyst or planner, I hope you’ll find some value in what I’ve learned surrounding money mindset. Let’s dive into 5 of the biggest shifts I’ve made in my own mindset around money. 

Trust in yourself, your value, and your journey

I noticed this trend (mainly among women, but men certainly deal with it to) where we feel like if we FIND success, it must be a fluke and we have to ride the wave and keep up the momentum or else it’ll all stop, it’ll end and we’ll be back to where we once were. It’s this idea that our success if fleeting and if we miss one opportunity, we will never find true success or financial freedom and it comes because we lack the confidence to trust in ourselves and our ability to generate results in the future. 

You HAVE to stop thinking that you aren’t smart enough to pivot and to learn new things. Not only are you smart enough, you are WORTHY of it. So often, we feel like we need to say “yes” to all of the opportunities that come by, but, when we trust in ourselves, in our ability to make moves, and in our flexibility to change lanes when we need to? That is when we start to create really, really big things. I’ve noticed this a lot entering a season when I’m hopeful to get pregnant again, that I have to keep remembering that it’s okay to slow down and say “no” and protect my time and that I have to trust that if/when I’m ready to go full steam ahead, I will be smart enough to figure out what that looks like. 

When I think of my career and the pivots I’ve taken, I attribute confidence to a lot of those decisions that helped me to grow. That belief that I could pull off the next thing or that I could pursue that next idea or that I could cut back on one thing in order to try something else allowed me to get to where I am today. I also always had a Plan B (most of which were never deployed, thankfully) but I didn’t make rash decisions, I always looked at things through a lens of best case and worst case scenario, being confident that whichever road I had to walk, I’d be able to navigate it. 

While so may people preach about only doing work you absolutely love, that sometimes isn’t feasible when you’re just trying to make ends meet or get something off the ground. As you refine your skills and gain experiences, you earn the ability to choose the best work for you, the work that lights you up, but never forget that sometimes life calls you to get back in the trenches and do the work to pay the bills. 

In time, I can also promise you that when you decide to start trusting in YOURSELF, what YOU offer, and YOUR ability to keep going when the curveballs hit you… that’s when you can really start to work from your own genius spots, and start to stay away from the response to others. It’s all in line with the good old Law of Attraction, too — the money will follow, because you’ll be doing what lights you up. 

You are successful enough to give back

I feel like a lot of people get stuck in the mindset that giving money away can only come when you feel completely and totally secure in your financial situation, or that you’re insanely wealthy, and that’s just not true. 

Money is a means to make a difference and even if that difference is small, it’s not insignificant. Money really is a gift. If you aren’t in the practice of giving now, that likely won’t change when your finances change. I remember a line that someone had said when they said, if you can’t give $10 from $100 you earned, you sure as heck won’t be able to part with $10,000 when you hit six-figures. You likely will never feel ready for fully equipped to part with your money but if you built it into your habits and see that money can be a vessel of goodness, it’ll become an aspect of your life that brings you and others joy. 

The thing is, no one makes money without the desire to eventually earn more. I’m sure people would love to say that they wouldn’t like more money, but… let’s be honest. Most people do, it’s just how we’re wired as humans on some level. If we get stuck in that headspace that tells us we don’t have enough to make a difference, when will we ever feel like we do have enough?! You do have enough. Your $5 monthly donation to a food bank can go a long way, even if you only have $500 in your own bank account. I promise.

My challenge? Find an organization, a person, a nonprofit, or a cause you really, really care about and start giving. It’s so simple with technology to make monthly donations without ever thinking about them, and they matter. They really, really do! And, once you make that realization that there IS enough money to go around, your thought patterns begin to change.

Be Mindful of your language around money

Doctor Margie Warrell says, “Psychologists have found that our subconscious mind interprets what it hears very literally. The words that come out of our mouth therefore create the reality we inhabit – for better or worse. Unfortunately, it’s often the latter as we unconsciously sabotage our success simply by using language that undermines our opinions, amplifies our problems and chips away at our confidence to handle them. Whatever direction your words lead, your mind, body and environment will inevitably follow.

Our external environment is often a reflection of our internal one, which shows up in how we speak. If you use positive language – about yourself, your ability to learn new skills, to achieve your goals, manage difficult people and handle pressure – then that’s what tends to show up externally. Conversely, if you’re continually saying things that affirm incompetence, echo hopelessness, nurture anxiety or fuel pessimism, then that will also shape your reality. Over time your world will morph to mirror your words.” 

Here’s my challenge for you: find thoughtful shifts to change your language around money. For instance, maybe instead of saying “I can never afford to buy a house,” think “Buying a house isn’t a priority for me right now. But one day, it will be!” Or, instead of getting frustrated that the new iPhone 35 isn’t in your budget, shift your mindset to “I’m not going to purchase a new iPhone right now, because I don’t need one quite yet.”

At the same time, shifting your language can help you unlock what your actual priorities really are. I’ve seen a meme a couple of times out there that talks about how we’ll drop $100 on a night out like it’s nothing, but then feel like our $100 phone bill feels like a serious burden. What are the things you truly care about and want to prioritize in your financial life? It’s worth digging into. When you begin to shift the way you’re prioritizing your funds and your language around money, your entire attitude on it will start to change.

Build an Emergency Fund

If you don’t have an emergency fund, don’t feel down on yourself. You’re 100% not alone, at all… and it’s not too late to start one. My favorite tip is straight from Dave Ramsey: instead of setting a huge goal to save $10,000 in 6 months, focus first on making sure you can cover a $1,000 emergency. 

