Blog | Entrepreneurship

4 Stupid Things People Say About Money That Keeps Them Poor

A fundamental shift in the way you view your current situation could be the answer to achieving financial freedom

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Do you ever hear phrases that just really irk you? For me, those phrases usually have to do with money — more specifically, with people’s uneducated and self-limiting beliefs surrounding money.

Personally, I find the following four statements to be the worst offenders. And some of them may be a regular part of your vocabulary currently. I hope by the end of this blog, you’ll eradicate them from your mind and never let them roll off your tongue again.

  1. “I can’t afford it.”

    Contrary to popular belief, “poor” and “broke” do not mean exactly the same thing. Both involve a lack of money. However, being poor is a mindset. Being broke is only a temporary condition.

    People who are poor say, “I can’t afford it.” A person who instead asks, “How can I afford it?” is not poor even if she has no money, because she is thinking like a Rich Woman. It is your thoughts that lead to your actions and your actions create your future.

    Even when you are faced with circumstances that are outside your control, you can still control how you respond to the situation. A person with a rich mindset sees opportunities, the silver lining in the clouds. Your mindset is key.

    Even when Robert and I were homeless, we did not consider ourselves poor — only broke. Even when we were $400,000 in debt, we did not think of ourselves as poor. We thought of ourselves as rich people who happened to be broke at the time. This attitude — along with hard work, perseverance, and creative thinking — propelled us forward so that instead of becoming stuck in the rat race we progressed from broke to wealthy.

    Many people are finding themselves facing very tough times right now, financially speaking. They may be feeling angry, frustrated, bitter, depressed — and that is certainly understandable. What will determine if these people bounce back or stay trapped by their financial situation will be their attitude. If you are broke, look not only at the problems you are facing, but also the opportunities. Think creatively and look for new ways to solve your financial problems. Inside of you is a rich woman, waiting to get out!

  2. “It’s just money.”

    This is a statement that can be both empowering and dangerous, depending on how it is used.

    “It’s just money” is usually used to point out that there are more important things in life than money — and that’s certainly true. A lot of misery can come from being obsessed with acquiring money when it is done at the expense of not enjoying life, losing relationships, and becoming disconnected from one’s higher purpose. Sometimes when we experience a financial loss or take a financial risk it helps to put things in perspective by reminding ourselves that “it’s just money.”

    That being said, it’s also important to acknowledge the reality that money does play an important and influential role in our lives. While we shouldn’t treat money as the most important thing, we also shouldn’t be sloppy about managing our finances. How much money we have can affect our choices, our health, our lifestyle, and so much more — so if we want to build a great life we need to be smart with our money.

    The bottom line is this: Take your money seriously by learning to become financially savvy about managing and growing your money. On those occasions when you do lose money, learn from the experience, then remind yourself of this more positive outlook: “It’s just money and I can always get more.”

  3. “Money stresses me out.”

    How do you feel about your financial future right now? Are you making changes to obtain financial freedom or are you stuck in a place of worry and fear? Maybe you’ve just given up and are letting others control your financial destiny.

    If you are feeling stressed, you’re not alone. According to a study based on three surveys from 1983 to 2009 by Carnegie Mellon University (published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology), “women, individuals with lower income and those with less education reported more stress in all three surveys.”

    But just because you are stressed (like everyone else), this is no reason to accept the status quo and fear the future.

    Instead, look at your situation from a positive angle. If you don’t have anything, you have nowhere to go but up. And if you are stressed about a lack of money and education, use this to your advantage and take action!

    Learn about the economy, know what’s going on in the world and discover what you need to do to control your financial future. This is called getting a financial education, the “unfair advantage” of the rich that Robert and I discuss in our presentations all over the world.

    Times have changed, and you need to change with them. As I talk about in It’s Rising Time!, I was taught to focus on acquiring income: go to school, get a good job and work hard my entire life in hopes of getting pay raises. Well, when I looked at my first income statement and balance sheet, the light went on, and I realized that this traditional way of thinking doesn’t work.

    I made the revelation that the key to financial well-being is to focus on acquiring assets, not acquiring income.

    After that, I focused on acquiring assets, and my life became easier. I no longer worked for money; I made it work for me. It’s just a different way of looking at things that will help you reach your financial goals and reduce some of the stressors in your life.

    Just because you don’t have money or an education, this is no reason to give up on your dreams of financial freedom. First, change your attitude. I don’t want to hear excuses. You are probably in a temporary situation you can do something about! Next, take action. Make your financial goals a priority, and do what it takes to get a financial education.

    With the world in economic chaos, high unemployment rates and rising prices, it can be easy to stress out and be negative. Instead, start acting and thinking in a positive way. You can change your situation for the better and experience financial freedom.

    Make your goals a priority, acquire the financial education you need to make your dreams a reality and take action. You too can learn how to use the “unfair advantage of the rich” and be successful, no matter how stressful things get.

  4. I’ll never have enough money.

    This statement immediately shows that someone is in a scarcity mindset instead of an abundance mindset. Robert's rich dad would say, "There are two kinds of money problems. Not enough money, and too much money. Which type of money problem do you want?"

    For those with the scarcity mindset, there is never enough money. But even worse, come retirement time, too much money becomes a real problem because they are afraid of all the forces, like taxes, that take that money.

    The scarcity mindset is so worried about having enough that they don't see the opportunity to make more.

    The scarcity mindset lives in constant fear that cripples innovation.

    The scarcity mindset keeps you poor.

Living in abundance is up to you

On the other hand, those with an abundance mindset see the world in a completely different way. They look at the problem of too much money as a good problem, not a bad one that should be avoided.

Now, the problem of too much money does need a solution. But with the optimism that comes from an abundance mindset, you can find creative ways to leverage too much money, such as investing in real estate or starting a business that defrays tax costs.

There is a cost to the abundance mindset: your time. Rather than spend your off hours doing things like watching TV or shopping, you spend them thinking creatively about money and pursuing interesting things that can make you money. Some turn hobbies into an income stream. Others make their business or investing a hobby. When they spend time with friends, they do so with people who think like them, often dreaming about what can be rather than complaining about what is.

Those with an abundant mindset live a fundamentally different, and I would say more rewarding, life. Ultimately, how you want to live is up to you. For many the scarcity mindset is comfortable, and changing the way you view the world is admittedly scary and hard. But I can promise you it's worth it. Just remember, a different tomorrow starts with a different today.

Original publish date: October 28, 2009

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