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It’s easy to find yourself stuck in a cycle of consumerism, spending carelessly, without reflecting on how this affects our wallets and well-being.
But what if there was an alternative?
What if we could become more mindful about spending money?
Well, it is absolutely possible, and it all comes down to setting yourself up with the right mindset and skills before you ever reach for your wallet.
In this article, I will explore exactly how you can practice mindfulness regarding your money decisions and create healthier financial habits moving forward.
Being More Mindful About Spending Money
What Is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is when you focus on the present situation and are conscious of your thoughts, surroundings, and actions.
The ability to rationalize and regulate your emotions, stress, and anxieties helps you focus on what is happening inside and outside your body.
This focus allows for a positive attitude in what you do.
Many people are mindful of their behavior when following a daily routine, visiting the gym, and crossing the road, but very few stop and think about what they are spending and why.
People are more worried about their financial situation in the current economic climate.
A study by SWNS showed that in 2021, 75% of Americans were more careful about how they spent their money than the previous year.
It concluded that 90% now feel more concerned with getting value for their cash by purchasing relevant items that provide features they will use rather than expensive items with extras they don’t need.
As you can see by this feature on Upgraded Points about the psychology behind spending money, people indulge in many bad habits that are difficult to break, such as emotional spending.
Purchasing only the essentials, such as repairs and replacing previous items, will less impact the environment, allowing for a cleaner, more mindful life.
So with that in mind, let’s discuss five ways people can be more mindful when approaching situations where they need to spend money.
#1. Set Specific Goals
Setting monthly goals by categorizing what you spend your cash on will help you see where to reduce spending in some areas and increase others.
Having categories such as food, travel expenses, household bills, and entertainment will make it easier to balance your accounts.
For example, if you need to use more for your utility bills, balance this out by reducing entertainment costs for that month.
The mindful approach allows you to make slight changes without cutting back on everything in one shot.
#2. Put It On A Waiting List
When we see something we like, many are guilty of impulse buying.
Creating a waiting list gives you time to consider whether it is necessary.
Whether it is shoes, clothes, jewelry, or new technology, put it on a list with the date you first saw it, then allow yourself a waiting period of perhaps a month.
This mindful approach gives you an excellent chance to save money by setting a proposed purchase to one side until a later date.
At a later date, you review your list, and if you still want to purchase it, you can check first to see if any other items on your list are more attractive.
To help make this process more enjoyable, many people turn to money saving challenges, which allow you to gamify the idea of saving money.
#3. Consider Experiences Over Things
When planning how to spend your money, consider an experience like a day out or holiday instead of buying a material item.
Planning something you can look forward to and sharing it with friends and family at a place or event will make memories forever.
Be mindful when spending money.
It should bring you happiness and not just be a necessity.
Looking back over the last few years, is there something you regret spending so much on or something that cost a lot but you do not have any regrets over?
#4. Avoid Emotional Spending
Think about your spending triggers.
Do you spend more when alone or out with friends? Or do you shop when you are bored?
Uncovering your spending habits will give you an insight into when not to go shopping.
For example, if you are hungry, avoid the supermarkets. If you are depressed and unhappy, do not be led to the shopping mall by others.
Be mindful of your situation and feelings.
Emotional spending often stems from jealousy, tiredness, fear, guilt, or sadness.
Don’t let these emotions make you purchase things you will never use.
#5. Track Your Spending
You need a system to track your finances to understand where your cash is going.
Some excellent options are reviewed on CNBC and work by accounting for every dollar earned and spent.
This allows you to spot patterns in overspending.
A mindful approach makes you aware that small daily outgoings will soon add up to substantial amounts.
Having a coffee each morning might only be $5, but $150 is a big chunk of monthly cash!
By having an accurate account of where your money is going, you can budget accordingly for your bills and other necessary expenses, leaving a clear picture of what you have left for leisure pursuits and savings.
Ultimately, when it comes to spending money, mindfulness is key.
We may think of mindfulness as a complex concept that is difficult to implement, but really it’s quite simple.
Being mindful just means making conscious decisions with our money.
It’s important to remember that being mindful about spending money isn’t about feeling guilty or even completely avoiding purchases.
It’s about understanding the source of our wealth and how that affects others.
An excellent way to think about it is if we are aware of our purchases’ impact on ourselves and others, then we can make more informed decisions regarding our financial habits moving forward.
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Jon Dulin is the passionate leader of Unfinished Success, a personal development website that inspires people to take control of their own lives and reach their full potential. His commitment to helping others achieve greatness shines through in everything he does. He’s an unstoppable force with lots of wisdom, creativity, and enthusiasm – all focused on helping others build a better future. Jon enjoys writing articles about productivity, goal setting, self-development, and mindset. He also uses quotes and affirmations to help motivate and inspire himself. You can learn more about him on his About page.