Whether you realize it or not, the phrase “scared money don’t make money” impacts your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors with money. When it comes down to it, “scared money don’t make money” represents the difference between an abundance and scarcity mindset — two opposing mentalities that influence how we think and act with money.
So, how does the phrase “scared money don’t make money” relate to abundance and scarcity, and how can you transform your mindset from scarcity to abundance?
Where does “scared money don’t make money” come from?
“Scared money don’t make money” is a lyric from a Young Jeezy song called “Scared Money.” American football coach Billy Napier later popularized it after making a controversial decision during a September 2021 game.
In the last seconds of the first half of the game, Napier decided to bypass a field goal attempt on fourth down, going for a touchdown instead. The field goal would have been easy points for his team, but he decided to “go big or home” and risk coming away with nothing.
After the game, a reporter asked Napier why he decided to risk a touchdown instead of the safer field goal. Napier replied, “scared money don’t make money” — quoting the Jeezy song.
What does “scared money don’t make money” mean?
“Scared money don’t make money” means that to accomplish something worthwhile, you have to be willing to take risks and accept the consequences if it doesn’t work out. Essentially, it’s a modern version of the phrase “nothing ventured, nothing gained.”
In a sense, “scared money don’t make money” represents an abundance mindset. When you take action from a place of abundance, you see something as an opportunity that someone else may see as an unnecessary risk.
It’s important to note that “scared money don’t make money” isn’t a quote used to justify reckless actions. Napier later clarified that he had thoroughly analyzed the risky play beforehand — it was a calculated risk, not an impulsive decision.
Abundance vs scarcity mindset
Your mindset is a powerful tool that shapes your feelings, thoughts, and behaviors with money. Someone with a scarcity mindset is preoccupied with thoughts of lack that keep them stuck. On the other hand, someone with an abundance mentality believes the world is filled with possibilities.
An abundance mindset is about being open to opportunities and jumping on them when they present themselves. When you’re willing to take calculated risks, you’re functioning from a state of abundance instead of scarcity.
Someone with a scarcity mindset may play it small and take few risks in their life and with their money. Scarcity is being so focused on what you don’t have that you can’t see the opportunities right in front of you.
Here are a few examples of how someone with a scarcity or abundance mindset may think:
There’s never enough money
Money is hard to come by
If I lose money, I won’t ever get it back
There is always enough money
Money flows easily to me
Money comes and goes but always comes again
Financial behaviors of someone with a scarcity mindset may look like hoarding money and not investing because they are afraid of losing it. Someone coming from a place of scarcity believes if they lose money, they will never get it back.
Someone with an abundant money mindset understands the right balance between risk and reward and will take calculated risks. If they lose money, they know they can save up again. They have the mentality that “there’s always more where that came from.”
How to move from a scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset
Here are some tips to help you move from a scarcity to an abundance mindset.
Focus on what you have
If scarcity is an obsession with lack, it makes sense that focusing on what you do have is the antidote to this way of thinking. If you’re constantly dwelling on all of the things you have yet to accomplish, you will keep yourself stuck.
If you’re always focusing on what you don’t have, you may overlook opportunities when they present themselves. A scarcity mindset sees limits where abundance sees opportunities.
The key is to recognize the power of your thoughts to shape your reality. So next time you catch yourself thinking, “I’ll never be able to save enough money for retirement,” replace it with a thought such as “I can take steps to save money, and I trust myself to find a way.”
Practicing gratitude is one of the easiest ways to shift from a scarcity mentality to an abundance mindset. It takes focusing on what you have a step further by inviting you to feel grateful for all of the good things in your life.
There are many ways to start a gratitude practice. Start with a simple pen and paper, and write down three things you are grateful for every day. They don’t have to be big things; it can be as simple as waking up and getting to draw another breath.
Something that helps me is setting my alarm for the same time every morning, so I remember to write down what I’m grateful for as soon as I wake up. If I’m on the go and don’t have my journal with me, I write it down in the notes section of my phone instead. The key is to practice consistently to train your mind to focus on the good instead of the bad.
How did you learn to walk or tie your shoelaces when you were a child? By trying it over and over again until you were successful — repetition. That’s why affirmations are so helpful because they harness the power of repetition to help rewire your brain from scarcity to abundance.
If you repeat abundance affirmations daily, such as “I am open to limitless possibilities” and “I have everything I need to be successful,” you will start to see positive changes in your life. Even if you don’t believe what you’re saying at first, after a while, you will.
How to make your money work for you
Once you’ve shifted to an abundance mindset, here’s how to make your money work for you and not the other way around.
Pay yourself first
After you receive a paycheck and pay all of your bills, the next thing you should do is pay yourself. This means transferring money into a savings or investment account so your money can grow instead of spending your money on whatever you want and saving whatever is leftover.
If we don’t make saving money a priority, we’ll keep stalling and tell ourselves, “I’ll start saving next month.” You can escape this cycle by saving first then spending.
Something that helps many people is automating their savings so you can “set it and forget it.” You can even ask your employer to transfer a percentage of your paycheck into savings before the money gets to your checking account.
Grow your money
Investing is a big part of moving from a scarcity to an abundance mindset. Investing is all about finding the right balance of risk and reward and not being afraid to take calculated risks. Investing can mean buying stocks, bonds, real estate, cryptocurrencies, or other property that fluctuates in value.
No matter what you choose to invest in, always be sure to diversify your assets. Diversification is a fancy word that means don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. A mix of stocks, bonds, and real estate is the right balance for most people.
Finding ways to boost your income is crucial. This might mean asking for a raise or promotion, finding a higher-paying job, or starting a side hustle. Today, some of the most lucrative side hustles are virtual assisting, online tutoring, and creating and selling courses and e-books.
Don’t forget to do a mindset check! If you catch yourself thinking, “I’ll never be able to make more money” or “there aren’t enough jobs out there,” you’re coming from a place of scarcity. You may need to work on your mindset before you start to see positive shifts in your life.
The Bottom Line
There are no shortcuts to transforming your mindset from scarcity to abundance to move away from a “scared money don’t make money” mindset. Don’t let fear keep you from doing something. Nothing happens with action.
Take action through calculated risks. Find daily practices that work for you — whether that means gratitude, affirmations, or something else that resonates with you.
It may seem daunting at first, but the results will be worth it. Changing your mindset about money won’t just help you save and earn more; it will change your entire life.
Do you have a scarcity or abundance mindset regarding money? Share your thoughts below!
Theresa is a personal finance blogger. She writes content for busy professional women to take control of their money and investments. She enjoys reading, traveling, cooking, and writing. Her work has been featured on GoBanking Rates, Your Money Geek, Savoteur, the Corporate Quitter, Thirty Eight Investing, and more.