Teen boy in front of purple background forming a money mindset by learning with the Greenlight app

Jul 19, 2022

How to form a positive money mindset — and reach your financial goals

Intern Ella Gupta is a Greenlight ambassador and financial literacy author. Ella published a book for teens about personal finance as a sophomore in high school. In this blog post, she shares the importance of having a money mindset to build wealth and become financially free.

By Ella Gupta

At the end of the day, reaching your financial goals often doesn’t come down to complex strategies — it comes down to your behavior. That’s why understanding the psychology of money is powerful. Today we’re going to bust some common money myths we've heard from young people. Don't let these limiting beliefs hold you back. With a positive attitude, you can start now building the future you want.

1. I’m young — I can start later.

As a young kid or teen, time is priceless and your biggest advantage. In fact, you shouldn’t wait to build healthy financial habits. With investing, for example, time is your BFF (best financial friend). The earlier you start investing, the more potential your money has to grow.

The same goes for building credit. Your credit score is a three-digit number that reflects your creditworthiness, or how likely you are to repay debt. Your credit history influences it. It’s important to start creating a positive pattern in your credit history early so that when prospective lenders or employers look at your credit score, you’re in good shape.

2. I’m not good at math.

Good news: You don’t need to be a math whiz to make smart financial decisions. All you need is a bit of adding, subtracting and multiplication savvy.

We tend to spend a lot more time deliberating over whether to purchase a more expensive item, such as a new iPad. But little things add up, as we can discover with a bit of multiplication. For example, if you purchase four $5 smoothies weekly, you’re spending $20 per week or $1,040 per year! Imagine what you could purchase with that money instead. Perhaps a new computer?

Teen boy smiling at equation of Greenlight plus time equals strong money mindset and financial freedom

3. I don’t have enough money.

With the smoothie example, we saw how seemingly small purchases compound and make a large impact. Let’s look at a real-life example. You could learn to invest your money in your Greenlight app — start small with fractional shares as little as $1. Of course, you don’t need to give up the things you love to reach your money goals. If you cut out one smoothie per week, you would save $260 over year — more than enough to buy a pair of AirPods. This concept is known as opportunity cost.

Opportunity cost refers to the alternative you give up when you make a decision. Take food for example. You’re in between a burger and a salad. Opting for a burger means missing out on the nutrients and vitamins in the salad; opting for a salad means missing out on the juicy burger you’re craving.

Take it into the world of money. When you frequently make small, mindless purchases instead of saving and investing, you could be missing out on an even greater potential gain down the road. Every dollar adds up and brings you closer to your financial goals. Prioritization is key. Budgeting can help here, too. Making a plan for your money can help you make smarter decisions so you have enough for the things you need.

4. You have to work really hard to get money.

Once you have a little money, you can actually make your money work hard for you by investing it! When you invest, your money can make money. With a smart strategy, you can sit back and relax while your money grows to provide financial security. And there are multiple ways to earn money in the first place, like some of these side hustles.

5. I don’t have control over my financial circumstances.

That’s what Greenlight is for. With Greenlight, you can set Savings Goals and learn to invest. You are in charge of your money. Every day, you have the power to take steps that will move the needle toward financial security. Putting your Greenlight app to work is a great place to start learning about money.

Now that you know how to put your brain (and dollars) to work, see how you can use Greenlight to start owning your financial future.

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