How to Change Your Money Mindset: Advice for Women

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "We Should All Be Millionaires" by Rachel Rodgers. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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Do you want to change how you think about money? What should you do to transform your money mindset?

According to Rachel Rodgers’ book, We Should All Be Millionaires, an essential part of becoming a millionaire as a woman is to transform the beliefs you have about money. These beliefs are holding you back from earning more and building wealth.

Learn how to change your money mindset and add some zeros to your bank account.

Transform Your Mindset About Money

It’s not easy knowing how to change your money mindset because history has prevented women from feeling confident to do so. Rodgers writes that for most of American history, the government has prevented women from gaining economic power. In the United States, women have only been financially independent for half a century. Before the mid-1970s, women couldn’t own their own bank account, pursue higher education, start a business, or make use of other financial resources without having a man involved.

(Shortform note: Women have faced obstacles to gaining economic opportunities and financial power not only in the US but globally. Although the US and other nations have passed laws in recent decades that have granted women more power, some studies reveal that 178 countries still have legal restrictions that prevent over two billion women from having equal economic opportunities as men.)

Today, even though legal barriers are gone, society and the media continue to teach women disempowering beliefs about wealth that many women have internalized. From a young age, men are encouraged to be bold with money and to take financial risks. Women, on the other hand, are taught to be cautious about money and that building and managing wealth is difficult. Because of this conditioning, women frequently undersell themselves and doubt their financial skills.

(Shortform note: One study shows just how differently men and women view money, and these different views can be seen as reflecting the gendered conditioning around money: When asked to describe how they felt about money, women most commonly used the word “stress,” while men most commonly felt “hopeful.” The majority of women surveyed also stated that their biggest financial goal was to stop worrying about money, a goal that indicates that many women still harbor doubts about their ability to make and manage their money.)

While we can’t easily dismantle stereotypes or rewrite history, we can alter our beliefs and our strategy for making money. In the following sections, we’ll cover Rodgers’s advice on how to quash the limiting beliefs many women have about money and discuss how to adopt a new, money-positive mindset.

Reframe Your Limiting Thoughts

Rodgers writes that your thoughts inform your actions, so to take positive steps toward earning more, you must think more positive, empowering thoughts about money. According to Rodgers, women’s limiting beliefs are one major obstacle that keeps them financially disempowered. Many simply don’t think they can make more money, and they justify this belief by convincing themselves that money isn’t important to them, that making money requires a grueling grind, or that they’re simply not skilled with money. This, in turn, prevents women from making changes or trying new strategies to increase their wealth.

Rodgers suggests you practice thought work—reflecting on and transforming your negative thoughts into more helpful ones. By reframing negative thoughts, you’ll have fewer self-imposed obstacles to your financial success. Rodgers provides steps on how to change your thoughts:

Step #1: Be more mindful of your thoughts. Notice when a new thought pops into your head so that you can reflect on it. For example, you might pay attention to what thoughts pop into your mind as you apply for a new job.

Step #2: Identify whether your thoughts are helpful, empowering you to believe in yourself and make positive changes to your life, or if they trigger negative emotions that leave you feeling stuck. For example, if you don’t have some skills listed in a job posting, you might think you’re not good enough to get the jobs you want. This unhelpful thought makes you feel inadequate and discouraged, which prevents you from taking positive action.

Step #3: Challenge your negative thoughts and replace them with more empowering ones. This way, you can focus on moving forward and taking action rather than feeling stuck and powerless. For example, you might tell yourself that skills can be built and you simply need to make time to develop them.

Take Responsibility for Your Finances

In addition to reframing your thoughts, Rodgers writes that you must take responsibility for properly managing your finances. Being able to manage your own money will give you confidence in your financial knowledge and help you spend your money wisely. When you know what’s happening with your finances, you won’t live in uncertainty and doubt your spending decisions. To gain control over your money, you must record and organize your finances with accounting systems so that you can make informed decisions and meet your financial goals

Rodgers provides three tips on how to manage your finances:

Tip #1: Check your bank accounts daily. Rodgers recommends getting a bookkeeping software or hiring a bookkeeper to help you keep track of your finances. This allows you to monitor your progress toward your financial goals and detect potential challenges early on.

Tip #2: Schedule a regular time each week to review your net worth, credit score, and recent spending habits. This helps you better understand how your spending affects your wealth, enabling you to make decisions that save you money. Additionally, when you see positive changes, you’ll be more motivated to continue tracking your wealth.

Tip #3: If you have debt, stop feeling ashamed about it. Rodgers argues that shame is counterproductive and makes it harder for you to confront your debt, which you must do if you want to erase it. Reframe your debt in a positive light. Doing this helps you accept your financial situation and take action to resolve your debt. For example, if you have mortgage debt, you might reframe it by recognizing that you want your family to live in a nice home and be well provided for. When you see it this way, you’ll feel empowered to work toward eliminating it.

Focus on Growing Your Wealth, Not Shrinking Your Lifestyle

Rodgers proposes another change you must make to your approach to money: Rather than obsess over how to save money, focus on how you can make more money. Rodgers argues that it’s hard to build wealth if you have a substandard lifestyle due to penny-pinching. For example, if you sleep on an old, broken mattress because you’re afraid to spend money on a new one, you can’t get the quality sleep needed to pursue a promotion at your job or study for a higher degree that will increase your income.

In many cases, you must spend money to make more money. Rodgers describes steps that let you upgrade your lifestyle so you can better build the future life you want:

Step #1: Imagine your dream life in detail: your ideal home, the experiences you want to have, and the things you want to own. Calculate how much that lifestyle would cost you each month. This provides you with a clear goal to aim for and inspires you to pursue it. 

Step #2: Picture the person living that dream life—your ideal self. Think of how they treat themselves and others, how they spend their time, what they eat, and how they dress. Now, think about what changes you can make right now to be more like your ideal self. For example, you might devote more time to making home-cooked meals instead of eating fast food on the drive home from work.

Step #3: Brainstorm new ways to meet your financial goals and take your first step toward your dream life. Rodgers suggests you set a deadline for making one positive change to your life—like getting a new mattress before your birthday—and come up with ways you can make extra money. By making an upgrade to your life, you’ll improve your mood, environment, and ability to make money.

How to Change Your Money Mindset: Advice for Women

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Here's what you'll find in our full We Should All Be Millionaires summary:

  • Why all women can and should strive to become millionaires
  • Why working harder and living more frugally will not make you wealthy
  • How to develop a positive money mindset and grow your wealth

Katie Doll

Somehow, Katie was able to pull off her childhood dream of creating a career around books after graduating with a degree in English and a concentration in Creative Writing. Her preferred genre of books has changed drastically over the years, from fantasy/dystopian young-adult to moving novels and non-fiction books on the human experience. Katie especially enjoys reading and writing about all things television, good and bad.

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