Five surprising habits for creating wealth


While money IQ focuses on the logical and practical aspects of money, our money EQ is all about our subconscious decision making.
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With the new year upon us, you are probably starting to think about what you want to achieve in the year ahead. When it comes to setting financial goals, we often focus on our money IQ – learning about investing, getting better at budgeting, paying down debt and so on. The practical sides of money.

However, considering that we often lack the consistent follow through with our money goals, perhaps this year it is time to take a different approach and consider the other half of the equation – your money EQ.

While money IQ focuses on the logical and practical aspects of money, our money EQ is all about our subconscious decision making. It is an important part of our psychology that shouldn’t be overlooked – especially considering that we are creatures of habit, who often make decision based on emotion rather than logic.

So if you are ready to do something different this year to increase the odds of your success, here are 5 simple habits that, practiced regularly, will make it far easier to kick your money goals.


Whether you call it visualisation or daydreaming, make the time every day to think about your goals and ideal lifestyle. Completely immerse yourself in your desired reality. Imagine how it feels to have achieved your goal? What does your life look like? (You can explore everything here – where you live, where you work, how you spend your free time, etc).

Visualisation activates your brain’s reticular activating system (known as RAS), which is tasked with filtering out unnecessary information. The more relevant and important something is to you, the more you think about it, the more your brain will focus on finding it. The clearer you are on what you are working towards, the easier it will be for your mind to spot opportunities to create it. And it works! A study by the Financial Planning Association discovered that four in five financially successful Australians often or always dream about their future[1].


When it comes to growing your money, mindfulness is a crucial habit because it will help you to be more intentional and less reactive. It can also help you to manage financial stress and anxiety by taking your mind away from an imagined outcome (that may not even happen) and bringing you back to the safety and control of the present moment.

While mindfulness can be practiced in a few different ways, at its core it is all about learning to slow down and observe. Notice your emotions as they pop up during the course of your day. Notice any expressions you have about money. Get curious about the response that they trigger for you, and the decisions that you make as a result. The more self-awareness you bring to the micro decisions you make every day, the better aligned your actions will be to your goals.


Gratitude is arguably the best antidote to the incessant marketing conditioning us to want, want, want. If you regularly use social media you are most likely bombarded by other people’s seemingly perfect lifestyles (aka the highlight reel). This can make us feel inadequate, cause us to pursue other people’s goals that aren’t aligned with our values (they renovated their house, I should too), or overspend in an effort to play catch up.

A daily gratitude practice is a practice in running your own best race. Taking the time to truly appreciate all the positives that you already have in life, all the things you have going for you, all the love and support around you, will improve your self-confidence and sense of worth. The happier you are, the more connected you feel to yourself and those around you, the more likely you are to make financial decisions based on your needs and not other people’s opinions.


Have you ever made a decision you have come to regret, that you can’t seem to let go of? Ever say to yourself “if only I hadn’t done that I would be in a better position now”? What about when it comes to others? Do you find yourself hanging on to hurt from the past in an effort to protect yourself from being hurt again?

We often think that holding on to these memories and experiences will help to protect us from making the same mistakes again in the future, but the reality is that by holding on and continuing to relive them, we are draining our energy. The energy that we spend holding a grudge (against ourselves or someone else) is energy that could be spent creating a better future. So when you notice yourself hanging on to a past experience try to release the pain, anger or sadness by practicing compassion. This means changing the negative narrative about why this event took place by finding the positive or the lesson from it and considering other perspectives. Remember, forgiving someone doesn’t mean you condone what they did. It simply frees you from having to carry that emotional burden, so you can spend your energy focusing on bigger and better things!

Deep Breathing

When is the last time you remember taking a proper, deep, breath? In a modern, fast paced society, most of us have gotten in the habit of taking shallow, hurried breaths. Taking deep breaths that fill our lungs is no longer a habit for many. The challenge here is that shallow breathing keeps your body in a stress response state, which can have a series of knock-on effects on your health and, in turn, your finances – whether you end up spending money on retail therapy, comfort food, alcohol or medical bills. Research has also found that stress reduces our ability to problem solve and make good decisions. On the other hand, breathing in slowly through the nose has been found to improve cognitive function and reduce stress levels[2]. So next time you notice yourself feeling stressed, pause for a minute and focus on your breath. If you want to be more consistent with this practice, you can incorporate it into your daily mindfulness or meditation practice, or at the end of each day.

Natasha Janssens is a Certified Money Coach (CMC), author and founder of Women with Cents.

[1] FPA ‘Live the Dream’ 2017 National Research Report,

[2] Journal of Neuroscience 7 December 2016, 36 (49) 12448-12467 “Nasal Respiration Entrains Human Limbic Oscillations and Modulates Cognitive Function”