Michelle discusses her recent savings goals, and how she’s managing her mindset around re-routing so much money to savings, including five actionable tips to cultivating a sense of abundance even when things feel tight.

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Five tips for building an abundance mindset from this episode:

  1. Practice gratitude for the gifts and resources that you DO have, rather than focusing on everything you DON’T have.
  2. Give yourself a “whatever budget” that can be spent on whatever you want, even if it’s just a tiny amount every month or week.
  3. Change your language from “I’m broke” to “That’s not a financial priority for me right now.”
  4. Give when you can. Even if it’s just a little bit to start, being generous with your money can help you feel abundant.
  5. Leave money around the house for yourself to find–this breeds familiarity with having money, even if it’s just a small amount!

Resources from this episode:

Full transcript:

INTRO: [00:00:00] Hello. And welcome to the Young Scrappy Money podcast. I’m your host, Michelle Waymire. And each week, I’ll be bringing you tips and tricks to help you take control of your finances as well as interviews with people who made big financial changes in their own lives. So join us. And we’ll help you get your financial s**t together.

MICHELLE: Well, hello there, friends. Welcome. I am super pumped to be here today. I just got off one of those calls that makes you feel good. And I feel like no matter what your career is, no matter how you spend your time, we all have those types of things that really fill our cup, so to speak— the things that just kind of make us feel good about the work that we do or how we’re spending our time.

And for me, one of those, one of those big things, is actually spending time with other financial coaches, spending time with other money nerds. Obviously, this podcast in general is an awesome venue for that. Because I always leave feeling so pumped about the work that I’m doing and how I get to share it with all of y’all.

But today, I was actually on a call with a bunch of other financial coaches. It’s a mastermind group that I just joined. And just having that time and space to really chat with one another about problems that we’re having in our businesses or things we’re seeking solutions to was just really pretty exciting for me.

And I love talking about that stuff in general, and so got off the call and just felt like this was a good time to do my podcast recording for this week. So before we dig into today’s topic, I wanna share with you a couple of housekeeping items. I am trying to keep everybody posted on the status of the investment course, which is coming out so very soon.

Again, if you’re listening to this, and you contributed to the Kickstarter, thank you so very much. We could not even possibly begin to do this without you. It’s a huge, huge help. And I’m excited to share this content with you.

So between studio time and working on the workbooks and kind of getting everything across the line, it’s been pretty busy and hectic over here. But trust me when I say I think you will find it— I hope, at least— my goal is that you will find it super useful in learning really in-depth, hands-on tools for investing— whether that’s through a 401(k) through work where you kind of have your parameters or if you’re looking to completely DIY it. So that’s exciting. Super pumped about that.

The other thing that I just wanna remind you of, we are now on all of the usual podcast channels. So I’m not sure where you’re listening to this now. But just know that we’re on Google Play. We’re on Apple, iTunes. We’re on Spotify. We’re on Stitcher.

So hopefully, wherever it is that you’re finding us, you continue to find us there. Please subscribe, comment, like. For those of you who are already doing that, obviously thank you so much. Continue to tell your friends. Continue to spread the word. I am so very appreciative of it when you do.

So today’s topic, I’ve been thinking a lot about this. Because if you’ve kind of been following along, one of my big financial goals has been to rebuild my emergency fund. I talked about previously that my taxes for 2018 ended up being so much more money than I anticipated. And that luckily, while I was able to pay for it out of my emergency fund, it depleted my savings to a level that I personally was uncomfortable with.

And so one of my goals has been to rebuild that. I’ve been doing so with a combination of various things. And unfortunately for me, that’s kind of meant like tightening my budgetary belt, so to speak. And, as a budgeter, I’m pretty good at giving myself tools and systems to stay on track. Obviously, I’m pretty financially literate. I’m— I have a fairly good bit of self-control.

But for me, even having to pull my spending back even more, I’ve been running up against this issue of scarcity. And for those of you who are not familiar with this concept, you know, the scarcity mindset is this sense of like, there’s just not enough money. There’s just not enough money to go around.

