Is the Media Helping or Hindering Your Money Mindset?
Smart Money
Julie Bawden Davis
Nov 14, 2018

Your money mindset—those often subconscious beliefs surrounding money—profoundly affect your relationship with money. That mindset drives how and why and when you spend. Those beliefs also tend to affect how much or how little you have in your bank account.

If you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck, or can’t seem to save enough to fulfill your dreams, it might have something to do with your money mindset. Of course, you want your beliefs about money to invite prosperity, but some influences, such as the media, can block your flow of abundance.

“Often, the ‘perfect life’ that people share in their social feeds doesn’t align to reality, and that can lead to busted budgets,” says Jeff Fromm, president of Futurecast and author of Marketing to Gen Z: The Rules for Reaching This Vast—and Very Different—Generation of Influencers.

“In general, we live in an experience economy, and modern consumers often want more and spend more than they should to take in all that life has to offer,” says Fromm.

Shakira Brown agrees. She is a branding, media and communications strategist and CEO of SMB Strategic Media LLC.

“Millennials and Gen Z have grown up with direct access to the lifestyles of the rich and famous via their constantly posting images and videos of living in excess,” says Brown. “However, reality is sobering for many young adults often forced to accept low salary jobs and saddled with undergraduate student loan debt that rivals the cost of a luxury car.”

So how do you reprogram you money mindset for abundance and leave behind the detrimental broken record of scarcity thinking?


The old-school “glass half-full” analogy is still viable.

“Since the exposure and tone of media messages aren’t likely to change any time soon, it behooves Millennials and Gen Z consumers to instead focus on what you want, rather than what you don’t have,” says Brown. “Rather than getting down about how far you have to go financially, look at how far you’ve come.”

Seek out positive experts and role models

Follow inspirational money management gurus and motivational figures in the media instead of celebrities, social influencers and well-off friends, suggests Brown. “This allows you to shift your focus to informative news and motivational guidance that helps you strategize about how to reach your desired financial goals.”

Gen Z and Millennials Can Learn from Each Other

Each generation has a different set of values that directly affects money mindset. That means they can learn from one another, says Maria Bailey, author of Millennial Moms: 202 Facts Marketers Need to Know to Build Brands and Drive Sales.

“One of the greatest differences between Millennials (born 1977-1995) and Gen Z (born 1996-2012) is that the Millennial is a futurist and the Gen Z is a realist,” says Bailey.

The Millennial generation has embraced technology and harnessed it to improve quality of life. This generation also tends to be socially aware and invented the concept of work-life balance.

“Generation Z, on the other hand, consists of old souls in young bodies,” says Fromm. “They are true digital natives, yet they also believe in hard work and saving for the future.”

Of all generations, Generation Z is most likely to tune out media influences," believes Bailey.

“Members of Gen Z will filter through media messages that block abundant thinking, much like they use filters for social media photos,” she says. “They may hear the limiting messages, but decide they don’t pertain to their lives. Instead, they shift their mindset to creative, innovative ways to make their dollars go further.”

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