Prioritizing Mindset Over High Income: Strategies to Truly Supercharge Your Savings

I have read a lot of personal finance articles where someone has shown how they’ve saved a large amount of money. I’ve read more articles about people who retired early, with six-figures or a million dollars saved up by mid-30s.

I have also seen the comments on the posts or social media. Of course, there are some positive comments and people who feel motivated.

What do you think I am most likely to see? Negativity, complaining and anger towards the subject matter.

Many people complain that it is impossible to save money with their current debts, salary and other circumstances.

Everyone has different circumstances that may make it harder for them to save money than others.

When I see these comments I almost want to physically pull them out of their keyboards to tell them to stop the attitude.

Luckily, these comments haven’t come my way (yet), since nobody reads Invested Wallet. But I’m certain it will.

Your mentality can boost your savings
It’s a common complaint that people have about their lack of income.

A common misconception is that in order to save a lot, you must have a high-income.

This is not true.

Do you need a higher salary to save more money? It can help, but do you really need it? Nope.

Listen to me. You may think I’m wrong, but you’d be wrong.

How many times have you heard or read about celebrities, millionaires and sports stars going bankrupt?

How can someone lose multi-million dollar deals in their career? Overspending, poor money management and bad investments are all part of the equation.

It just goes to show that a high salary is not always a guarantee of high savings.

You’ve probably heard of people who make less than $40k per year, but end up saving six figures or more by the time they retire.

This book, The Millionaire Next Door by John Grisham, contains even more details on this topic. I would highly recommend it.

How can someone earning a lower or average income boast of some impressive savings?

Mentality can be defined as an habitual or characteristic mental approach that influences how you interpret and react to situations. (Source).

Many people are held back by this, whether they know it or not.

Your attitude and mentality is what’s stopping your bank account and savings rate from reaching new heights.

Although I don’t know the circumstances of most commenters on those blog posts that I mentioned, I can tell a lot by their negativity and complaints.

If you are reading this article and you are guilty, I hope you will see what is possible.

Maybe you are now reading this article with an open-minded mind. You may still think that I am a liar.

It’s okay either way, and I was personally one of these commentators.

Although I did not leave a comment, I would certainly roll my eyes, and yell “Impossible!” in my head.

After four years of hardwork and changing my mindset, the results began to speak for themselves.

If I continued to be discouraged and negative about my financial situation, and thought it was impossible to save any money, I wouldn’t be in the comfortable financial position that I am now.

How can I increase my savings? How can I learn about investing? How can I increase my savings rate? How can I improve my career value? Checking my mentality would have made it impossible for me to achieve any of these goals.

This will be short.

In early 2014 I was earning about $36,000 per year.

This was after four years working since I graduated college. It wasn’t a very high income. I had to pay student loans, rent, a car loan and other bills. I had barely $1,000 in savings.

It was difficult to save money. Maybe $10-20 every so often. I felt trapped, like my career and financial challenges were going to go this way.

Just a few weeks before I was laid off that December, I had started to fix my finances.

I began to look at money in a different way, talking with friends who are more interested in finance. I learned about budgeting, investing, and where my money really went.

But I won’t sit here and brag that I am a millionaire. Heck, I haven’t even reached six figures yet. But I’m close.

In the four years that have passed, I’ve saved over $29k and added another $30K to my retirement account, all while paying off $50,000 of total debt. I only have 10% of the debt remaining.

Does the headline have a lot of excitement? Nope. What about some real progress? I think so.

I was able boost my salary a little, but I have never earned more than $45,000.

By changing my mindset and thinking positively, I was able to achieve my financial goals. It also kept me motivated.

Positive Finances
What to do when you have a bad financial mindset
Do not get angry at other people. Get angry at your current financial situation. However, this does not mean that you should start breaking things and punching walls. Get angry at your finances instead and realize that it’s time for changes. This emotion made me take action and wake up.
Do not compare yourself with others. If you’re just beginning your journey, I wrote about this in a recent blog post, but don’t make comparisons with what others have. This can lead to frustration, and discouragement from your goals. Keep your focus on your path and push away the negative thoughts.
Recognize that your negativity is something you choose. Negativity is not something you are born with, but rather an attitude that develops over time. Because it is a choice you can also control and change it. Heck, even I say negative things now and then. It is not always easy for someone to stop a bad habit. Write down positive things that you do or good things about your situation. This can be done monthly, quarterly or annually. It can help you to see the positive aspects of your financial situation.
This was all to show that your mentality is a major factor in your ability to save money and achieve financial success. The right mindset will have the greatest impact, not just a high income.