As I have learned more and more about money over the years, it has been interesting to observe the various attitudes people have about money. People become so entrenched in a particular money mindset and they don't even realize it. They grew up observing and adopting a certain attitude from their parents, and they become unwilling to open their mind to a different and perhaps much better financial mindset.
This is not an exhaustive, scientific, nor complete list of money mindsets, but rather some I have observed over the years:
- Ignorant. People with this type of mindset are simply unknowledgeable about money. Their parents and teachers never gave them a solid, basic knowledge about how money works. They are clueless about basic, fundamental principles of money management. They seem blissfully unaware of their lack of financial intelligence.
- Apathetic. People with this mindset simply don't care about money. Unlike the ignorant group, they may know money fundamentals, the problem is that they just don't care. They enjoy the benefits of what money can do for them, but typically don't spend time proactively planning what their money will accomplish.
- Materialistic. People with this mindset love stuff. They have "stuffitis." They love and appreciate all that money, credit, and debt can buy them. They are always greedy for more. They have to have the latest and greatest no matter the cost.
- Lack. People with this mindset simply feel that they never have enough. They approach life with the view that the glass is half-empty. They are discontent.
- Hoarding. This mindset naturally flows out of the lack mindset. Because these people don't feel like they never have enough, they have a tendency to stockpile money and assets.
- Obsessive. People with this mindset are obsessed about money - how much they are spending, how much they are saving, how much their investments are growing. They have a one track mind.
- Cheap. People that have a cheap mindset have to get the lowest price on everything. They generally don't concern themselves with the quality of the product, they just want the lowest price no matter what. These people think short term, what something will cost them today, not down the road. Have you ever noticed, too, that cheap people are the worst tippers in the world? [Not so subliminal note: Hey, Christians. Why is it that waiters and waitresses hate working on Sundays for the after church crowd? Christians should be known for their generosity, not their cheapness!].
- Frugal. Many confuse frugal with cheap, but they're not the same mindset. People who are frugal care about the value of things. They want a deal, and desire to get the lowest price on an item, but they are willing to spend money on what they truly care about. Frugal people think long term. [NOTE: I highly recommend visiting Ramit Sethi's blog I Will Teach You To Be Rich, and read his post on Cheap verses frugal. It's a great comparison/contrast post.]
- Abundance. People with an abundance mindset are content people. They feel blessed by the abundance that God has provided for them or that He will provide for them at a future date. They're the glass half-full people.
- Biblical. People that have a Biblical money mindset truly understand that they are simply managers of God's money and assets. It is not their stuff to begin with. Everything belongs to God. They seek God's Word as the ultimate authority in their financial decision making process.
I believe people can have a combination of some of these financial mindsets. For example, a person who has a mindset of lack, could also be a hoarder. Or, someone who has a Biblical financial mindset, also has an abundance mindset but is very frugal in their spending, and so on.
So, where do you fall on this scale of ten different financial mindsets? What is the financial mindset that you adopted as a child from your family and friends? Have you been proactive in changing your financial mindset? If so, how are you attempting to change it? What new mindset are you trying to adopt?