Have you listened to some of the money advice from some of the financial “gurus” out there? There is a lot of money advice being put forth from a growing number of financial teachers, writers, “gurus”, etc. about everything from stocks and bonds, to frugality, green investing, couponing, and any number of niches.
When you become exposed to this constant barrage of financial information that comes streaming forth every day, it’s very easy to start noticing a common theme that’s put forth on a regular basis from many of these sources.
That theme is the theme of “scarcity”.
So many money experts, especially during these times of economic upheaval, recession, and job loss, communicate from the perspective of cutting back on expenses such as eating out, cable TV, coffee drinks, and designer clothes.
That CAN be a good place to start if you’re struggling financially and something you definitely should do if you’re spending too much on those things, not being able to make ends meet. Even the Bible says that we should use our money wisely and take close account of it so it’s not wasted.
“The plan of the diligent leads surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.”
But is cutting back the only way?
I don’t think so.
Cutting waste out of your budget will help your financial situation when there is a lot of waste going on, but it can only help to a limited degree.
It is very wise to get rid of those things that add little or no value to your life, those things that cause more burden than they do joy. You know what they are in your life, and they’re different for everybody.
But when you do too much of that, you begin to limit yourself. You’re limited because you can only cut so much, and when you get to that point where you’ve cut so much that it saps the joy out of becoming debt free, then the cost cutting ends up becoming more of a burden than a help.
That kind of cost cutting is psychologically unsustainable over the long term and can cause you to fail at your goal of becoming debt free.
This mindset that says the only way you can succeed financially is by cutting back is what I call a “mindset of scarcity”.
The Scarcity Mindset
When you have a scarcity mindset, you acknowledge that you believe that there are only so many resources available to you, so you have to trudge along, doing what you can with what you have, believing you can save your way to wealth through cutting coupons and eating ramen noodles.
Don’t get me wrong, managing your finances well, minimizing waste, and saving are all good things, and are essential to being financially successful, but they work so much better when paired with the right mindset.
When you live with a scarcity mindset, you’re taking a defensive posture financially. You’re doing what you can to preserve and protect what you have, and maybe even increase it a little, because now you’re saving money you once wasted. But there is more, so much more out there for us that God wants us to have because He wants us to prosper in a huge way.
He doesn’t want you to have a scarcity mindset.
He wants more abundance for you than you can imagine, but imagine it you must if you want to participate in it.
In my next post I’ll talk about the mindset of abundance and why it makes such a difference to your financial situation to those that really “get it”.