Earning more, investing and budgeting are all great personal finance advice but the mindset is probably the most important factor in saving money and becoming financially independent.

You may have all the tools and the practical knowledge on how to budget, where to invest, and how to create an emergency fund. And while these are all useful steps in becoming financially independent, they may not be enough.

So before even opening that savings account or taking up investments, take some time to think about your mindset when it comes to making and saving money. 

How do you feel about money?

Emotions play a great role in pretty much everything, money included. And more often than not, people have negative emotions related to money. That usually has very much to do with how they were raised and how the people they spent more time with felt about money. 

So how do you feel about money? Do you have feelings of shame, guilt or envy? Do you believe that having more money makes people more greedy? Or do you believe money can help do good? 

What did your parents tell you about money when you were a child? Think back to how you grew up and what kind of affirmations your family used when talking about money. Then reflect on how that made you feel about money.

What do you think of wealthy people?

Now think about your emotions towards other people. Whether they are friends or famous people, how do you feel about wealthy people? Do you envy them? Do you compare yourself to them? Or maybe you admire them?

Another aspect to keep in mind is whether you believe money changes people. And if it does, is it for the better or for the worse? Do you think that wealthy people are bad or corrupt? 

Finally, think about yourself and your beliefs toward your own ability to be wealthy. Do you think you deserve it? Do you think that you’d rather be poor than have money change you? Maybe you believe that because other people have changed in a negative way after becoming more wealthy, you would too.

Do you have an abundance mindset?

Put simply, having an abundance mindset means believing there is plenty of wealth for everybody. It also means embracing change and novelty, being happy for other people’s wealth, and being open to learning new things.

In his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey talks about abundance mentality. The concept is related to the win-win paradigm which leads back to the idea that there is enough for everybody and everyone can win. 

Adopting a positive mindset towards money will not make you wealthy. You will still need to put in the effort and take practical steps to achieve financial independence. But a negative mindset will slow you down.

So take some time to think about your mindset and to make some small changes in the way you feel about money, wealthy people, and about yourself.