How to be more mindful of your personal finances

February 28, 2018
Mindfulness is not usually associated with personal finance. However, if you can learn to slow down and calmly think about spending, purchases and earnings, you can improve your financial situation dramatically.
How to be more mindful of your personal finances

This is a useful approach because finances often cause stress and worry. Being able to be objective when it comes to your money can make the process of budgeting and purchasing easier. 

What are the ways to be more thoughtful when it comes to spending? Here are some ideas. 

Use a shopping list

List the items that you are going to purchase before you go to the store. Once you get there, only buy the things that are on your list. If you see something that you want, do not buy it right away but add it to the list for the next time you go to the store. This is a foolproof way to stop “impulse buys.” If you really need an item, then you will keep it on your list for your next shopping trip, but if it was an impulse, you will cross it off before your next shop. 

Use cash

One way to force yourself to be mindful of your spending is to only use cash. This way, you will be able to see exactly how much money you have to spend for the remainder of the week or month. You can use envelopes to divide your cash into categories. Then, you can see exactly how much you have, and you will be extra thoughtful about the necessity of each purchase you make. 

Compare prices

This could apply to everything from finding the cheapest gas station to looking for cheaper food items. You do not have to necessarily go for the cheapest option, but you should at least compare the options. If the ingredients and quality are the same, opt for the lowest price option. Also, you can use coupons to get a discount. Be mindful of the coupons, however. Only use them for things you would buy anyway. Many retailers use coupons to get people to buy extra items because they think they are getting a good deal.  

Get full value out of your entertainment spending

Spend your “extra” money on things that you truly value and really enjoy. Figure out what these high-value activities and items are, and then cut out all other entertainment expenses. Not only will this help you save money, but it will help you make certain that you will always have money to spend on those “little luxuries” that really matter to you. 

Visualize financial challenges

Finally, you should always be prepared for unexpected expenses and emergencies. This does not mean that you have to create a savings account for emergency expenses, but it does mean you should have a plan for what to do if such expenses arise. 

For example, you should learn the steps for getting an online personal loan. The application process for these loans is quick, so they can work well in an emergency. Furthermore, there is a low minimum (or sometimes no minimum), so you do not have to borrow more than you need (this is sometimes an issue with bank personal loans).