This is a collaborative post by Ellie Jo about mindfulness and money.
Two topics that are always trending: money and mindfulness. We all love to have money, but struggle with always staying in the moment. How is it possible, then, that money and mindfulness could co-exist together?
It’s rather simple, right? Not really. Depending on your focus and goals, these two concepts can work together in a way that will make you financially and emotionally stable.
Being mindful means focusing on the present moment and paying close attention to what is happening all around you. It is here and now. The present. Connect all of that with creating a budget and you could find the end results to be very successful.
When you have that impulse to buy something, what has stopped you in the past? Probably just a little guilt, but you figured you would get over it. When you are practicing mindfulness, you will stop yourself from making that impulse buy. You will be thinking about your budget at this very moment and know that there is no room for it.
When you make the decision to spend money, it should be very focused spending. It should have a purpose and fit into the grand financial plan. Just like mindfulness takes time to really wrap your brain around it, learning how to spend wisely takes just as much time.
But, when combined together, they can change your life forever.
Money and Mindfulness: The Start of a Beautiful Friendship
Shift Your Focus
When practicing mindfulness, you are teaching yourself to focus on only what is important right now. You learn to understand that you can’t control anything from the past but can control the here and now.
When it comes to money, you need to bring into focus exactly where and how you are spending your money. What is motivating you to make the financial decisions that you are making? Focus on what your priorities are and how much money should be spent to fulfill those priorities.
Do you currently have a budget plan? Something that you have written out and refer to frequently? If that is the case, and you are still having financial struggles, it is time to refocus that budget and determine was is necessary and what you can go without. How much money is being withdrawn automatically from your checking account? Do you have extra money each month that you could be placing in a savings account?
Create a calendar for either the previous month or the upcoming month. Write down any days where you went out to eat, went shopping, socialized somewhere with money, or any other expenses that were used. After looking at that, highlight areas where you could have avoided spending money and take that out for the next month. Prioritize your needs so you can start saving money now!
Everything in Moderation
If you ever listen to different people speak about healthy eating habits, they talk about eating food in moderation. You can have that cookie, just not 10 of them! The same can be said about money.
Mindfulness is about finding that balance in your life. Finding that balance between working, family, socializing and finding your inner peace. Finding that kind of balance is much easier said than done. When you begin to balance out your life, you will begin to balance your budget as well.
Mindfulness is about controlling your thoughts and emotions. And, think of how many times you’ve made an emotional purchase, rather than a rational one? That is what finding a balanced and moderate mind looks like. Financially, we need to learn to balance what we need and fight off what we want. The need has to stomp out the want. We all want cool looking sports cars, but we don’t need it.
Your spending should be done in moderation of what you need in your life vs. what you want. Invite friends over to the house instead of going out. Take the money you would have spent on that evening out and put it into your savings account. Instead of purchasing that sweater you just walked by, add it to your list of things for people to purchase for you if they ask what you want for your birthday or Christmas.
Choices, Choices, Choices…
Mindfulness focuses on purposefulness. And with having purpose means focusing on the right choice. Having the right intention. What do you intend to spend money on when you leave the house to go grocery shopping? Do you have a list or are you going to wing it?
The same can be said for the quality of products that you consider buying. If you spend a little more to get a better brand, it will cost you less in the long run. Maybe when something breaks down, you immediately replace it with something newer instead of taking the time to troubleshoot it.
Take a look at the top 10 IT support issues website next time there is a glitch in your computer. Don’t just automatically assume it is damaged and can’t be repaired. That would be frivolous spending to not take the time to look into different options. Have a focused intention on how you want to proceed with problems. Be mindful of the budget that you have created.
Focus on the Now?
When it comes to finances, it is challenging to just focus on the now. It is imperative that you look to the future to make sure you have enough funds needed for long term expenses. This can mean focusing on a mortgage, car payment, or dealing with student loans. While focusing on these “bigger” expenses, try to think about what you can cut out of your budget to help plan for the future.
Create a list of the goals you have in mind and what the financial impact could be. You can then focus on the needs of right now and work from there. Life changes often, so you want to be prepared for that. Creating a “safe fund” will help you with your mindfulness and bring ease to your mind of your current state of affairs.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
One of the biggest ways that people can run into financial troubles is by focusing on what others have that you don’t. This can lower your self-esteem and force you to make purchases that you shouldn’t make.
Focus on you and you alone. It will become overwhelming if you let your mind drift towards other people. Keep your energy on making the best choices for you and your bank account. You can only control your financial situation, so keep that as your sole focus.
Believe in Yourself
It may look like a daunting task right now, but never losing hope in yourself will help to keep you going. There will be stumbles along the way, but daily practice in mindfulness will help your mind be prepared for and handle any hurdles that may come your way. Only you have control over your mind and your financial situation. Take the time to research financial planning tips or even set up a meeting with a financial advisor to help navigate you down the right road.
Just believe in yourself, focus on the present, and start saving money for a stress-free financial life.