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Change Your Money Mindset in 3 Easy Steps

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Jan. 23 2019, Updated 9:34 p.m. ET

When it comes to money, the focus is often on how much you have or don’t have, and how you can get more of it. It’s not as common to think about your mindset and how it plays a factor in your relationship with finances. As crazy as it sounds, the wrong money mindset can keep you in the same position no matter how much money you make in life.

The good news is that it’s never too late to change how you think about money. If you can get a handle on it while making minimum wage, it will be even easier to continue the same pattern when you start bringing in six figures.

Pay Yourself First

This is a concept that I still struggle with, as I am accustomed to paying bills first. After I started reading about building wealth, one of the tips I saw most often was to pay yourself before anyone else.

It seems simple but can be hard to practice when you have a million other financial obligations. However, this is a key strategy to put things into perspective. If you don’t set aside money for you, who will? Should you find yourself in a financial bind, you can bet the landlord, Sallie Mae, and the water company won’t be around to give back the money you paid them.

Many of us are conditioned to pay everyone else and leave nothing for ourselves. The sooner you start doing the opposite, the more your mindset will fall in line. Besides, if it works for self-made millionaires, that has to count for something, right?

Work Smarter, Not Harder

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You may know of the term “multiple streams of income,” but some people get this confused with having multiple jobs. Working full-time along with a part-time gig may seem like the best way to earn extra money. In reality,  it can quickly take a toll on you physically and mentally.

Instead, find ways to make your money make money without actively working for it. There are many ways to make passive income, including stock dividends and affiliate marketing. The more income streams you can find to work without you, the more time you will have to focus on the things you actually enjoy doing.

Don’t Obsess Over Money

Thinking about making money and putting a plan in action to do so is a great goal. It becomes unhealthy when your thoughts about money consume you. It’s also unhealthy if you’re striving to obtain more money out of fear that you’ll never have enough, or because you’re unhappy and believe that more money will fix all your problems.

If you’re fearful in your pursuit of wealth, you’ve already set yourself back from achieving your goal. Fearfulness will keep you from taking any risks because you’re more focused on what you might lose than what you could gain. It will talk you out of applying for a job with a higher salary or launching the business you’ve always wanted to start.

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One of my favorite quotes about wealth comes from Curlbox CEO Myleik Teele: “There’s no SAFE way to wealth. The only way is RISK.”

There will be times in life where you’ll have to take some risks. Those risks may not pay off immediately, and they might even set you back financially for the moment, but that doesn’t mean you’re doomed to poverty. As long as you focus on your goal and stay in the mindset of knowing you will be successful, the money will come.

K. Wright was inspired to venture into blogging in 2008 after reading websites like MissJia.com and Necole Bitchie. (Both sites no longer up and running, may they rest in dopeness!) Fast forward to today, Wright shares her thoughts on personal finance from the perspective of a millennial woman of color. Read more of what she has to say at Money The Wright Way.

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