The Magic of the Gold Card: Understanding the Superpower of Money Mindset was originally published in Mompreneurs® magazine.
I can still recall the first time I witnessed my mom using her magic gold card. I was 7 years old, standing at the checkout of the grocery store with my mom. As the cashier told her the amount due, my mom whipped out a beautiful shiny plastic gold card and handed it to the cashier. She signed her name, and we were free to go.
I remember thinking, “WOW! My mom has a superpower.” How does she do that? There was no exchange of money for our cart full of groceries, just a wave of my mom’s magical gold card. I remember thinking to myself, “Okay, Sara, you just need to learn how to sign her name and the magic of the gold card can be yours too.”
The problem with gold cards
As I grew older, however, my mom taught me the truth about money and finances. She told me that magic gold cards are not magic at all, that you get a bill every month and have to pay it. Her words were like kryptonite. I couldn’t believe that this superpower I had envisioned inheriting one day isn’t a superpower at all. The real superpower is the superpower of money mindset!
Fast forward 25+ years. As a mom to four boys, I began noticing that my children were now looking at me with my beautiful, magical black card. I started to wonder if they thought I had a purchasing superpower. I asked them what their thoughts were about my credit cards, and it was exactly what I thought when I was younger.
Changing your money mindset
This reoccurring thought pattern had to change. I told them that I would be their credit card. They can make purchases through me, but they would have to pay off the purchase within 21 days. If they didn’t pay the amount in full within the 21 days, then there would be a 20% interest added to the total amount charged.
They were ecstatic until day 22. I remember one son purchased a $50 item and had a $20 balance owing at the end of day 22. I told him his new balance was now $30 because I had to add a $10 interest charge. He was not happy. My son called me a con artist, a ripper-offer and informed me that I was stealing from him.
I explained that this was the way credit card companies worked. They don’t pardon a purchase, and they certainly don’t forgive you for paying late. I explained that, in fact, if you don’t pay your credit card bill monthly, it can affect your credit score, which in turn affects your future buying power.
At this moment, I knew that I was being a bit harsh, and the look in his eyes told me so. The lesson had been learned, but there was still some fundamental teachings to learn along the way. I decided to share the following five important tips with my sons.
Money Mindset Tips
- If you want to spend money, you must earn it, make it, create it or receive it as a gift.
- There is a stronger sense of accomplishment when you earn money, not when you spend money.
- Always save 25% of every dollar you receive, including the money you receive on your birthday.
- Credit cards are not evil, nor are they magical. You need to respect them and use them to your advantage.
- Remember the feeling when you make a purchase. Is it an instant feeling of gratification, followed by resenting the purchase? This will help you recognize when you are purchasing something you probably don’t want or need. Meaning that you are using your buying power as a soother for something else in your life.
I learned that I truly do have a superpower. I can shape the reality my children have on money, prior to them entering the real world of finances. Maybe then my sons will shape the way their own children view finances as well. Maybe, just maybe, I changed the future history of the money mindset for my family’s generations to come.
Want to gain better clarity on your money and work on your money mindset? Then click here to learn how you can take a deep dive with Sara!