By Jessica Wee

Have you been wondering why your monthly expenses are so high that in some months, your income barely covers it? Or have you been maxing out your credit card frequently?

The issue with money management usually stems from a deeper onset problem. Believe it or not, it is largely due to the mindset that has been molding our thought process since a young age! Correct, you can blame your parents for this! Your financial habits — good and bad — are rooted in this mindset. All of the messages you’ve internalized about money over your lifetime boil down to two basic orientations toward money — scarcity or abundance.

Many of us have a ‘scarcity mindset’ i.e. our worldview is always being fearful of not having enough to go around. Hence, you need to constantly guard your accomplishments or resources from others.

Can you recognise some signs of scarcity mindset in yourself:
* Always feeling like you are left behind
* Feeling like you are the victim in every situation
* Feeling limited in your abilities
* Bills and other responsibilities piling up
* Overscheduling yourself
* Saying yes to opportunities that aren’t right for you because you’re afraid another one won’t come

If you feel that you have a scarcity mindset, here’s the good news – you can learn to undo it. Coach your mind to have an “abundance mindset” i.e. having a worldview that there are enough resources and successes for all to share.

Applying that to financial sense, an abundance mindset means you are ‘opening your mind up to money’ rather than ‘closing it off to the limiting beliefs’ you have around finances, often that you’ve been conditioned to believe from childhood, like that money doesn’t grow on trees or you’ll never be rich.

To take drastic actions in stopping your frivolous spending, here are some creative ways that we have encountered:

1. Reporting their credit card as stolen
If you are one of many who struggles with overspending on their credit card that you have even memorized, deleting it from your online wallets is not going to help. Try calling your card company and report the card as stolen, such that a new card with a new number would be issued. Plan on keeping this card out of place so you are not tempted to spend with it.

2. Creating a visual of a goal
Most people enduring hardship find it difficult to envision what financial success looks like. Start with something simple – It can be driving through a nice neighborhood and finding a piece of land/ house you’d love to buy. Take a picture of it and that picture is now a motivating factor for you to pay off debt and start a house fund.

3. Shopping without a basket
How to save money at supermarkets or shops – try shopping without a handbasket for small trips. You only hold onto what you need.

4. Bulk shopping
Grocery bill is everyone’s major monthly expenditure. The way to activate prudent spending is to plan your weekly meals so that you know exactly what ingredients are needed and therefore, reduce wastage. Start with a weekly meal plan and write a shopping list. Then head to your nearest hypermart or Hero Supermarket for a frills free shopping. Be careful not to buy anything out of the shopping list!

5. Reducing weight of vegetables
If you need to buy singular vegetables/ fruits eg: capsicum / apple needs to be weighed before checkout. It may sound extreme but you can tear off the stalk/stem before sending it to the weighing counter. Hack the weight!

6. Go prepaid on telco plans
As a student, I used my phone only as a tool to receive calls. Whenever I needed to speak to someone, I would give them a miss call in order not to spend money trying to call them. As for data, try jumping onto free public wifi or tether to your friend’s network. This will require planning to only do the bulk of your work which requires wifi on a free network.

PS/ You might lose some friends doing this

When you can make decisions that constantly help you in the long term, it means that you have mastered the ‘abundance mindset’.


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