Advice matters
How to create an abundant money mindset

Do you have an abundant money mindset? You may have heard this term before: it was coined in 1989 by US author and businessman Stephen Covey, in his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

Cultivating an abundance mentality – as opposed to a scarcity mindset – is all about having a positive relationship with money, feeling empowered and open to the opportunities that your financial life presents. Here are some tips from our SHARE advisers to get you started.

Abundance or scarcity: which mindset is yours?

Covey postulated that most people have a ‘scarcity mentality’ and view the world as a finite pie. They believe there simply isn’t enough for everyone, “and if someone were to get a big piece of the pie, it would mean less for everybody else.”

When it comes to building wealth, people with a scarcity mentality see money as a scarce resource, rare and hard to get. They tend to focus on the short term, and may avoid investing or find saving challenging.

On the other hand, people with an abundance mindset believe that “there is plenty out there and enough to spare for everybody”. By looking at the world as an ever-expanding pie rather than a finite pie, they are more open to explore their options and focus on the long term. They understand that, if they don’t have something right now, that doesn’t mean they won’t be able to achieve it later.

In general, those with an abundance mindset tend to have a more positive relationship with their money. They are also more inclined to invest and save.

Of course, we humans are multi-faceted beings. You may not necessarily be part of either group, but rather have traits of both. The key thing is to identify whether any limiting behaviours or beliefs are keeping you from achieving your full potential. So, read on for some ways to switch to abundance.

1. Practise gratitude

In our quest to always find new and better things, it can be easy to lose sight of what we’ve already achieved. From a roof over our head through to a job, a family, great friends, good health, maybe a pet… there are many things in our lives that make us ‘rich’.

Taking time to practise gratitude is a good first step to switch mindset and set yourself up for a more rewarding financial future.

2. Avoid comparisons

Do you often compare yourself to others when it comes to your finances? It may be time to focus on what matters most – and that’s you.

In the abundance mindset, it doesn’t matter how you compare to others, but how you compare to yourself and your values in your everyday life. Nothing wrong with taking inspiration, as long as you embrace your own unique path. But remember: each financial journey is different, and there’s a lot that you probably don’t know about other people’s journey. So, it’s a bit like trying to compare apples and oranges.

3. Switch point of view

According to a recent survey published by the Retirement Commission, one in five New Zealanders believe their financial situation is largely outside their control – despite having an adequate income.

But as the same report points out, things like knowledge, behaviour and an individual’s mindset influence financial wellbeing more than demographics, income, ethnicity or gender. In other words, “many of the factors that help to determine overall financial wellbeing are things which individuals have the ability to positively influence.”

Developing an abundance mindset is all about feeling you’re in the driver’s seat of your financial life, rather than watching from the side-lines.

4. Assess your thoughts

While you’re caught in the hustle and bustle of life, it can be easy to go about our routines without thinking about why we do and think and feel certain things. And the same happens with money behaviours: some are ingrained habits that we might not even notice.

So, take a moment to notice what type of thoughts are circulating in your head.

One of the keys to a better relationship with money is to practise mindful spending. The goal is to cultivate awareness of how your spending supports your goals, values, and human needs. It can also help you suppress negative feelings about money – the internal narrative that can lead to judgement and shame.

5. Focus on growth

According to Covey’s theory, people who have a scarcity mindset view life as a zero-sum game, with limited resources. This may lead them to think small about their finances: they don’t have enough, they will never have enough, and there’s nothing much that they can do about it.

But as we’ve seen, there are steps you can take to gain control of your financial life, by shifting your mindset. Time to focus on growth and the future? Having a financial adviser in your corner can help you clarify your goals, and design and execute a plan to achieve them.

We’re here for your questions

Do you have any questions we can help you with? Are you thinking about your financial goals and dreams?

Get in touch: our SHARE financial advisers have been helping thousands of Kiwis like you protect their future, build their wealth, save for retirement, or start their home ownership journey.

Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information provided is subject to continuous change and may not reflect current developments or address your situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article, please use your discretion and seek independent guidance.