Mental strength is about regulating your thoughts, managing your emotions, and behaving productively. And all three of those factors greatly affect your attitude toward money and the activity in your bank account.
Mentally strong people are in control of their finances. They manage their money in a way that allows them to live according to their values and they are always working toward their financial goals.
Here are eight financial habits of mentally strong people:
1. They create a budget.
Coming face-to-face with how much money you earn versus how much you spend can be quite anxiety-provoking. But mentally strong people have goals and they know they won't reach their goals without a clear plan. Their budget helps them make informed choices based on the facts--not impulse purchases based on emotion.
2. They take calculated risks.
Mentally strong people don't allow their excitement over the promise of a big payout to fall prey to get-rich-quick schemes. But they also don't let their fear keep them from investing in the right opportunities. They spend time calculating risks and they can be informed about which opportunities best suit their financial goals.
3. They don't engage in unhealthy competition.
Comparing yourself to other people will sabotage your best efforts. Mentally strong people don't waste their energy competing to have the newest car or the biggest house on the block. They create their own definition of success and stay focused on their own path.
4. They separate their net worth from their self-worth.
Mentally strong people aren't necessarily rich--but they are comfortable in their own skin. They feel good about themselves regardless of the size of their bank account. They don't show off their assets or brag about their income because their self-worth doesn't depend on their net worth.
5. They own stuff--their stuff doesn't own them.
Mentally strong people's lives don't revolve around collecting more possessions. They take care of their belongings but they aren't married to them. They're able to move to a new home, part with things they've outgrown, and go without luxuries.
6. Their financial habits are in line with their values.
Mentally strong people's financial habits reflect their values. They spend their time and their money on the things that matter most to them. Whether they're working extra hours to dig themselves out from a setback or they're trimming some of the extras so they can spend more time with their families, their choices reflect their core beliefs.
7. They delay gratification.
Justifying your purchases by telling yourself you deserve to be happy can lead to overindulgence and impulse purchases. Mentally strong people don't make excuses to spend money they don't have on things they don't need. Whether it's a second honeymoon or the latest gadget, they practice self-discipline and wait until the time is right.
8. They have a sense of purpose.
Whether they strive to leave a legacy for future generations or they give to others in need, mentally strong people have a sense of purpose in life. They keep that purpose in mind when making their financial decisions.
Develop Your Mental Muscle
Mountains of debt and ongoing financial problems can be a symptom of a much bigger problem--a lack of mental strength. But the good news is, everyone can take steps to become mentally stronger.
Just like working out will build your physical muscles, there are exercises that will build your mental muscles. With practice and dedication, you develop the mental strength you need to develop better financial habits.
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Theresa Todman, Managing Partner/CEO of B&M Financial Management Services, LLC . Theresa specializes in bookkeeping, accounting, QuickBooks solutions, small business tax issues and consulting.