How thinking differently can help you save

Do you have a mindset that stops you from being successful with money?

Hilary Hendershott, an American financial planner and money coach, has a podcast called Profit Boss Radio, which I’m enjoying at the moment. Her overarching theory is that people develop a mindset around money based on their experiences in childhood, i.e. how their parents spoke about money and their early learning of whether or not money is easy to come by, easy to manage, and so on.

From this, Hilary suggests people who have developed the belief that there’s never enough, or that money is too complicated, will continue to struggle even if, for instance, they win Gold Lotto.

It taps into a very fundamental issue for me, which is that our intentions and beliefs have power.

So, I have set the intention to not be afraid of money anymore. Or to flip that around: to embrace money as a tool that can help me, instead of as a constant roadblock.

I also recently listened to a TED Radio Hour podcast, which included research from a behavioural economist Keith Chen, who found that people who come from countries with languages that don’t use future tense tend to save more than those of us from English-speaking countries.

So, why do we see such radically different savings behaviour across countries? Why are Americans and Greeks so different to the Chinese, Japanese and the Scandinavians when it comes to managing money?

Supposedly, it all comes down to grammar. In English, we use a “futured language”, disassociating the future from the present every time we speak; making the future seem more distant, and changes less tangible. That, in theory, makes it harder to save.

In contrast, those with a “futureless language” speak about the present and future identically; making it easier to save.  And they do.

According to Keith’s research, “futureless language” speakers are 30 per cent more likely to save in any given year.

Becoming more aware of why and how subtle nudges of our language and our belief systems can affect our behaviour around money, means we are more in control of our outcomes.

So, my challenge to you is to start thinking differently.

Set an intention to believe that money is easy and saving it has a positive impact on you each day.  Think about how secure you feel with an extra $500 in your savings account. Think about how much your mood improves when you believe in yourself and your ability to affect change.

What’s your money mindset?