Mindset, money, and turning 40

I believe that getting older is one of those mindset shifts that you can choose to react to one way or the other.  I think that about money mindsets too….but more on that in a minute. You can choose to act old, be old, or assign your youthfulness to a particular decade OR you can live life to the fullest regardless of the number of candles on your cake.

You guys.  I’m having a big ‘ol birthday this week.  The big 4-0.

Selfie, no filter! 😉

Believe it or not, I’m actually looking forward to turning 40. Not because my hubby has a fun surprise weekend in store for me – but this next decade feels like a big freaking deal.

The lines on my face are catching up with the date of birth on my driver’s license. Hmm…I should use more cream.  But nevertheless, I’m embracing this decade. I know some stuff, for real.  I mean, I thought I did for the longest time – but now, it’s legit. And I don’t care who likes me, and who doesn’t. I’m not everyone’s cup of tea and I’m totally cool with that. I mean, mostly.  

Let’s break down the word mindset for a minute.

A mindset refers to whether you believe qualities such as intelligence and talent are fixed or changeable traits. … Those with a growth mindset, on the other hand, believe that these abilities can be developed and strengthened by way of commitment and hard work.  Credit: Verywellminded.com 

As I embrace this big birthday of mine, I’ve been reflecting on my mindset and will share with you 40 things that I have appreciated about the first 4 decades of my life, that have helped shaped my growth mindset.

Age 0-9

  • Eating whatever I wanted. Can you tell them I’m watching my calories right now?  Food made the absolute top of this list.  Those were the days, right – metabolisms were high!
  • Naive bliss. Ah, I wanted for little and didn’t even know it.  The ability as children to just be is such a gift.
  • Pony rides. Y’all I had a pony, and although that pony didn’t love me near as much as I loved her I enjoyed rides to the mailbox in the pony cart on the regular.
  • Being older. I was the oldest sibling in my family.  Shocker, right?!  Getting the responsibility of being in charge has been a birthright.
  • Cousins. They really are our first friends. I was lucky enough to live close to many of mine and was close in age to several, we got into trouble together instead of separately.
  • Elementary school. Especially this year more than most I’ve appreciated my ‘regular’ elementary school experience.  Bus rides. Playgrounds. Classroom learning.
  • Trampoline. Part exercise, part play toy. My siblings and cousins would spend hours perfecting our flip, playing silly games and sometimes sleeping under the stars….with nothing to keep us from flying off the side.
  • Church Camp. Each summer I’d get to spend a week away with some friends at church camp; meeting Jesus and working through being home sick with the help of a toll free number to call my parents to check in and share the details of the snack shack that compensated for the crummy food we were fed.
  • Graham crackers frosting cookies. My Mom made cookies on the regular, and my favorites were the kind that didn’t need any making at all – chocolate frosting sandwiched between two graham crackers was a treat.
  • Imagination. I built myself a city in the woods; it was complete with a bank, jail, school and grocery store – each little part of the driveway had a place in my little town, and I would ride my bike around town for hours lost in my own imagination.
1984Check out the Polaroid, the bangs, the velvet dress and those Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls my great grandma made me.

Age 10-19

  • Loving parents. I had varying bouts of appreciating my parents in this decade.  My parents worked hard for what they had, and instilled a strong work ethic with my siblings and myself living and working on a farm.  They loved us, I was always certain.
  • Aunts. I have some really incredible Aunties. They bought sparkly polish for my toes, spent 1×1 with time with us, and shared opportunities for girl talk that was always special.
  • Driving. I learned to drive in the middle of winter, after dark in an old red pickup truck stuck in 2nd gear with instructions not to let it die.  It was all downhill after that.
  • Working. Anxious to get off the farm I was appreciative of earning a few bucks of my own and got my first W-2 at 15 from the Country Cafe from working Taco Tuesdays.
  • Independence. Yes! Always anxious to exercise my independence I had the opportunity to do so, and stretch it often – in more ways than I may ever share with the parental unit even now.
  • Sports. Team sports! So beneficial for friendship making, camaraderie and shared goals.  Although that independent streak in me, had me putting all my energy into track and field over my poor aim with basketball.
  • Brother. At the ripe old age of 14 my baby brother was brought into this world. Being a cool older sister that would treat him every moment I got and teach him most often…what not to do over the first several years of his life. 
  • Donuts. You know those little Hostess donuts, 6 in pack?  White powdered or chocolate covered – I could eat this as a breakfast item and still button my LEI jeans.
  • Crop tops. Worn underneath a sweatshirt until leaving the house, I had the abs to flaunt them and just not enough occasion to wear them.  Boy, did I take that flat belly for granted.
  • Good teachers.  There were teachers in my teens that were top notch.  Ones that I truly learned from that broadened my understanding and not only taught me, but cared for me genuinely. 
1999? 2000 maybe? My little brother and myself…sporting a sweatshirt that was 3 sizes too big it looks like.