And that can lead us to some pretty negative thinking. It can lead us to some unfortunate behavioral traps. The scarcity mindset often leads people to bury their head in the sand when it comes to their finances. The thought process of, well, I know there’s not enough money, so why even bother looking at it? Why even bother taking control of it?

So the opposite of that mindset is what we would then call an abundance mindset. So this is sort of the optimistic viewpoint that says there’s enough to go around and that you, I’d say, as a person, are also worthy of sharing in that abundance. So two pieces there, one, there’s enough money to go around. And, two, I am worthy of having abundance in my life. I think both of those are equally important.

[00:04:53] So having caught myself sort of falling into this scarcity trap recently, the way that it’s kind of manifested for me is thinking about things like going out for coffee or going to dinner with friends and thinking, there’s no way I can do that. I just can’t afford it right now. One of my other big passions is travel. And I’ve found myself not booking trips, not spending a bunch of money on plane tickets— which, given where I’m at with my goals, I think is really important.

But it hasn’t felt good to say no to those things. It doesn’t feel satisfying to prioritize my financial goal of rebuilding my emergency fund and feeling instead like I’m giving something up or I’m making this huge sacrifice. And so for me, one of my goals in kind of talking through this here is to work on this mindset a little bit, to try and present, both for you and for myself, some better thought processes.

Just because I’ve found that when I have a better money mindset, I’m just much more proactive in handling my finances. I am more confident. I’m more likely to stick to my goals. So I think abundance has this— you know, I don’t wanna use this word lightly. But it has like a wooey aspect to it, where some people associate the abundance mindset with like manifesting things, this idea of, you know, if you’re thinking the right thoughts, then all of the good stuff will come to you.

And certainly, I think there’s something to be said for using your thoughts to help create actions, keeping yourself motivated in order to stay on track. All of that stuff is super good. But I think, you know, the reason why an abundance mindset is so powerful is because it does allow us to stay motivated. So kind of keep that in mind.

You know, certainly— certainly work on your mindset. Certainly change your thoughts. But know that hopefully the end result is that it does drive you to take some sort of action to improve your situation.

So the abundance mindset, like I said, this is sort of the optimism that tells you there’s enough to go around. People who have an abundance mindset tend to believe the following: I will have what I need if I follow my passion. I have the ability to create wealth for myself, or my time is valuable. My desire to be compensated for my work is valid.

If I put good work into the world, it will come back around. And just general like, money is my friend. You know, it’s not a— it’s not a negative force in my life. It’s a positive force. And I have the ability and the power to kind of take control of that and use it for what I want to.

So that’s kind of what I’m trying to build for myself. And so to kind of get into some more actionable thoughts on how to make that happen, I wanna present to you five tips for building an abundance mindset. The first is to practice gratitude. And I think this is one of the oldest tricks in the book when it comes to managing your money in general.

A lot of the issues that— I have clients and friends who overspend. A lot of the issues, I think, stem from this feeling of seeking to fill some sort of hole, to fill a need that may not be getting met, and just in general a dissatisfaction with some aspect of your life that maybe you’re looking to kind of placate with something a little bit more tangible or material. So in a world where you can’t control everything, in a world where your emotions, you don’t feel like you have a lot of control over them, if the s**t is hitting the fan, so to speak, at the very least, you can go on Amazon and order that thing that makes you feel good and know that it’s gonna be in your hands in two days.

I mean, I think there’s some— there’s some satisfaction to that. And so rather than kind of giving into this trap of, what do I need to be happy? What do I— what material goods do I need in order to feel complete or feel whole? Practicing gratitude I think is a really nice way of reframing that. So not, what do I need to feel happy? But, what do I already have that allows me to feel happy?

It can be items that you’ve already purchased. It can be various other aspects of your life that are going well. It can be people that you’re particularly grateful for. It can be the fact that you have running water, and you can at least pay your rent on time.

