Is Your Financial Mindset About Prosperity—Or Lack?

Is your financial mindset one of prosperity–or lack?

This is an important question, particularly as we rapidly approach the threshold of a brand new year, because how you manage your finances is a function of how you think and feel about your relationship with money and wealth. I say it often here on my blog for Black Enterprise and I’ll keep saying it: If you can’t change your mind, you won’t change your money.

Your financial mindset matters, because it shapes your financial habits and the outcomes they produce. Authors, experts, scholars and financial educators who study, research and teach about wealth, ranging from Dr. Dennis Kimbro and Sabrina Lamb to Hill Harper and Robert Kiyosaki, agree on this.

For example, in her book, Do I Look Like An ATM?: A Guide to Raising Financially Responsible African American Children, Lamb–also the founder and CEO of, a non-profit financial education program for youth–identifies the thought patterns and behaviors of those with a financial mindset of prosperity, as compared with that of those with a mindset of lack:

The prosperous financial mindset focuses on earning, saving, investing and donating. A mindset of lack is focused on earning, rarely saving or investing and almost never donating.

The prosperous take full responsibility for their own financial circumstances; a mindset of lack avoids or takes no responsibility for their financial situations.

The prosperous focus on spending less than they earn; the lack mindset accepts spending more than is earned.

The prosperous frequently ask, “How can I earn?”; the lack mindset asks, “Can I have?”

A prosperity mindset expects to pay for goods and services. A mindset of lack actively expects and prefers goods and services that are free or provided at no cost to them. [Note: See “Why I Hate The Hookup.”]

Those with a prosperity mindset joyfully pay for goods and services. The lack mindset challenges and resents businesses and service providers who charge for their goods and services.

Those with a prosperity mindset will only earn money positively. The lack mindset might be okay with earning money negatively.

The prosperity mindset uses words like “successful” and “prosperous.” The lack mindset vocabulary frequently includes words such as “poor,” “free,” “hard times,” and “don’t have.”

Whether you agree or disagree with Lamb’s mindset-comparison model, how you think and feel about money does impact how you handle (or mishandle) your money. Your financial mindset, and your willingness to change it, is a key factor in your ability to make better decisions in order to set and achieve your financial goals.

Black Enterprise Executive Editor-At-Large Alfred Edmond Jr. is an award-winning business and financial journalist, media executive, entrepreneurship expert,  personal growth/relationships coach, and co-founder of Grown Zone, a multimedia initiative focused on personal growth and healthy decision-making. This blog is dedicated to his thoughts about money, entrepreneurship, leadership and mentorship. Follow him on Twitter at @AlfredEdmondJr.