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11 Money Mindset Myths You Need to Know

Author: NeuroGym Team | September 16, 2016


What thoughts or emotions does that word stir up?

Are they positive or negative?

Your relationship with money will always define how much you have.

Do you get excited about earning more? Or do you dread thinking about it?

Maybe you don’t understand why you have a hard time getting it. Or maybe you get it, but you can’t make it stick around? 


I bet you’ve heard (or come up with) dozens of excuses for the rift; like these perhaps:

  • “Me and money? Yeah, we’re fine. We’re just going through a rough patch.”
  • “It was a timing thing… it just wasn’t the right time for us.”
  • “It’s not a trust issue… I just don’t want to put my money in a compromising position…
  • “I mean, no relationship is perfect… it could be so much worse – I’m actually pretty
  • lucky.”
  • “I’m fine alone. It’s not like I need money…”

Or, my favorite:

  • “I just don’t want to ruin what we have by asking too much…we’re finally doing ‘ok’ now, and I don’t want to mess that up by taking a risk.”


These are all ridiculous things to say to yourself.

What advice would you give your best friend if she described her relationship like that?

With people, those excuses are probably signs of an impending breakup. But money is different.

It’s like your parents. You can’t run along and find a new pair. If you decide to dump money, you’ll have a hard time finding a substitute… People don’t accept cows for house payments anymore.

Instead, it’s up to you to end the clash with the cash… stop the row with the dough…quell the brouhaha with the moolah… You get the picture.

Make up with money.

Until you fix your mindset around money, here’s the sad truth:

Money’s just not that into you.

If you’ve gotten this far, and you’re still not sure what the problem is, here are 11 common myths. Maybe you identify with one or two of these. 

1. Money is the root of all evil

Ok, first of all, that idea began from a quote from the bible. And it actually said that the love of money is the root of evil.

Money is neutral. It’s a tool. It can be used for good, like building schools, or for evil, like funding destructive wars.

2. Money can’t buy happiness 

When you hear that phrase, do you imagine someone sitting all alone, in a massive mansion, with nothing but paper bills to keep them company? That probably isn’t conducive to happiness.

But what about autonomy? Independence? The joy of giving someone the perfect gift? Those things are pretty swell. And none are possible without money. Paper bill won’t make you happy. But the ability to make your choices, help people less fortunate, and surprise your best friend with an all-expenses-paid vacation to Costa Rica? That sounds pretty happy.

Also Dr. Oswald at the University of Warwick did a longitudinal study of 9,000 families. Apparently, getting more money does make you more happy.

3. The only way to earn money is to take it from someone else

If that was true, it would be impossible for the GDP to increase. There’s a lot more wealth in the world today, than there was 100 years ago.

That’s because wealth is created as a byproduct of value (or perceived value). 

4. A penny saved is a penny earned

 If you go to a secret bank that offers 20% interest, paid out quarterly — this is true. If you put $500 in, a year later you’ve doubled your investment. Nice.

Assuming you live in modern America, that’s about as likely as planting a money tree and harvesting $100s.

If you use your money to buy assets, or invest in yourself, your money will work for you.

The Business Insider mentions millionaire mindsets — the first point in the article is the idea of hoarding your wealth vs trying to grow it… (I bet you can guess which is better for you).

5. Money is hard to come by

Have you heard of a concept called the “self-fulfilling prophecy?” It’s the idea that once you make a prediction, you’ll act to make it true. Sometimes that happens subconsciously.

If you think it’s difficult to make money, you’ve probably experienced some difficult times along the way.

This article by Psychology Today explains why self-efficacy is so important for success.

6. You have to take big risks to earn a lot

 Robert Kiyosaki, the author of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” sums it up best:

“In today’s economy, it’s much more risky to rely on your employer for your well being than it is to become financially educated and to invest your money wisely. It’s also risky to put your money in the bank and collect interest that barely covers inflation”

7. Having “too much” money makes you greedy

This kind of piggybacks on number 1 (money = evil). Since money is inherently neutral, who’s to say there is such a thing as too much?

For example, a handful of tech billionaires committed to something called the “Giving Pledge,” (initially started in 2010 by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet). By signing, they committed to donate most of their wealth to a cause of their choosing. Most of a billion dollars is at least $500,000,000.

That’s a lot.

These are all people who have loads of money. They could fill swimming pools with hundred dollar bills and take some obnoxious instagram photos. Instead, they’re passionate about helping people who are less fortunate.

Bottom line: greed and money don’t have to go hand in hand.

8. I don’t know have the skillsets to make more/lots 

First of all, that’s just vague. The skills one person has are not the skills someone else uses to make money.

What are your talents and skills? There has to be something you’re good at, that other people can appreciate.

Ramit Sethi does such a good job of dispelling this myth, I think he should be the one to explain it.

9. I don’t have time to make more money

We all use that excuse at some point. But deep down, we know it’s a lie. How we spend our time is a choice — you can find time for anything if you really want to.

Here’s a great article about the psychology of “i don’t have time.”

10. No one in my field of work makes a lot of money.

This seems to be especially prominent among artist types.  The whole “starving artist” thing is quite romantic. But here’s another thought — what if you’re just not finding the people who really value your work?

Everything from art, to accounting, to butchering can be profitable — if you find the right prospects.

If you open a butcher shop in a neighborhood known for its emphasis on quinoa bowls and vegan living, your odds aren’t great. If you take that same skill to a place where bacon is so popular people are making ice cream with it, you’re golden.

Whatever industry you work in, there’s probably a group of people who would love what you can do.

11. I don’t know how to make more money… I don’t even know where to start

 That may be true right now, but this isn’t so much a myth as an excuse. With information so widely available today, “I don’t know how” isn’t really acceptable.

Whether you’re a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner, there’s material out there. You just have to take the time to find and go through it.

All of these bad mindsets come from 2 main problems:

  1. Not understanding money and how it works.
  2. Having subconscious negative associations with the idea of money.

Whether you’re struggling with one, or both of these, you’re going to have a hard time with money til you remediate the mindset.

Just like a person, you’ve got to take the time to understand money, and build positive associations around it.

First, what is money?

It’s really just a representative of value. When you do something for someone, they give you money for your value. When someone does something for you, you compensate them for their value.

Here’s a quick video to explain the whole thing.

Once you understand money, it’s easier to like it. If it was a little mystical before, maybe your brain just felt uncomfortable with an unknown.

If the idea of money still gives you the heebie jeebies, maybe you don’t see the full picture yet.

There are tons of videos, and blogs, and even games that really explain money.

(It’s a good idea to consume some of these.)

Money-Mind Detox Time

Millionaires and billionaires didn’t get that way through luck alone. They took a lot of action. Most importantly though, they started with the right mindset . . . a growth mindset for success.

(This chart is great for showing the difference among wealthy, middle class, and impoverished people, and how they think about money.)

It really bugs us when people earn less than their potential. That’s why we combined money and neuroscience, to make an event called the “Brain-a-Thon.” This Saturday,  learn evidence-based tactics to re-train your brain and shatter your financial glass ceiling.

Sign up today to give your brain a financial detox. You won’t believe how great it feels to have a healthy money mindset.


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About The Author

NeuroGym Team

NeuroGym Team: NeuroGym’s Team of experts consists of neuroscientists, researchers, and staff who are enthusiasts in their fields. The team is committed to making a difference in the lives of others by sharing the latest scientific findings to help you change your life by understanding and using the mindset, skill set and action set to change your brain.

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