Building a positive
Money is a source of emotional turmoil for a lot of people. Building a positive relationship with money is important to lowering stress and improving happiness. A positive mindset will help you stay motivated and keep you from bad financial habits. Building a positive mindset involves not worrying about perfection and avoiding comparing yourself to others.
Perfection is not the goal
Improving your finance situation is very important, but don’t let perfect get in the way of good. The focus on this course isn’t to alter your lifestyle to maximize your savings rate. It is to maximize the efficiency of your money so you get more out of it without giving up too much. Focus on the fundamentals, keep it simple and don’t get hung up on the little things. Track your progress, avoid debt and over-spending, invest the extra money you save. When you have become comfortable with the core skills of personal finance, then you can work towards gradual improvements on the rest.
There's no need to keep up
with the Jones'
Unless you are Jeff Bezos, there will also be someone who seemingly earns more money than you, has more things than you and doesn’t have a financial worry in the world. Comparing yourself to these people is unproductive. It can hurt your motivation and lower your self-esteem. On top of that, if you are being financially responsible, you won’t be playing on an equal playing-field as a lot of the people you are comparing yourself too. If you do nothing extra but avoid debt, you still won’t be able to live the immediate lifestyle as someone in the exact same position as you who embraces debt. With the ability to finance almost anything these days, you can finance a great lifestyle in the short term. To keep up with someone who isn’t afraid to bury themselves in debt, you would probably need to make 4x their wage without also taking on a lot of debt. In the medium-term, however, is when you would start to see a pay-off. You will start to have more funds available to improve your life, while the person riddled with debt is still paying off the things they bought half a decade ago. So focus on your own journey and don’t worry about what those around you are doing. If you are being financially responsible, then you are on the right track.
To summarize, focus on the fundamentals of personal finance and don’t worry about the intricate efficiencies you can fix. They will be there later. Get the big wins first, gradually improve on the rest. Focus on your own journey, and don’t compare yourself to others. If you can do these things, they will help you stay motivated and on track. Personal Finance is supposed to lower stress, not increase it. That’s why building a positive mindset is so important.