What do I mean by saying that successful personal finance nothing to do with money? Most people think that if they had loads of money then all their money problems would be cured. Actually I think the reverse is true - their money problems would just be starting. We've all heard about lottery winners who suddenly get millions of dollars but within a few years it's all gone. Some people will simply put this down to poor money management but it goes deeper than that. Whether you are successful in personal finance and create wealth in your life, starts with what you think and feel about money.
When we are young we are like a dry sponge soaking up all the information around us - the good, the bad and the ugly. That's where we learn our first attitudes towards money and personal finance, even if we don't realize it at that stage. We accept the financial attitudes and money management of our parents, family and friends without even thinking about whether we agree or disagree with them. Sayings like "Money doesn't grow on trees" and "I'm not made of money" stay with us as we grow older. What did your parents and family say to you about money as you were growing up?
When you think about what you were taught back then you may not agree with it now, but it may have been valid then. Unless you are aware of what you were taught you may follow the same financial awareness even though it may no longer be valid. Now don't get me wrong I'm not blaming your parents for this, they did their best and taught you what they knew, but in some cases it's simply doesn't work any more. The idea of going to school, then University, getting a job for life and then a state pension isn't valid any more as the population ages. A recent article on This is Money explains the problem we'll have with changing demographics.
What else were you taught about money as a child? Many people were given money on birthdays if they were good children. I stress the 'if they were good children' because as we grow up we tend to associate money with being good. I know we can all find examples of where getting loads of money has absolutely nothing to do with being good, yet we still link receiving money to actually deserving money. If people only received money when they deserved it then I can think of some millionaires who would be much poorer!
Thinking about rich people: who do you think about when you think of when you think about wealthy people? Do you think of wealthy business people who gives millions of dollars to charity such as Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, or do you think of con and scam artists? This is actually important as to whether or not you can create wealth. If the first people you think of when you think of the wealthy are actually con artists then it's unlikely that you'd want to be like them. If you associate money with bad attitudes and sayings such as 'the filthy rich' then why would you want to become wealthy? It'd be like someone who hates the sight of blood becoming a surgeon.
Money itself is neutral. It's not good and it's not bad - although what you do with it can fall into either of those categories or somewhere in between.
So in conclusion, take some time to be aware of how you think and feel about money. How you think about money and personal finance will reflect on how you deal with money and the ways you accumulate money. You could be sabotaging yourself when it comes to personal finance simply because your thoughts and feelings around money are negative. When you realize that money is actually good for you and your family, and that you deserve it, then dealing with money and acquiring it, will become easy.