TikToker Samantha Bird (@samanthabirdshiloh) is a parent and financial coach who helps viewers manage their money by having an abundance-focused mindset. In one of Bird’s videos, she discusses better alternatives to the common phrase, “We can’t afford that,” and it’s an excellent approach for positively reframing attitudes towards budgeting and saving money.
She avoids saying, “We can’t afford that,” as that phrasing “emphasizes a fixed mindset,” explaining that when someone says that something can’t be done, it mentally shuts down present and future opportunities.
Bird notes that the phrase also has a “passive connotation,” meaning that “money becomes the master of you,” as opposed to a tool that one can use, master, and grow.
For positive substitutes to “We can’t afford that,” Bird recommends saying something like, “This costs more than I want to spend right now,” as it teaches kids self-control.
She also recommends saying, “That toy is really cool. Let’s save up for that,” which shows children that when they want something, they have the power to make it happen.
Bird closes the video with her personal favorite phrase, “We have other priorities with our money right now, and we love our family enough to take care of those priorities first.”
Many viewers appreciated Bird’s advice and took to the comments to share other alternatives to “We can’t afford that.”
“Excellent, your message is so powerful for future generations, and it changes [the] mindset in many situations. Thank you,” complimented one user.
“Yes! I adopted ‘That’s not in the budget right now,’ personally,” one TikToker shared.
“Yes, I agree. I also say, ‘We don’t need that.’ Teaching minimalism is important too,” chimed in another viewer.
When it comes to money or any subject, language can profoundly impact people’s perspectives.
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