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.
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.”
“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.”
“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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