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Master Your Money Mindset

By Sarah Carlson, CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®

I have always been fascinated by the connections between money and emotions.

I believe a healthy money mindset is true wealth. I think true wealth is knowing I can do anything I wish today. My financial life should allow me control over my time.

In 1910, Angus Campbell, a well-known social psychologist at the University of Michigan, theorized what makes people financially happy is a sense of well-being. A strong sense of self means having control over one's life. Over 100 years later, this is still true. Doing what you want, when you want to do it with the people you want to be with, now that is true wealth.

A healthy mindset matters and knows what your "enough" is. How to feel like you are enough is easier said than done because as humans we seek to avoid pain and seek pleasure.

We are wired for survival. When we feel threatened, motivation is primal. As we move "up" Maslow's hierarchy of needs, we transition from basic needs towards self-actualization through the gateway of self-awareness.

  1. At the foundation of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, we are driven by survival (i.e., fight or flight mode). In Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs this stage is focused on pure survival and is physiological.
  2. In the next stage of Maslow's hierarchy, we are driven by reward and punishment (i.e., carrot and stick mode). This reward stage is focused on our need for belonging and social connection.
  3. At the upper stages, we are driven by our desire to learn, create, and better the world (i.e., self-motivated mode). In Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs this stage is focused on self-esteem and self-actualization; this stage has an emphasis on status.

Master your money mindset and watch your financial future grow


Our team of Spokane financial advisors know that motivation is the core to understanding what we do and why, especially with money. When understanding the basis for your actions can be harnessed, it can help you pause and choose to act in alignment with your desires. However, like trust and values, we know motivation matters and often struggle to identify our motivational levers.

Are you buying things to impress people you don't even know and don't care about? If you find you do or have done this, do you ever ask yourself, "why?"  I invite you to explore the journey of your motivation behind your money mindset. Consider getting fit, financially fit. It is a journey to" inner size," not just exercise. It's time to explore what is your "enough" and why does it motivate you.

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Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.