Money mindsets: How to change your financial mindset

What does financial happiness mean to you? When we asked our social media followers that question, very few of their answers focused on having more money in the bank. 

Instead, they said things like: “not worrying”, “being able to order that takeaway and not worry about my budget” and “the freedom to buy an item for myself without feeling guilt.

We think those answers are pretty revealing. Money is an emotional thing. So, sometimes, when we say that we want to learn more about our finances — or say that we simply want to “be more sensible with money” — what we’re actually looking to do is feel better about money. 

Your emotional response to money is linked to what is known as your “money mindset”. So Loqbox is here to help you understand what your mindset has to do with your financial wellbeing, and what steps you can take to refresh your outlook.  

What is your “money mindset”?

Our beliefs about money begin with our money stories

Your money story starts in childhood. Things you heard your family members, or caregivers, say about finances — or things you saw on TV or in the news — can affect your beliefs about, and attitude towards, money today. 

Those beliefs and attitudes form your money mindset

Your money mindset can have a big effect on your emotional response to challenging financial situations. 

If you have a negative financial mindset, you might find it hard to overcome setbacks. Or vice versa – if you have a positive mindset about money, you might find it easier to approach financial challenges with confidence. Here’s an example: 

Imagine you’re at the supermarket checkout, and your card gets declined. What emotions do you feel? What would you instinctively say to the person at the till? 

Some people might feel able to handle this sort of situation quite calmly — even if they knew the reason that the card was declined was that they were a little short on money. Others might find this sort of thing really difficult

They might become anxious and struggle to know what to say to the cashier, even if they knew that there should be enough money in that account to cover it. 

It’s important to remember that your financial mindset can change

Taking some time to work on your beliefs about money can help you reflect on your money mindset, and decide whether you might want to work on changing it. 

You might decide that your beliefs about money are costing you both financially and emotionally. (Or you might discover that you’re lucky enough to have a positive financial mindset already. So if that’s you — well done!). 

But the important thing to remember is that you can change your financial mindset if you think that’s the right thing for you to do. 

Fixed mindset vs. growth mindset?

People often talk about having a “growth mindset” or a “fixed mindset.” But what do these terms mean? 

If you have a “fixed money mindset,” you might believe that your financial situation is fixed and cannot change. You might feel that there’s no point in learning more about the world of finances because it wouldn’t make any difference to your day-to-day relationship with money. 

But with a “growth money mindset,” you might believe that you have a certain amount of control over your financial future. This attitude to finances can mean that you’re able to look at the facts of your situation logically, decide what tools and knowledge you might need to improve things and make a plan to move forward. 

A fixed financial mindset could be a barrier to improving your relationship with money

While it’s easy to feel like money is something that happens to us — rather than something within our control — in reality, there is almost always something you can do to improve your relationship with money. So if you think you might have a “fixed money mindset,” you might decide that it’s worth making some changes. 

Examples of a fixed money mindset versus a growth money mindset

Financial knowledge mindset

Fixed money mindset: “I’m either good with money or I’m not”

Growth money mindset: “I can learn more about money and how to manage it.”

Tip: If you feel like your financial knowledge is fixed, try fact-checking this belief. 

If you were talking about another topic or skill — such as baking bread or driving a car — would you still believe that learning more about it was unproductive? 

Most of us can benefit a lot from improving our financial literacy. Try to be kind to yourself, and remember that it’s never too late to develop your confidence.

Financial wellbeing mindset

Fixed money mindset: “When I have money I feel good, but when I don’t I feel bad.”

Growth money mindset: “I can learn to feel good about myself however much money I have in the bank. If I’m short of money, I can make a plan to improve my financial security.” 

Tip: Being more mindful about your money could make it easier for you to remember that your financial situation isn’t a reflection of your worth as a person. 

Our relationships with money are personal. But we can all take steps to feel more confident and in control of our finances. 

Financial scarcity versus financial freedom mindset

Fixed money mindset: “There’s never enough money to go around, so there’s no point in me trying to save or earn more money.”

Growth money mindset: “Other people might have more money than I do, but I can learn how to manage the money I do have and make it work for me.” 

Tip: Financial freedom means different things to different people. So having a financial freedom mindset doesn’t necessarily have to mean that you have lots of money. Instead, you might find that you gain a sense of security from building up some emergency savings or building a budget that works for you.  

