Imagine this: you’re walking through the shopping centre, and a new gadget, or outfit catches your eye. It’s not on your shopping list, but it’s on “Sale!”. Do you buy it?
Marketing departments are very good at their jobs, and this is a common situation. Right here is where mindful spending can make a big difference.
Mindful spending isn’t just about saving money; it’s about ensuring that your spending aligns with your most important financial goals. It’s spending on purpose in such a way that it will lead you to a more fulfilling and responsible financial life.
Understanding mindful spending
Mindful spending is about being conscious and intentional with your money. Instead of making impulsive purchases it aligns your spending with your long-term financial goals. It leads to greater satisfaction, reduced financial stress, and a feeling of control over your financial future.
What are your BIG goals?
Is it growing a rainy-day fund, saving for your child’s education, building a house deposit, or aiming to retire early? Identifying these goals is the first step towards mindful spending. When you know what you’re working towards, every dollar you spend can bring the goal closer or take you further away from it.
Are you spending well?
To align your spending with your goals, you first need to understand where your money is going now.
Use a budgeting app, review your bank transactions, or keep a spending diary for a fortnight. Now look at the spending and identify which items are helping you achieve your goals and which ones are holding you back. Don’t give yourself a hard time but be honest and make changes for the better.
With clear goals plus knowledge of your current spending, you’re ready to change gears. If a significant portion of your budget goes to eating out, but your goal is to buy a house, you can quickly see that this spending is getting in the way. Aim to reduce it rather than cut it out entirely, otherwise you’ll lose motivation. Every meal at home, or lunch you take to work, becomes a brick in the house you want to build. Change isn’t easy
Social pressures, advertising, and emotional spending triggers are real. Yet even though this is true, you can still make real progress. Each time you make a positive money choice you strengthen that muscle for the next time.