Age 20-29

  • Sisters. Finally, I began to appreciate my little sisters! They transitioned from being nuisances that ratted on me, to my best friends in this decade.
  • Tenacity. Never willing to be a victim of my circumstances or choices I learned to be tenacious and go after what was important to me.
  • College. Broadening horizons, a few bad habits, and an extra dose of reality and independence with a side of education.
  • Lack of social media. Thank heavens.  The stupid $#%@ that would be popping up on my ‘on this day’ Facebook memories from 20 years ago.  
  • True love. I met and married a man that loves me wholly and matches my wit and determination like no other.
  • Vacation. Ah, the joy of a well deserved vacation. Earning it, planning for it, and experiencing new adventures sparked my desire to always be on a journey to learning.
  • Providence. I started my career with Prov at the youthful age of 20, still finishing college full time while working full time. 
  • Beach trips. My mid twenties were a bit of a rough patch, and as a means to find some relief my Mom and sisters and I went for a weekend to the beach, and started a tradition that I look forward to the moment we return each year.
  • Good food. My tastebuds were slow to develop much like the rest of my body, and an appreciation for new and different foods was welcome.
  • Mom. Becoming a mother instantly gives you more appreciation for your own.  Having the ability to call my Mom for advice from rashes to irrational arguments has been a gift.
2007: Picture from our honeymoon in Jamaica with our digital camera.

Age 30-39

  • Self Reflection. Taking the time to truly pause and reflect on what is and is not working, and the role I play in that sometimes messy heap has given me the ability to pivot and embrace change when needed, always for the better. 
  • Motherhood. Being a Mom is such a great gig; having the responsibility of raising two girls and being blessed with their growing and glowing personalities is a daily appreciation.
  • Friendship. Truly valuing friends that are doing part of life with you and allow you to come as you are is such a treasure.  Appreciating a wide variety of interests and varying friendships make adulting so much easier.
  • Fitness. Exercise is so much more than trimming the fat; it has made me not only appreciate what my body can do but also the support of community and mental wellness.
  • Jesus.  Growing in relationship over religion with my Creator, and looking to learn more of who He is helps me to lean into who I’m commissioned to be.
  • Long game. Living for the future over the present allowed my husband and I to grow our financial net worth and change our legacy.
  • Investment. Learning the value of investing in others to help support your endeavors; the freedom to not DIY everything – yes, please!
  • Sister in Laws. I have two incredible SIL, and find that my relationship with them grows deeper each year.  Bonus sisters!
  • Nutrition. Those mini Hostess donuts caught up with me back in my mid-twenties and I finally did something about it by focusing on sustainable lifestyle changes over diet.  I now have a healthy appreciation for proper nutrition.
  • Coaching. Transitioning my leadership skills into a side by side coaching role to support others on their financial journey has been a realization of a dream come true, that I didn’t even know I had.
2018: Family trip to Disneyworld.

Oh, the opportunities that await me in this next decade! Let’s turn the focus away from me and my 40 year old memories for a minute and talk about you and your money mindset.

Yep, you knew it was coming – we’re circling around to finances.

You can choose to believe that your set of circumstances can’t or won’t change.  That crappy job you have that gives menial raises is as good as it gets. That the cards you were dealt are the cards you have to live with.  The expenses that you have are the ones you’re stuck with, and building wealth is simply a dream more than a reality. That the education you received about money was limited and therefore your progress with it is too.


You can choose to change your circumstances.  You can hustle and find new ways to earn and income or improve your career choice.  You play your cards and get dealt a new hand.  The way you manage your money can take a turn for the better and that your dreams can become a reality.  You can choose to get better with your money management at any stage of the game – I don’t care if you’re 17 or 77 or 40.

My birthday wish?  For you to have a mindset with your money that has you playing the hero not the victim.

I’m going to go blow out the candles on my birthday cake and embrace the hell out of turning 40.

Thank you for joining me on my my journey to influence.

Sarah is a Ramsey Preferred Coach
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