Even if you’re not necessarily feeling flush, you might just be very grateful that for you keeping the lights on is a pretty big deal. And I think that’s OK too. I think wherever you’re at, it’s important to find something that you can be grateful for.

And so for me, a couple of things that I’ve been feeling particularly grateful for recently, I’ve really, really enjoyed a lot of my client meetings. It’s just been super nice to kind of get that time with people, and like sit with them on a one-on-one level, and just feel like we’re making this awesome progress together. And so even when I’m kind of stressed out about work, that’s like the thing that keeps me going.

[00:09:56] In terms of travel, again I mentioned that’s like my kind of big vice, so to speak. And that’s been the big thing that’s really kind of been— it feels like it’s been lacking for me. One way that I’ve kind of been practicing gratitude there, I’ve got a couple of trips coming up this year, one that’s in the next month or so that’s actually technically a work trip.

And so it’s not necessarily the same fun like, yes, I’m going to— you know, I’m going on a road trip with my best friend. You know, not necessarily that kind of vibe, but I’m allowing myself to feel very grateful for the fact that, even if my travel isn’t exactly what I want it to be, I still kind of get to do it in this other way that works with my career goals and works with my personal budget. There’s also obviously, you know, some things that are further down in my vacation pipeline.

They’re a long way away. But I’m starting to allow myself to get excited about those a little bit earlier than I normally would just because I’m, again, trying to think about all the good stuff that I have going on elsewhere rather than all the trips that I’m putting off or avoiding taking. So practicing gratitude, that’s my— that’s my first tip for building an abundance mindset.

My second tip for you is to give yourself a whatever budget, so if there’s even just a little pool of money every single month or every single week, whatever your timeline is, that you can set aside for whatever you want. And if you are in a place where money is really tight right now, it doesn’t even have to be a ton. Right? It might be $10.

It might be $25 that month where you can say, heads up, I am gonna go buy that chocolate that I want. I’m gonna go buy that sweet new shade of nail polish. I am gonna buy myself a fancy new pen to journal in. I’m gonna get an artisanal coffee of my dreams with extra whipped cream.

Whatever that looks like for you, whatever your little favorite treats are, give yourself just at least the smallest amount of money every month that you get to spend exactly on whatever you want as long as it fits within those guidelines. That’s been another thing that’s kind of really been keeping me going as I have tailored back my budget. When we talked about budgeting before, I told you that I’m a huge fan of the weekly allowance. That’s my favorite mechanism.

Because I’ve tailored my budget back quite a bit, it’s kind of changed my weekly spending. And so I used to have money left over in my weekly allowance to kind of fill that need for myself and kind of do some of the other little fun things. And that money’s just like not really there anymore.

And so instead, what I’m doing is giving myself a little bit extra on a monthly basis. I’m still putting it in a separate savings account. But that’s sort of like my tiny little bonus pot of fun money that I plan to kind of play with. And so when I wanna go across the street and get that good iced coffee— if you’re in Atlanta, I’m talking about Aurora Coffee. That is the good s**t right there.

When I wanna get my Aurora coffee, when I wanna get new eyeliner, whatever it is that I’m digging on, I’ve just got this little pool of money that I just feel very justified in spending on only me just for frivolous, silly little things that just make me feel very good, as long as I am fitting in that tight parameter of that bucket of money. So give yourself a whatever budget. It doesn’t have to be big. But I promise even carving out that space for yourself will give you a sense of abundance, even if it’s not grandiose.

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MICHELLE: The third thing that I’m trying to do in order to build my abundance mindset is to change my speech patterns a little bit. So I feel like when we’re in this scarcity mindset, we tend to use the phrase “I’m broke.” That becomes the rallying cry of getting your financial s**t together is, I’m broke, and I don’t wanna take it anymore. A friend asks you to do something. And you say, I can’t go. I’m broke.

