Mentality Trumps High Income: How to Really Boost Your Savings

I’ve been reading a lot more personal finance articles that have highlighted how someone has reached a massive amount of money saved. I’ve seen even more about those who have retired early with six-figures to a million+ saved by their mid-30s.

And I’ve also noticed the comments, whether on the posts themselves or on social media. There are of course some positive remarks and people who feel inspired.

But you know what I see more of than anything? Negativity, complaining, and basic anger at the subject material.

The complaints stem from thinking it is unrealistic, it’s impossible to save with my current debts and salary, etc.

It’s true, everyone has a different situation which may be harder to save money compared to others.

But so many times when I see these comments, I want to virtually pull these people out from their behind keyboards and tell them to quit the attitude (that was my nice way of putting it).

Luckily, I don’t get these kinds of comments (yet) since no one really reads Invested Wallet, but I’m sure it will inevitably come to me too.

[bctt tweet=”While a high income can help you save more money, it’s having a positive mentality and approach that really makes the difference in boosting your savings #SavingMoney #Finances” username=”investedwallet”]

How your mentality is key to boosting your savings

The basic and common complaint I’ve noticed is the lack of income or salary someone might have is limiting their savings.

And I think a big misconception everyone has is in order to have big savings, you need a high income.

I’m here to tell you that is false.

Does a larger salary help you save more, it certainly can, but you do you actually need one to save money? Nope.

You’re probably thinking I’m wrong at this point, but hear me out.

How many stories have you seen about millionaires, celebrities, sports athletes going completely broke?

How can someone blow multi-million dollar deals over their career? Money management, bad investments, and overspending of course.

But it goes to show you, a high income is not a guarantee to have high savings rates.

I’m sure you have also heard stories about people who have never made more than $40,000/year, end up with high six-figures or more in savings by retirement.

There are even more highlights related to that topic in this great book called , which I highly recommend.

So how does someone with a smaller or average salary boast some serious savings?

MENTALITY.

Mentality is defined as a habitual or characteristic mental attitude that determines how you will interpret and respond to situations. ().

It’s what holds a lot of people back, whether they realize it or not.

It’s your attitude and mentality that is actually blocking your savings rate from growing and bank account from reach new heights.

While I may not know most commenters situations on those types of blog posts I mentioned, their negativity and complaining are pretty telling.

I’m not here to shame them, instead if you are reading this and are guilty of this, I’m hoping you’ll see what’s possible.

By now, maybe you’re reading this with an open mind. Maybe you still think I’m full of shit.

That’s fine either way and I personally was one of those commentators myself.

Actually, I didn’t leave comments, but I certainly rolled my eyes and would basically yell in my head, “Impossible!”

But after four years of hard work and changing my mentality, the results started speaking for themselves.

I know if I continued to be negative, discouraged, and looked at my financial situation as impossible to save money, I know I would not be in a comfortable financial situation that I am today.

Increasing my savings? Learning about investing? Building my savings rate? Improving my career worth? None would really have been possible with checking my mentality.

Storytime…

I promise to keep this short.

So in early 2014, I was making roughly $36,000 a year.

That was with four years of working experience since graduating college, so not a high income. I had student loans, car loan, rent, and miscellaneous bills to pay. My savings was barely $1,000.

Needless to say, it was hard to save money, maybe $10-20 every now and then. I felt stuck, felt like this was going to be how my work career and money challenges would go.

Before I was laid off in December of that year, I had just started fixing my finances a few weeks prior.

I looked at money differently, talked to friends who were more involved in finance, began learning about investing, creating a budget, and finding out where my money was truly going.

Now, I’m not going to sit here and flex that I’m a millionaire. Heck, I’m not even at six-figures yet, but I’m getting close.

In those four years since though, I have over $29k in savings and another $30K in retirement accounts, while tackling $50,000 in total debt. I have less than 10% of that debt left.

Is it an exciting headline? Nope. But some serious progress? I certainly think so.

I was able to boost my salary slightly, but up until 2017, I never made more than $45,000.

But by changing my mentality and thinking positive, it set me up to be successful with my financial goals and kept me motivated.

How to shake your financial mentality in the right direction

  1. Get angry, but not at others. Get angry at your current financial situation. Of course, I don’t mean start punching walls and breaking things. Instead, get mad at your finances and realize it’s time to make changes. That emotion helped me wake up and start to take action.
  2. Don’t compare yourself to others. a few weeks ago, but if you are just starting your journey, don’t compare yourself to what others have. It can lead to frustration and may discourage you from your goals. Stay focused on your own path and get the discouragement out of your head.
  3. Realize your negativity is a choice. You are not born being negative, it is an attitude you develop over time. And because it’s a choice, you also can control it and change it. Heck, I still say negative things from time to time myself. It’s not always easy to break a bad habit. Throughout your financial journey, write down some positive things you are doing or some good things about your current situation. You can do this monthly, quarterly, or yearly. But it can help you see the good in what you are doing, but there is guaranteed to be at least something positive within your finances.

The point of this all was to say, your mentality has a big factor in how you save and the success you can have with your finances. A high income can help, but having the right mindset is what will make the biggest and immediate impact.

A version of this post was previously published on InvestedWallet and is republished here with permission from the author.

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