7 Ways You Can Start Being More Money Mindful in 2019
Mindfulness does not have to just be connected to yoga and meditation. Mindfulness can be a part of your everyday life, even with something like money. Getting your financial house in order actually can make the rest of your life less hectic and stressful.
Money mindfulness is all about being intentional with your spending and saving. When people become more aware of their spending habits, they begin to recognize how much more they can actually save. They learn how to stop being reactive and spend on whims. Instead, they start being proactive and look at tips in this blog, so they spend when they need to, not just because they want to spend.
Fortunately, it isn’t very hard to become mindful with your money. These seven tips will help you figure out how to get your money under control.
Set aside a set amount each paycheck
If you have been living paycheck to paycheck, you should know you are not alone. But, you should also know that you do not have to be one of the masses. Instead of spending everything you have, set an intention to spend less and to have money left over when the next paycheck arrives.
Your money mindfulness should involve getting out of this bad habit. Set money aside as soon as your paycheck arrives and do not touch it. Even if you start with something like $20, it’s a start. As you watch the account grow, you will see the rewards of your mindfulness and you might even start to put more into the do-not-touch account. Consider how much money $20 per paycheck could be by the end of the year. If you are paid twice per month, $20 per pay turns into $520.
Record your spending
Data is useful, even when it comes to being mindful with money. If you want to understand what you are doing, you should keep a record of what you are doing. Keep a little notebook with you and write down every time you spend something. Record the date, the amount, and what you bought. Do this when you pay bills, too. Keep track of whether you spend with a card or with cash. Eventually, you will have a useful collection of data.
Taking time to record your spending will also give you time to think before you buy. It could also force you to retrospectively look back at what you’ve done with your money.
Look for habits
As soon as you have enough information to look at your spending, start to look for habits. You should be able to see some habits within the scope of one or two paychecks. You might spend heavily as soon as you get your paycheck, then slow down as your bank balance decreases. You might see that you spend online when you are bored at home or at work. You also might find that you buy way too much food and end up throwing a bunch of it away.
After you’ve looked at habits, it is up to you to decide what habits you want to keep and what habits you want to break.
Consider the trash
You might not think about the trash when you are working on money mindfulness, but the trash could keep you from spending. Think about it this way, if you see something you want to buy, but you already have one, what will happen to the one you have? Will it end up in the trash?
Here’s an example, your clothes dryer is squeaking and you’ve been eyeing one of those fancy new dryers with a bunch of settings. Sure, it would be nice to buy a new dryer, especially since the one you have is in need of repairs. But, wouldn’t it make more sense to just fix the one you have and keep it out of the landfill? Of course, it would, especially if it still dries your clothes.
So, before you buy something that you think you need, consider what’s already in your home. Your mindfulness about money can expand into being more mindful about the environment – especially what goes into the trash.
Know that emergencies happen
Your mindfulness should extend into planning for emergencies. When you live paycheck to paycheck, it’s safe to say that you probably won’t have any money set aside for emergencies. And, they will happen, whether you are ready for them or not.
It’s not easy to build an emergency fund, but it is certainly something worth doing. This could be the money that you are setting aside each paycheck, so you have something left over. Or, it could be a completely separate account. If your employer offers automatic deposit, you can have money put into an account before you even see the money. Put it in a simple savings account with compound interest and don’t touch it until you absolutely need it.
Know who you are supporting
Another important consideration before you spend your money is to know where your money is going. Ask a few questions:
- Where is your money going?
- When you are buying groceries, are you buying anything from local farmers or merchants?
- Are you buying items from companies that support causes you believe in?
- Are you buying items from companies that support causes that infuriate you?
You might find that knowing where your money is going and what it is supporting could make you think twice before spending it. All you have to do is research the items you buy the most and see what the corporation does with its profits. Your spending habits might quickly change.
Pay off debts
If you want to be more mindful of your money, it is nice to have more money to be mindful about. A great way to have more money is to pay off your debts so you have more money in your pocket. If you have more than one credit card, pay off the one with the smallest balance first, then work your way up the balances. Once you get rid of credit card debt, your mindfulness with recognize how free you feel.