Money mindset

You Are Not “Bad With Money” — Developing a Growth Mindset

Have you ever heard a friend or relative say, “I’m bad with money.” (Or maybe you’ve said it yourself.)

Maybe you think that one can either be “good with money” or “bad with money.”

If you’re “bad with money,” that’s just the way it is. You can’t change it, so you might as well live it up!

Beyond the scope of money, you may also think you’re “not creative” or “bad at math” or that you “always forget people’s names.”

This is crap.

Let me repeat.

This is crap.


Yes, even you.

A Growth Mindset

J just started 4th grade. At open house, he took us on a scavenger hunt of his classroom. One of the hunt items was to find the posters of a growth mindset. He then had to tell us what it meant, and we also got a worksheet to take home.

If you haven’t heard of a growth mindset, it basically means that your intelligence (or other trait about you) isn’t fixed.

Someone with a fixed mindset gives up easily, avoids challenges, ignores feedback and doesn’t make an attempt to change.

On the other hand, someone with a growth mindset gives their best effort, embraces challenges and attempts to change for the better.

This is both good and bad news.

The good news is that if you think you are “bad with money,” you can change!

The bad news is that if you think you are “bad with money,” you can change. And change can be uncomfortable and scary. It may take time and you may struggle.

How Does One Develop a Growth (Money) Mindset?

First, you have to want to change. You have to want to be better.

Then, start researching. Learn as much as you can.

Read a book. There are so many awesome personal finance books out there — just Google “best personal finance books.” (I told you about a few of my favs here but there are other great ones as well.)

Visit the inter webs. We are so lucky to live in a time with such awesome online communities. There are TONS focused on helping you learn more about personal finance. One is There’s another on Reddit. And also on Twitter. Find me there, check out who I’m following, then check out who they are following.

Learn, learn, learn, then apply what you’ve learned. Take action.

The Process of Growth

To recap, you recognized that you aren’t as fixed as you thought you were.

You identified something about yourself that you wanted to change. (Getting better with money, maybe.)

You did some research and you’re taking action.

You rock!

The back of the worksheet gives some additional tips for success.

Be okay with failure.

So many times we don’t take action because we’re afraid of failure, but think about this:

  1. Picture the times in your life where you’ve failed. Now think about everything you’ve learned from those times. Hasn’t it been A LOT?
  2. How are things going for you now? Trying (with the possibility of success), even if it comes after some failure, may get you to a better place than you are right now.

Failure is totally okay. No one gets it right the first time.

Recognize your efforts.

Set some goals. Don’t bail when things get tough. Be creative. Be willing to change. Ask for help. Then pat yourself on the back after you do those things.

Think about if a friend were taking action — would you encourage them? Or brush off how hard they’re trying? I think the former.

Change your dialogue.

Instead of thinking, “I’m never going to get better with my money,” think, “I’m not where I want to be yet, but I’m taking steps to get there and I’m going to keep trying.”

Another thing that’s awesome about the personal finance community is that there are so many people doing just this. They’re blogging about their stories, holding themselves accountable and inspiring others.

Now What?

Check out the actual worksheet free from — it’s awesome.

And keep going! Keep learning and trying.

Have you overcome any negative labels in the past? What are you working on? Tell us how you’re trying to get better in the comments below!

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