That kind of becomes the excuse for not spending, or the reason for not spending, which is really interesting. Because I think when you use the phrase “I’m broke,” it’s actually a little bit of a way of bullying ourselves into trying to get financial behaviors improved. And for some people who need a little bit of tough love, maybe that’s fine. Thinking about your brokeness might actually help you, I guess, in rare cases.

But for me, at least, the phrase “I’m broke” is not a productive phrase. That’s not a productive thought for me. Because when I think about brokeness, I think that things are not worth changing. I think that, at least for me personally, broke is sort of like a dead-end street that you can’t really turn around from. And so why bother?

[00:14:53] And I don’t wanna think that way. That’s just not how I wanna feel about my finances. And so the phrase that I’ve started to try and use— you might still catch me saying “I’m broke” sometimes. But I try really hard not to say it, so please call me out if you ever hear that come out of my mouth. Because it’s not where I wanna be.

I am really digging on the phrase instead, “That’s not a financial priority for me right now.” So think about this: “I’m broke” versus “That’s not a financial priority for me right now.” I like this for a few reasons. One, I think it— it indicates that you do have some resources. In fact, you know, most of you do.

Even if those resources all go towards paying your rent and your bills, know that rent and bills is a higher priority for you. So in theory, you could just decide not to pay your rent. You could decide to not pay your utilities bills. You could decide to rack up a bunch of credit card debt. I mean, technically, those options are all available to you.

But if you’re not doing those things, if you’re making good financial decisions, it’s because you have decided that paying your rent on time is a better use of your resources. It’s a— it’s a more important financial priority to you than going out and doing whatever fun stuff it is that you were trying to avoid spending money on. “That’s not a financial priority” kind of puts the onus on you.

It puts the control back in your hands to say, hey, I’m a financial decisionmaker. And I’m choosing not to do these things because I’ve got different stuff going on. So for me, trying to think about it in terms of, it’s not that I’m too broke to travel. I could find a way to make it work.

It’s not that I’m too broke to go out to dinner with my friends right now. It’s just that that’s not a financial priority for me. I’m trying to rebuild my emergency fund. We’re hoping to buy a house this fall, my family is. And so those are— those are my big priorities right now.

It’s not that I can’t do the other stuff. It’s just that I’m choosing something else instead. That’s so much more powerful and so much more validating to me. And so I’m trying to kind of shift my language to reflect my actual priorities.

The fourth tip that I would give to you in terms of building an abundance mindset is give when you can. And it sounds counterintuitive. Because if you’re feeling like there’s not enough money, the last thing that you wanna do is just give it away. Like that doesn’t necessarily feel good.

But in the same way that you give yourself a whatever budget, in the same way that you give yourself this little pool of money to spend on whatever you want, you might also consider spending some of that money or giving yourself a separate pool of money for things like charity, for friends’ GoFundMe, if you have a friend who has a birthday, and you wanna buy them a little trinket, something like that. Being able to give your money, I think, is such a satisfying goal. And for a lot of us millennials, I mean myself included here, the act of giving is— is important to me.

 

I care very deeply about taking care of my friends and family. I care very deeply about the causes that I wanna support. And I’ve often found that even if I don’t feel like I’m able to give a ton, even just $5 here and there— again, towards a friend’s cause, towards a political cause that’s really important to me, or something that’s been in the news— kind of keeps me humble with regards to where my money is going.

 

To say, you know, money might feel a little tight right now, but it’s not all about me. I trust things are going to improve. I might be feeling tight on cash. But chances are, my friend who’s going through this s**t might actually need it even more than I do. And so even if I— even if I can’t give them all of the money that I feel they deserve, even if I can’t give to my favorite causes as much as I normally would or would want to, at the very least I can kind of give my $5 and know that I am uplifting someone else with the limited resources that I have.

And I— and know that that too is a placeholder for when you do get to a better financial situation, when you are feeling like you have true abundance and kind of money to throw around to what you wanna give it to. Giving when you can in small amounts kind of paves the way to that bigger, more generous giving later on when you’re able to. And it’s OK that you’re not able to all the time.

