bad with money

How to Stop Believing You’re Bad With Money

Raise your hand if you’ve ever said, “I’m bad with money.” Now raise your hand if you’ve ever believed that.

Now that all of our hands have been raised (because who has *never* felt that way) let’s put our hands down and do a collective sigh. Almost everyone has believed that they are bad with money and some of us may still believe it.

bad with moneyThe bad with money mindset is a hard one to shake. All around us we are told that we should do this, that, and the other with money, yet we rarely get information on HOW to do it all. Plus, we read unbelievable stories of money feats of glory and feel like the biggest loser for not being about to save $50k in 3 months.

While fully wiggling out of the bad with money mindset won’t happen overnight, I want to share 4 tips that will help you stop believing you’re bad at money and start letting your inner money rockstar shine:

Stop thinking you need to be good at math to manage your money

Remember when you were in trigonometry and were forced to solve long complicated equations and you rolled your eyes and said, “When am I ever going to use this?”

Unless you have some sciencey or mathy job that eye roll is still legit. Truth be told, managing money well doesn’t require that you’re good at math. In fact, good money management is only 5% math. The other 95% is commitment, planning, and willpower.

Sure you may need to add and subtract some stuff, but even if you are the most woefully inept person at math you can still manage your money using this amazing hack: a calculator.

Yet somehow money management skills and math have gotten entwined and we convince ourselves that if we didn’t ace our 10th-grade algebra exam then we are hopeless at money. It’s time to let that mindset go and accept that math has very little to do with managing your money.

Stop thinking you should have figured it all out by now

Here’s a secret- everyone who does not have a job directly related to money feels like they should know more. Even I feel like there are gaps in my knowledge base that I wish I could fill and my job is all about money!

You’re not the only one who doesn’t understand that random line on your bank statement or the difference between a regular savings and a money market account. And you’re definitely not the only one who feels like the biggest buffoon for not understanding those things.

Why are you just finding out about this now? Because we all wander around pretending like we know what we are talking to hide our shame of our knowledge gaps. Yet all of us have these gaps and, if we spent more time sharing what we know with each other, we would all be more informed.

If you are really stuck in the “I don’t know anything about money” mindset, try writing a list of everything you DO know about money. Even the most basic things like “When I use my debit card, money is debited from my checking account” should go on the list.

You’ll be surprised how much you do know may even learn something you forgot that you knew.

Stop comparing your money to everyone else’s

Everyone’s money situation is different and what you see on the surface is not always the full picture. Often, our biggest money shames are buried under a happy facade that we show to the world. The person you think is the biggest rockstar may actually be struggling to manage their money just like you.

And quite honestly, it doesn’t matter what’s going on with their money.

What matters is what is going on with YOUR money. Spending time comparing how much you make, owe on your house, have in credit card debt, or saved just takes time away from working on your own finances.

Money, like life, is a journey. That means we all start and end in different places and travel down different roads to get there. Here’s a metaphor to consider:

Every day you drive to and from work. You have a route that you take because you like the way the trees look, how the road curves, and that you don’t see any people on the way. One day, you carpool to work with your neighbor. They take a totally different route. They say they like the way the houses look, how to road always goes straight, and that there are lots of people on the
way.

Do you judge your route? Feel ashamed of it? Lie to your neighbor about it to make it sound more like their route?

Or do you accept that what you need on your way to work is different than your neighbor and appreciate that you both have found a route that gives you what you need?

Start celebrating your tiny wins

I guarantee you that at some point you have done something good with your money. Even if it’s just not buying a latte because you were trying to save some dough. Instead of glossing over those small but mighty actions, celebrate them as tiny money wins.

You did, after all, save $4 by skipping that latte.

We live in a world where bigger = better and more = success. Often, when we accomplish one small thing we gloss over it because we think it doesn’t compare to what others have done. But, those small wins add up to a lot and every time you acknowledge them, you are acknowledging the part of yourself that is good with money.

bad with money

Do something to celebrate not buying the latte. Take a selfie of yourself NOT going into the coffee shop, text a friend, write it down in your journal, or just do a little happy dance.

Whatever it is, give those tiny money wins some space to breathe and allow yourself to feel good about what you just accomplished.

Which of these are you going to try to start letting your good with money self roam free?


Andi Smiles is a professional bookkeeper and small business consultant. She has a passion for helping small business owners develop a transparent and loving relationship with their finances and writes about all things solopreneur finance on her blog the BFF course.

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