Cultivating mindfulness is learning to have a more focused mindset – a state of mind where we connect with the present moment rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. Studies show that practicing mindful meditation for a short time each day lowers anxiety and reduces depression. In the same way having a mindful approach towards your finances will also reduce stress levels and help you save money.
Financial mindfulness starts in realising what your’e spending your money on and how much you’re spending. Here are a few tips on how to help you stay focused and improve your overall financial health.
1. Think about the present moment before you make a purchase. Do I really need it? How will it impact my life? Take a step back and consider the purchase with a focused mind rather than buying on impulse.
2. Write each transaction down by hand. Manually tracking your purchases will help you mindfully consider how your’e spending your money.
3. Set a 24 hour waiting period to consider whether you really need it. For expensive purchases set at least a 48 – 72 hour waiting period. If you are still thinking about it after the waiting period is over allow yourself to go ahead and make the purchase.
4. If you are prone to frittering away money, take time to consider what the trade off is. Are you potentially giving up on saving for a dream holiday or will making this purchase place your financial independence or retirement savings at risk?
5. Make a list of what your dreams are and compare your aspirations to what you spend your money on. It might make you reconsider your financial priorities.
6. Plan for spontaneity. Make sure that your financial plan isn’t too rigid and allows for a certain amount of spontaneous spending. Incorporating flexibility into your financial planning will allow you to live in the moment and seize the day without worrying about your finances.
7. Take stock of what you have. If you have a habit of aimlessly frittering away money take some time to do an inventory of what you have. If you love to buy clothes, go through your wardrobe and remind yourself of how many new outfits you could create with what you already own.
8. Before you buy ask yourself if it is a moment enhancing purchase or a life enhancing purchase? Will it enrich your life or only give you instant and momentary gratification? Mindful money management isn’t about indulging every instant gratification – we all know that it is the path to financial ruin – but take time to balance your financial decisions.
9. Let go of baggage. Don’t dwell on past financial blunders and bad decisions. If a business deal has gone wrong or you’ve been charged a late fee on a credit card don’t see it as incompetence. Each day is a new beginning and nothing is beyond correction.
10. Mindfulness can help everyone become better investors and plan for financial security. If however if you’d like a little help in balancing your money so you can enjoy the present moment while knowing that your future finances are in hand, talk to a financial advisor.
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