(This is the second post in a series about life goals. Read the first one here.)

Lately I’ve been binge reading Carol Dweck and other mindset-related literature. It dawned on me that this growth mindset is what I’ve been missing in my life—but especially in my financial life.

I grew up poor (like, rationed-food poor). So my mindset when it comes to finances has always been rooted in scarcity—spending as little as possible to conserve resources. It has worked, but it definitely has its drawbacks. For instance, I suffer from buyer’s remorse after—well—every single purchase that isn’t groceries. Avoiding that guilt might be a great way of saving money, but it’s not a good mindset to have.

This is where the growth mindset comes in. When it comes to my finances, instead of obsessively budgeting (think “my preciousssss!”), adopting a healthier approach is one of my #LifeGoals. Everyone makes mistakes, especially when it comes to budgeting. We are part of a generation that has faced ridiculous education costs, ballooning student loans, and a rather unstable economic landscape in the last decade.

A growth mindset, for me, means I focus on what is ahead, proactively budgeting and learning from my inevitable financial slipups. A mistake becomes a learning experienceinstead of a personal failing. When I find a hole in my budget, I’ll think “hmm, let’s see where I went wrong” instead of “I’m just not good at this!”

So far I’ve taken a couple of webinars on personal finance and saving for retirement. (You can take your own courses sponsored by your credit union, here.) I try to shy away from the extreme budgeting tips because, well let’s face it—separating two-ply toilet paper into single-ply is just not a good way to spend your time.

Granted, switching gears from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset isn’t instantaneous, it takes practice and effort. But to me, getting to a point where budgeting is no longer a matter of guilt and shame when I make the occasional unplanned purchase is well worth it.


To learn more about making goals, take our free Set & Achieve Goal course

Photo credit iStock