If you struggle with keeping money in savings, consider putting it in another bank entirely. There are tons of online banks that can connect with your primary checking account, and they’re easy to deposit into but take a little extra time to get money out of, which is key if you’re prone to “dipping” into your savings more often than you’d like. Plus, when you don’t see your savings number staring at you every time you open your bank app, you’re a lot less likely to touch it.

One tool I’ve seen so many people use with great success, including my sister Kate, Kylie and a few others on my team, is the Qapital app — that’s with a Q. Qapital links to your bank accounts and you can create a savings goal with a number of rules. So for example, every time you get a direct deposit, you can select a percentage of that to be deposited into your savings goal before it ever lands in your regular account. You can setup a rule for rounding up on every purchase, or “charge” yourself when you shop at certain retailers that maybe you spend a little bit too much of your income on… Like takeout. 

Slowly starting to build an emergency fund is, truly, key to being able to take deep breaths around your money and your financial situation. You can feel more peaceful around the numbers in your bank account, more prepared to take on issues that come along, and more secure in the fact that you can create a financial life you’re proud of. That, my friend, is PRICEless.

An Abundance Mindset

Purposely putting yourself in a mindset of abundance is the best, best, best way to actually start to live a life of abundance, especially when it comes to your finances. But how do you actually DO that? How does one change their mindset… something that probably comes to you naturally by way of your history and experiences?

Here’s the thing. When I say abundance, I don’t mean meditating on a future trillion-dollar-mountain-home and butler… though, hey… if that’s your thing, go for it. Dream big, girl! Really, by abundance, I mean leaning into the idea that:

  • You are already enough.
  • You already have enough.
  • You are already worthy of what you want.
  • You are already smart enough to go for what you want.
  • You already have the power to create the life you want to live.
  • Your money doesn’t define you, but it also doesn’t weigh you down.

When we make conscious shifts towards living and believing in a more abundant life, we back away from the pressures, the anxiety, and the negativity that can pop up around money. While there definitely might still be some sticky money situations from time to time, an abundance mindset is what will lead you to a life where you feel equipped, proud, and ready for what comes next.

There are so many ways you can begin to really cultivate abundance, from listening to podcasts to journaling to meditating, but one of my favorite ways to do it is by surrounding myself with people who come from that place of abundance, too. When the people you spend the most time with complain about money or are constantly in a place of scarcity, it can make you feel the same way. Think about it: if you’re always talking about the negative side of money — or of life in general — where will your mind start to go? 

Create friendships with people who come from a place of abundance and who believe in that power. And go one further: challenge yourself to follow people on social media and read resources from people who encourage an abundance mindset! When I started joining masterminds and finding a peer group that was pushing for possibilities I never dreamed of, it opened my brain to what was possible for me, too. Instead of seeing finances as a competition, see other people’s financial success as a mirror of what’s possible for you, too. After all, life is way more fun that way.

More Reading and Listening

Berna Anat continues to be one of my favorite creators on the entire Internet. She calls herself a “financial hype woman” and her methods for getting you hype about saving money, budgeting, and managing your finances include Friday dance parties on her Instagram and hilarious videos where she plays a range of characters, all with a different lesson to share about money. I was lucky enough to have Berna on the Goal Digger Podcast, and one of the most eye-opening parts of our discussion was the idea of financial trauma. Money is linked to emotion and a lot of our views of money as well as our behaviors with money need to be unlearned and retooled for a healthier financial future.

I spoke with Dominique Broadway on the show just one month after the world shut down in 2020. Financial fear and anxiety was building amidst shut downs and layoffs and the bottoms dropping out of small businesses and large companies alike. Dominique was a source of practical and hugely important advice for dealing with the sudden loss of income, as well as tips for laying the groundwork for future financial success, regardless of what you’re walking through in the moment.

Jen Sincero is the author of You Are A Badass at Making Money, but Jen’s world hasn’t always looked as badass as it does now. She was living in a garage, driving a car with no grill and feeling like a financial loser, as she put it. In her early 40s, she decided to put in the work and attend financial seminars, read self-help books, in hopes of turning her financial problems around. Now as a New York Times bestselling author and success coach, Jen helps people understand money mindset in a big way. If you’re curious how to bust through the mental block and WANT to sell, rather than fear the process, if you’re skeptical but want to learn how positive affirmations really help when it comes to upping your cash flow, and you’re ready to think DIFFERENTLY about the money you could potentially make, listen to our conversation.

Things to Remember

So, next time you check your bank account, get a paycheck, or start thinking about dollar signs, I want you to remember these five things:

  1. You and your journey matter so, so much.
  2. You are always successful enough to change the world.
  3. Your language around money makes a big difference in the way you see it.
  4. You deserve to feel less stress around money.
  5. And, you are worthy of a life of abundance.

That’s it friend, there you have it: those are some of the biggest shifts I’ve made in my own financial life to experience more joy and freedom around finances, and they’re what you need to rebuild your relationship with money and start living a life of true, freeing abundance. Now go earn, go live, and go feel some FREEDOM. That mindset shift is a true blue life changer.

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Before you get any further... Hi! I'm Jenna Kutcher!

A small town Minnesota photographer, podcaster, educator and puppy rescuer, my happiest days are spent behind my computer screen sharing my secrets with the world. I'm glad you're here.

I’m an expert at online marketing, a nerd when it comes to the numbers, and my obsession is teaching others how to make a living doing what they love (without it taking over their life). 

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