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The Issues

What’s Your Money Mindset? Here’s Why You Need to Know

Team Daylight
Often, we think of money as either something we have enough of or something we need more of. But it’s not black and white. You could earn minimum wage but be a savvy budgeter who is working hard to build your savings. Or you could earn six figures and worry about paying your bills and covering unexpected expenses. The way you feel about money is affected as much by your mindset as by your financial situation. As a queer person, you’ve spent years dealing with societal biases that may have affected your self-worth, and therefore your feelings about money. Let’s learn more about a money mindset and how it could be helping (or sabotaging) your financial health.

What is a money mindset?

Quite simply, a money mindset is formed by your beliefs about money. It might seem like a small thing, but your money mindset can have a huge effect on how well you manage the money you have. It’s important to consider your own money mindset and whether it could be holding you back from your financial goals.

You could have a healthy attitude toward money, and therefore a healthy money mindset or your outlook could be more on the unhealthy side. Let’s take a closer look at how someone with each type of mindset might approach their finances.

Abundance mindset

A healthy money mindset is often called an abundance mindset.

If you have an abundance mindset, you are appreciative of what you have, even if it’s not a lot. You’re generous when you can be, and you feel in control of your finances. You have a positive outlook on your financial future and feel confident that you’ll be able to conquer any money problems that come your way.

Someone with an abundance mindset sees their finances as plentiful. They know they’ll always be able to make more money, and that many things are more important, such as health, love and happiness.

Having a healthy money mindset clears your path toward becoming financially secure by removing negative beliefs, anxiety and doubt about your finances and letting you focus on making the most of what you have — and working toward what you want.

You don’t have to be wealthy to have an abundance mindset. In fact, you can be comfortable financially and have a negative mindset about money, or you can live paycheck to paycheck and have a healthy mindset. It’s all about how you frame your relationship to money.

And as an added bonus, if you’re able to adopt an abundance mindset you can have a positive effect on the queer community around you and model a healthy money mindset for the next generation of LGBTQ folks.

Scarcity mindset

On the flip side, a scarcity mindset causes a great deal of stress and anxiety about your finances. 

If you think about money from a negative perspective, you’ll always be worrying about how to handle unexpected expenses or other unpredictable costs. You might believe you’re just “not good with money” and avoid doing things like budgeting, planning for retirement or buying a home because you find them intimidating.

Someone with a scarcity mindset sees resources as lacking, even if they’re not. They think about money all the time and worry about how to pay bills and buy necessities.

A scarcity mindset can be a roadblock to feeling successful. Even if you earn a decent wage, you might still feel like you don’t have enough money. This can take a toll on your mental health, which could even manifest into physical health problems down the road.

How is your money mindset formed?

Like any mindset, the way you feel about money likely stems from experiences you’ve had around money and resources.

That starts during childhood. If your parents or other people around you were always fretting about money and how to make ends meet, chances are you’ll feel the same way as an adult.

On the flip side, if your family’s approach to money was more lax, your money mindset likely skews that way, as well. Maybe your parents didn’t have a lot of disposable income, but they prioritized health and happiness over money and didn’t make a big deal about it. That mindset is more likely to be part of you as you grow up and start your own life. 

It’s not just your parents who can have an effect on your money mindset. Your friends and chosen family can influence it as well. And so can the media you’re exposed to, including podcasts, books and things you read online. 

If you hang out with a bunch of fun-loving queens who don’t worry about money and just like to have fun with what they have, it can have a positive effect on your mindset. 

Queer folks are more likely to have experienced discrimination when it comes to getting loans or even buying a cake from a business owner who “disagrees with your lifestyle choice” (enter eye-roll here). That can contribute to a scarcity mindset as well because there’s always the fear you could lose your job (or be forced out) or be turned down for a much-needed loan for a car, home or other big purchase.

Plus, there’s the way society has historically viewed queer people. While in reality, you know your value is equal to anyone else on the planet, internalized biases can affect your mindset.

When you’re told over and over again you’re less worthy because of your gender identity or sexual orientation, that mindset can have an effect on other areas of your life, including your approach to money.

Thankfully, as with other things you inherit from your parents, social influences or personal experiences, you can change your money mindset.

How to change your money mindset

The good news is that you can change your money mindset. If you’re coming from a scarcity mindset, it’ll take some work to retrain your brain.

You need to unlearn the limiting beliefs you’ve been taught about yourself and about money. You’re worthy of equal pay, and your value is not determined by society or by other people.

Start looking into budgeting options. You can use a classic spreadsheet to keep track of your purchases or download an app that connects to your bank and does it for you. If you’re uncomfortable with budgeting or feel out of your depth, ask a friend who’s good with money to help you, or consult an LGBTQ-friendly financial advisor.

Once you have your budget under control, make room to donate money to a cause you care about. Stay with us. 

Not only will charitable donations help an organization whose mission speaks to you (such as For the Gworls or the Ali Forney Center), it’ll also make you feel good that you’re able to help others, which in turn trains your mindset for abundance.

Money mindset FAQ

Still have questions about your money mindset and how to approach it? Here are answers to the top questions about money mindset.

Why is it important to understand my money mindset?

You can’t truly take control of your finances and have a healthy relationship with money without understanding your money mindset.

If your approach to money is that it’s scarce and that you need to hoard it, you will always be worrying about how to make ends meet, which can be exhausting. Once you understand your money mindset, and what shapes it, you’ll be able to work on changing it and redefining your relationship with money.

How can I identify my money mindset?

The best way to understand your current money mindset is to really think about your attitude to money. You can do this by answering these money mindset questions. If journaling is your thing, write down your answers and take some time to really think the questions through. 

Don’t rush this; it’s important to come up with honest and complete answers to learn more about your money mindset. Once you have a clearer picture of your current mindset, you can work on changing it.

Is it possible to change my money mindset?

Yes, it is totally possible to change your money mindset! You first need to put some thought into your current feelings toward money to see whether you’re approaching it from a scarcity or an abundance mindset. 

Once you understand your money mindset, you can work on changing your thoughts and behaviors to approach it from a more optimistic perspective.

There is hope!

You don’t have to accept your current money mindset and assume you’ll always be stressed and worried over your finances. Work on identifying your current pain points around money and changing your mindset.

It may take time, especially if you have an extreme scarcity mindset, but the freedom and happiness you’ll feel will be so worth it. 

And your abundance mindset around money will rub off on your community and give the next generation of queer folks a positive role model, so they can reduce their chances of developing a scarcity mindset in the future.