Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to join two people (things) in holy matrimony. They are very different things and can directly clash with one another; but when brought together, they can make managing your finances an incredible journey. Sound like your marriage?
The two things I’m talking about are the abundance mindset and managing your money well.
These two things separate can help you with certain portions of your finances but they won’t give you the big picture. Marrying them can be quite difficult to do, though. To get to the point where we are at a happy marriage of two opposites, you’ll need to understand what managing your money well and the abundance mindset bring to the money table separately.
Let’s dig in!
Managing Your Money Well When it’s “Single”
Doing a good job of managing your money is a gateway to any financial goal. It takes hard work and discipline.
If I were to personify managing your money well, I would picture this person as someone who is all about routine. Adventure is not something they are interested in nor is any deviation from the norm. They eat the same thing for lunch every day and are perfectly content how they are.
They don’t want change, and possibly don’t like change.
For a budget, routine can be very good.
Think about how much easier it is to budget on a fixed income as opposed to a variable income. On a fixed income or salary, you get paid the same amount every paycheck. This makes it easy to predict your income and plan your expenses around it. A variable income takes a little bit more work.
This goes for bills as well. It’s much easier to predict your expenses and how much you’ll need to pay them if you have the same payments every month.
Setting up things like automation and direct deposit can introduce a lot of routine in your life and make it really easy to budget.
But that’s not all managing your money well brings to the table.
You see, I’ve always strived to manage my money well in my own life. Part of the reason is because I got married so young. I was only 21 when I got married and I had a 20-year-old bride who was depending on me.
As we got further into our marriage, we starting making a little bit more money and started to have money to do things. My attitude toward money didn’t change with our income, even though we had money to do things. I would say and think that we didn’t. I was too protective of our money, almost hoarding it.
We had a decent cash flow of money every month but I was uncomfortable with what we had. I thought we were in lack because I was only managing my money well.
I didn’t have the right mindset. Have you ever been there?
The Problem with Being Single
Like anything, there are definite pros and cons to this. Everyone has their flaws and “managing your money well” is no different. While it’s good that this “person” brings a sense of stability and order to your finances, they also have their own flaws.
What I’ve found is that if you are doing a really good job managing your finances by itself, it introduces you to and fosters the Scarcity Mindset. This mindset says things like, “I don’t have enough money. It’s going to be hard to save for retirement and I need to make sure I’m putting away every dollar I can in order to retire someday, even at the expense of the present.”
This makes you resist change. There is no risk taking because you are scared there won’t be enough. It puts the “scare” in “scarcity.”
This type of attitude keeps you from doing things for you and doing things for others. If you don’t think you have enough money for you, how are you supposed to be generous to others?
And it’s only natural.
It’s almost too easy to let yourself fall into the scarcity mindset when you’re trying to manage your money well. If you don’t have money to go out to eat with a friend one week, you may notice that because of that decision your savings rate may have gone up. Because of this, you may want to make other cuts in other areas of your budget.
Pretty soon, you are doing nothing but paying your bills, saving, and eating those really cheap packs of ramen noodles.
This is where the Abundance Mindset comes in and helps.
When you’re single and loving life, you tend to do whatever you want. After all, there’s no one you have to worry about and no one whose opinions and feelings you have to consider.
This means adventure!
This is where the Abundance Mindset shines. If you’ve always wanted to go to Venice, it’s a lot easier when you don’t have to worry about anyone else and are tied to nothing at home.
This mindset views time and money as plentiful. If you’re not able to do something right now, there will be time to do it later. You don’t have to worry about missing out on going out with friends because there is plenty of time for that.
An Abundance Mindset can be a great thing! So where are the flaws?
The Problem with Being Single
When it’s single, the Abundance Mindset can say things like “I’ll save for retirement later” or “it doesn’t matter if I don’t have any money to go out—I’ll just put it on the credit card and pay it off later.” Left unchecked, the Abundance Mindset says time and money are so plentiful that decisions now don’t matter that much. Planning can be put off. Tracking your finances can be put off.
The upside of viewing time as plentiful can also be its downfall because it can be taken as “if I don’t make or save money now, I have plenty of time to do it later.”
It doesn’t matter if you spend too much money now because it will always be there. Sooner or later, without any control, you lose sight of goals and you miss opportunities. Lifestyle inflation can occur when you do make more money because there is no management.
Say hello to retirement at 80 with only an Abundance Mindset.
Again, an abundance mindset is a really great thing to have when managing your finances, but without control and managing your money well, it can run amuck.
Bringing The “Couple” Together
If managing your money well can take you to one extreme of the financial spectrum when used by itself, then the Abundance Mindset is the polar opposite when used alone. Luckily, opposites attract (just ask my wife)!
Through the dating phase, you do things you normally wouldn’t do in order to woo your potential love interest. You buy them flowers, take them to dinner, make sure your appearance is on point, all while making sure you don’t act too much like a dork (preaching to myself here).
Your love interest usually does the same. The goal isn’t necessarily to cover your true self up, rather it is to enhance who you already are. Even in marriage, my wife and I feel comfortable doing things after almost 15 years that we would never have thought about doing in our first year or two.
You learn about each other through your relationship. You work on compromising and living together and caring about what the other person thinks.
The same can be done to bring together the Abundance Mindset and managing your money well.
As these two happy lovebirds (who may fight often) get to know each other, there is going to be some compromising that needs to happen.
The person of “managing your money well” is going to have to learn to have some change at times for the sake of adventure and risk. Without some risk, you’ll never have enough money to retire.
When you are managing your money well, you’ll have to learn to trust the “gut instinct” that can come with believing you have enough and will have enough.
The person of the “Abundance Mindset” is going to have to learn to slow down a bit, consider consequences, and learn to trust the wisdom that comes from managing your money well. It’s ok to think you’ll always have enough, especially when it’s paired with knowing you have enough because you’re doing a good job with your money.
Learn to trust your better judgment when you say no despite knowing there might be plenty of money in the future.
You Need Both
Some of you may have more of an Abundance Mindset when compared to managing your money well. Others will do a great job managing their finances and struggle with thinking you have enough. Plenty of others will fall anywhere on the spectrum between the two.
Personally, I struggle with not having enough of an Abundance Mindset still. I’m working on developing that mindset though because you need both sides. A couple is not a couple without both “people.”
Managing your finances well brings control and realism to your finances. The Abundance Mindset brings fanaticism and big dreams—a belief that money is plentiful so anything is possible. Putting them together allows you to set your goals high without living in the clouds.
Successfully bringing these two together is hard work like any marriage. At times they will be at odds with one another. Other times they will be perfectly in sync. When they are together, they’re a power couple.
The magic, however, doesn’t come from everything being perfect all of the time. The magic is when you can see through the lens of both sides and use both to make the best decision for you and your money.
You need both. Plain and simple.
I’m working on my “marriage” of these two sides. I believe they go hand in hand. Are you willing to work on both?