You Can Be as Good With Money as You Want

strawBerries


One of the most common money beliefs people hold is the idea that you’re simply born being “good with money” or you’re not. Many people seem to think that money skills are either something you have or don’t have. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Nobody in the history of the world has ever been born with an abundance of financial acumen. Money is a learned skill. Even Warren Buffett, the most successful investor of all time, was born without knowing the difference between a stock and a bond.

This belief that being good with money is a natural born talent is toxic. Anyone who genuinely believes “I’m just not good with money and I have to accept that” is dooming themselves to a life of financial struggle.

Think of a person in your life you would consider “good with money”. At some point in time, they had no financial knowledge whatsoever. And yet for some reason most of us seem to think that anyone who is currently good with money has always been good with money. But that’s simply not true.

For me personally, I didn’t even know the basics of finance until I stumbled upon a free Khan Academy finance course. Anyone could go watch that entire course in a day and gain a ridiculous amount of knowledge. And spoiler alert: you don’t need supernatural inherent financial abilities to understand the videos.

Money Stories

Most of us have a tendency to tell ourselves a money story in our head that describes our financial situation. It might be “I have always been good with earning money, but I just suck at saving”, or “I wish I could start my own side hustle, but I just don’t know how”, or “I’m great at being frugal but I’m terrible at investing”. All of these stories we tell ourselves are only true if we believe them.

You don’t have to be terrible at investing, or scared to buy real estate, or awful at saving money. The only way you can remain terrible is if you aren’t willing to learn.

You’re not incapable of investing in real estate, you just haven’t taken the time to learn how.

You’re not inherently bad at getting pay raises at work, you just haven’t read books on how to effectively ask for negotiations or raises.

There is nothing that is uniquely hindering you from becoming more frugal, you just haven’t made it a priority.

All of us are so incredibly capable of becoming good with money, it’s simply a matter of whether or not we are willing to make it a priority and make the time commitment. Once we realize this, we start to realize that the story “I’m just not good with money” is completely fabricated and we don’t have to identify with it. 

If we can learn to reshape the money story we’re telling ourselves, we can dramatically improve our financial situation.

Instead of telling yourself: “I’m not good with money.”

Try:

“I haven’t been good with money in the past. But I can be better moving forward”

Instead of: “I’m just bad at saving.”

Try: 

“I haven’t made saving a priority. But I can change that moving forward.”

Instead of: “I’m just not a high earner.”

Try: “I don’t earn a lot currently. But I’m capable of finding new ways to increase my income.”

Instead of using statements that define who you are with money like “low earner” or “bad saver”, reshape your money story to reflect your ability to become better with money. Recognize that your past behavior with money does not have to be an indication of your future behavior with money.

Nobody is born being good or bad with money. It’s a skill than can be learned just like any other. You can be as good with money as you want.


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4 Replies to “You Can Be as Good With Money as You Want”

  1. If I can teach myself to learn/understand how money system works, anyone can. To me, it’s the drive one possesses to know how money will affect his life. I came from a different country and things were very foreign to me when I arrived. I made many mistakes and some were quite costly. I taught myself the methods of savings, opening accounts and how banking system worked; I learned to budget and “stick” with my budget (sticking was the hardest part)…eventually, it became a habit to value every dollar I earned. The best measuring method I use is when I want to spend x amount of money, I will equate that amount with how many hours I need to stay at work for it – that usually helps me determine if I am willing to spend that sort of work hours trading for something that only brings me a five-second pleasure. It’s a powerful way to put a pause on spending…and overtime, I am just on a kind of “auto-pilot” mode every time I want to buy something.

    1. I also like to think in my head “how many hours of work does this thing actually cost” before I decide to purchase something. I find that it helps me keep my spending extremely low as well, although I am willing to spend on stuff and experiences that genuinely bring me joy. Nice job educating yourself on the true value of money and for learning the ins and outs of banking, money accounts, savings, etc., that’s more than most people do in their lifetime! That knowledge will benefit you tremendously over time. Thanks for the comment 🙂

  2. Super point, Zach! I have always been good with saving but I made huge financial mistakes along the way. I can use those as excuses or work hard to move past them. I chose the later. Not only do we become who we think we are but we condition those around us to believe it too. Quiet the static and focus on the end goal. Eventually you start to succeed!

    1. Your blog is definitely evidence that you’ve moved on from any past financial mistakes! I always recommend your posts to my friends. I strongly believe all of us are subtly telling ourselves a financial story, whether it’s a good or bad one, and like you said we are who we think we are. If we think we’re capable of being “good with money” then we will be. There’s obviously tons of hard work that needs to go along with this mindset, but it starts with the right mindset 🙂

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