Cut yourself a little bit slack. Give yourself some space there to know that if $5 is all you have to give, good for you. And allow yourself to feel good about that. So give when you can.

The last tip that I will give you in terms of building an abundance mindset, this is gonna sound a little bit silly. But I also like to leave money around the house for myself to find. It’s not usually big money. So for example, uh, I had cash left over from one of the very rare occasions when I had cash.

It’s not really a thing that I carry. Again, card-carrying millennial, that means I’m pretty much all debit all the time. For whatever reason, I had $5 in my wallet. And it wasn’t a ton of money. It was $5. It was literally five single dollar bills.

[00:20:03] And for the longest time, I didn’t spend it. I just kept it in my wallet. And it kind of gave me this little feeling of glee when I— when I, like, would open my wallet and see it in there. Because it kind of also felt to me like my lifeline a little bit— that, when I was having a really bad day, that I could go to a coffee shop and just buy a cup of coffee.

I’m sure you kind of have picked up on this. Like coffee is basically my love language. I drink the good bean juice all the time. It’s just my very favorite thing. And I particularly love going to coffee shops and having coffee. Like that— to me, that’s such a treat.

It feels very— it just feels delightful to like sip coffee that somebody else has made in an environment that’s not my house. Like I just love that. Especially with the weather getting warm, all I wanna do is like chug that good iced coffee.

So having that money, like leaving it around the house for myself to find, even if it was just $5, to me it mentally translated into, I have the power to buy a cup of coffee whenever I’m having a bad day. And I don’t have to do it today. I don’t have to do it tomorrow. But my option is there.

And in fact, yesterday I was having a bad day— not a terrible day, but just a day where I needed coffee. And I used my $5. And it felt really good. I also like to leave sometimes dollar bills kind of folded up in my purse. Sometimes I’ll put one in the pocket of my jeans.

I’ve got kind of a change jar at home that I keep out. It’s actually labeled as a swear jar. But the math doesn’t really add up there. I like to leave money around the house for myself to find. Because when I kind of get used to seeing it around, it just makes me feel like I have it.

It kind of eliminates this feeling of like, there is no money anywhere to be found. Because it’s easy to imagine that counterpoint of like, well, I know I’ve got five bucks in my purse. I know I’ve got a dollar in my pocket. I know I’ve got a change jar that I could convert to some money if I wanted to.

Just kind of feeling like those are options available for me just kind of gives me the sense of, you know, it’s not so bad. How many other people have $5 in their wallet right now? So leave money around for yourself to find.

You know, let it— let it hang out there. Don’t feel like you have to spend it right away. You know, don’t spend it all in one place, so to speak. But just kind of— this sounds cheesy. But like making it feel welcome in your home I think is— is kind of nice.

So those are the five things that I’m doing to try and build an abundance mindset. I’d be curious to hear from y’all what you are doing to build your own abundance mindset. Do you have any tips and tricks?

Is there anything that you’re digging on right now? Is there anything that really makes you feel like you’ve got, you know, the good dollars floating around, even if you don’t necessarily have a ton? What’s kind of giving you— giving you good vibes with your money right now?

Reach out to me via email. Leave a comment on one of the platforms that you’re using. Leave a comment on iTunes. You know, leave a comment on the blog post for this, wherever it is that you’re getting the content.

Or, of course, email me. That’s michelle@youngandscrappy.com. I would love to hear from you. And I wanna hear all about your abundance mindset.

So that’s it for today. Wherever you are, whatever day it is, whatever time we find ourselves in, I hope that you have an abundant day, an abundant weekend, an abundant month and that you find yourself getting right with your money. Take care now. Love you. Bye.

END CREDITS: I hope you enjoyed this episode of the Young Scrappy Money podcast. If you want to read about my work as a financial advisor and financial coach, you can do so at www.youngandscrappy.com. That’s www.youngandscrappy.com. Thanks again for listening.

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