4 signs it might be time to change your money mindset

1. You’re constantly feeling worried about money

How often do you think about your financial situation on a scale of 1 — 10? 

If you often find yourself worrying about money, it could be a sign that it’s time to question your money mindset. Making mindset changes might give you more time to focus on things that matter to you.

2. You have a financial scarcity mindset

Not to be mistaken with a “saving money mindset,” you might have a “financial scarcity mindset” if you believe that you will never have enough money to feel comfortable or in control of your finances. 

When we feel like this, it’s easy to feel that we don’t have any control over our financial futures. That can lead us to be really hard on ourselves. You might avoid spending money on yourself — even when it’s within your budget. 

People with a financial scarcity mindset can have a tendency to be cautious about spending money, even when it might have a positive effect on their overall financial situation. This can translate into refusing to use their savings — even to cover emergencies — or only making the minimum monthly payments towards their debts. 

While it might feel like you’re just being “careful”, it might help you to be mindful of whether this mindset is holding you back from making progress on your financial goals. Trying out a financial freedom mindset might make approaching your goals feel easier and more manageable. 

3. You’re feeling negative feelings like guilt, shame or anxiety

Sometimes, our emotional responses to money can help us to take action. But when feelings like guilt, shame or anxiety become overwhelming, it can feel really difficult to take steps to improve your situation. 

If this sounds like you, try reading this blog for tips on how to deal with feeling guilty about money

4. You describe yourself as “bad with money” or as a “natural spender”

The way we speak to ourselves can have a big impact on the way we feel day to day. “Self-talk” is a term used to describe the way we communicate with ourselves in our heads. Many of us are far less kind to ourselves than we would be to others. 

So, if you constantly find yourself blaming yourself for your financial problems, worrying about the worst-case scenario, or focusing on the negative even when you’re making good progress on your financial goals, you might be engaging in financial negative self-talk. 

Making a money mindset shift could help you clear your mind, and be more constructive in the feedback you give yourself. You might find that having more compassion actually makes it easier to move forward. 

How to change your money mindset

Start by being mindful of where you are right now

Take some time to think about your current financial mindset. Are there any attitudes that are creating barriers to you improving your financial wellbeing? What money mindset would you like to have? It might help to explore your feelings about money by heading to the Your Money Mindfulness hub.


Try not to worry about yesterday. Every day is a brand new start

Instead of reflecting on mistakes you’ve made in the past, try to look for opportunities to improve your relationship with money going forward. You could think about what you would like your financial situation to look like in a year’s time. What actions can you take today to work towards your goals?


Challenge any negative self-talk that might be supporting a negative money mindset

If you find yourself engaging in negative self-talk, take a moment to write those words down. 

You could try challenging your beliefs. If — for example — you keep saying things like, “I’m bad with money”, you could rewrite the statement as a positive: “I still have some things to learn about money. But I am confident that with a little help, I can learn to be good with money.” 

Practice positive self-talk to develop a healthy money mindset

Try saying things like, “I am working hard to be good with money,” “the more I learn about managing my money the more positive I feel,” or “I’m building a better financial future for myself.” (We know this can sound a little strange, but you might be surprised by the confidence boost positive self-talk brings!)

Ask for support if you need it

We all need a helping hand from time to time. So if you’re trying to make some changes to your financial mindset, or you’re working towards building a sense of confidence and financial freedom, remember that it’s okay to ask for support when you need it. 

For some, that might simply mean reaching out to friends or a family member. For others, it might mean taking advantage of the free support available from services like StepChange Debt Charity or Citizens Advice. Or you may even think about investing in some money and mindset financial coaching. 

Build new money habits, and give others the boot 

Building new money habits can be a great way of making positive changes to your money mindset. 

You could try setting some new financial goals like growing your savings, clearing your debts or improving your credit score. You might find that making progress towards your goals helps you develop a more positive financial mindset. 

If you’re trying to work out what goals you want to work towards, you might find it helpful to try out Loqbox Coach, our personalised financial plan. It can help you work out how you’re doing with money at the moment, and decide what steps you want to take next on your journey to financial freedom.  

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Improvements to your credit score are not guaranteed