Pop quiz: what is your initial reaction to the phrase “mindful spending?”
Does the thought of tuning into your money habits inspire panic or anxiety? Are you comfortable with where your money flows and feel at ease with spending it? Wherever you fall in your relationship to money (and we have all been at different points on the spectrum throughout our lives), there are many habits you can implement that will bring peace of mind and even joy to the experience.
Keep reading for our top tips to increase your mindfulness around money and your relationship to spending.
1. Identify What Makes You Happy
Though it seems obvious at first, this practice can be one of the most impactful when it comes to your relationship to money. Take the time to honestly identify what you enjoy having, being, and doing– do you find yourself overspending on movie nights every month when you actually get a lot more joy from going to the park? Does a night out with friends leave you feeling depleted, when having them over for a potluck would make you much happier? This process is not about depriving yourself or cutting out things you enjoy. It’s about getting honest about what makes you truly, sustainably happy, and spending your money on that.
2. Look at Your Current Spending
Every few months, set aside time for the tedious task of getting honest about your spending and your income. Print out your bank statements and go through them with loving awareness, identifying patterns that you may like to change. This is a brief moment of discomfort for a huge reward. Continually assessing your spending to align it with your goals and interests will serve you greatly in the long run. This process should get easier every time as you prune, redirect, and hone in on what spending habits truly work best for you.
3. Pause and Reflect
In the moment, pause before purchasing something and ask yourself, what is my motivation for this purchase? Is it practical, conscientious, joyful? Am I avoiding some other feeling by spending money? Trying to fill a void?
Ask yourself if this purchase is on your list of things that bring you happiness, or if it’s a placeholder for something you want even more – for example, are you purchasing twelve discounted pillows when what you really want is one high quality pillow that will last you years? The habit of identifying your motivations will give you more power and intention as you move forward.
4. Make it Easy!
One super simple habit for money mindfulness is to place a reminder (a note, picture, quote, or small object) in your wallet or purse that you will see every time you reach to buy something. It doesn’t have to be serious or guilting – it can be funny! Anything that prompts you to take a moment of mindfulness, and gently reminds you of your goals will help increase awareness and intention around spending.
5. Stay Grateful
Money is no exception for the huge impact a gratitude practice can have on your life. Making a habit of being grateful for the money you do have and the purchases you can make, will only increase your sense of abundance and wealth. The more positive feelings we can have around money and spending, the better. Staying true to purchasing what you need and what makes you happy creates an exponential effect that will have you feeling amazing about your financial life.
Whatever your relationship to money, we hope these ideas will inspire you to create mindful habits, live happily, and feel abundant.