Mindful Spending – The Ultimate way to reduce stress
How mindful spending helps you live the life of your dreams?
It’s indeed true that money can’t buy you happiness but it can provide you with all the resources that can make you happy ( temporarily). Also, a huge disclaimer: I’m not against buying and this article is not meant to teach you how to spend your hard-earned money. However, practicing mindful spending will definitely help you reduce money anxiety and all the stress that comes through money.
You can be anywhere in your financial journey and adopt the concept of mindful spending. Just as we preach mindful eating, mindful productivity; it’s necessary to know how to be mindful with money. Have you ever felt that you want to purchase something huge but you cannot afford it?
Your mind creates an image of you enjoying that product or vacation but in reality, all you have is lack. This is where you start hating your life and curse the moments where you should have saved enough.
Mindful spending will help you think wisely and be smart when it comes to dealing with money. When you have an abundant money mindset; you can literally afford anything; it’s all about our choices and mindset, darling.
Have you seen someone who finds a week’s vacation super luxurious but would rush to Target to buy some unnecessary things? See, it’s all about being mindful and knowing what you need in a long run than what you want now.
I wasn’t always mindful of money for I had some money stories that were fed to me since childhood. But you cannot let them define your journey. ( we will talk about this in detail later) It took a lot of inner-work, mindset shift, journaling, reading to reach here.
What is mindful spending all about?
The other day, I discussed this concept of mindful spending with my brother and he literally took it as spending less. This is what most of us think when it comes to mindful spending. However, it’s not about spending less; it’s about spending well!!
Mindful spending is all about buying the things that add value to your life. It makes you think and ponder if your purchases are in alignment with your overall being.
Ask yourself these questions before buying:
- Are these things adding value to what I aim to do in life?
- Are they supporting my dream life in the long run?
- Are these purchases bringing me joy and satisfaction or just momentary happiness?
And if the answers convince you enough; you are good to go further. Again, I’m not judging your purchases or emphasizing purchasing less. Mindful spending is all about spending your hard-earned money on the things and experiences that make your life worth living.
You can aim for getting the latest iPhone or the iPad or investing in an overseas trip; it’s all about being mindful of your money and knowing your priorities.
The reason behind emotional spending:
Have you noticed yourself going on a shopping spree when you feel low? This is just one of our coping mechanisms. We’re so carried away by our emotions that we hardly realize how we’re spending our resources. This is the same with binge-watching, mindless scrolling, binge-eating.
When it comes to mindful spending; you need to be thoughtful of your energy while making a purchase. Are you excited that your purchase is going to help you grow and let you live your dream life? Here’s why we spend money irrationally which we often coin as emotional spending:
We are habituated: It’s our habit to spend and we are like this since our childhood.
Societal pressure: We are buying things to have some standing in society or seeing our friends or relatives.
Our aspirations: We spend on the things that we aspire to be. ( I have found myself spending recklessly on books and I link all my favorite books in my every blog but at times; these books just sit on the shelf unread and I literally feel like burning some hard cash on them. Do not be me. Lol.)
What’s the problem with our spending the way we wish?
The problem with our spending is that we’re not making purchases keeping in mind the value they provide in our lives. We’re purchasing out of alignment and gathering the clutter that doesn’t serve the purpose. With mindful spending, you will have to ask yourself some hard questions that will help you know if your purchases are actually something that you need or they’re just your wants.
Let’s take an example: You’re working full-time and also are hustling for your side-hustle. You don’t have enough time to serve both and are thinking of appointing a VA. But as you go through the expenses; you give up your idea of hiring a VA to help you for your potential breakthrough.
Now that you’re busy and overloaded with work; you frequently order outside food or take-aways without thinking of all the expenses and your health. This is where we need to redefine affordability and use the idea of mindful spending. Sometimes, it’s difficult to decide between your time and money; I hope you think for a long term while making such a decision.
Here’s how you can be mindful while spending money:
1. Track your expenses
When it comes to mindful spending, it’s important to start by auditing your purchases. You need to have a clear idea of where your money goes and how much of your money is adding value to your living. You may also want to spend less or more; save less or more; whatever the case may be, you need to be aware of your expenses. Have a weekly budgeting plan and keep track of everything that you buy.
This will help you notice whether you’re overspending or are moving in the alignment of your values. Again, I’m not saying to stuff your money in banks while living under-cash. It’s just about being mindful while you spend your hard-earned money.
2. Change your mindset around money
We may have some negative story around money since childhood. It’s time to be aware of those beliefs and reframe them. These limiting beliefs are the reason for your love and hate relationship with money. Money is just an energy, a vibration that helps you lead the life of your dreams.
Moreover, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to earn more money to upgrade your lifestyle. Think of money as the tool that will enable you to live a better life and also serve others around you. Here’re some of my favorite books that helped me reframe my money story. When you respect and mindfully welcome the money, it finds its way back to you.
3. Know that spending ≠ living luxuriously
While growing up, I had this misconception about spending and saving money. However, you don’t always need to be spending more to live a luxurious life. Let’s get this clear, we all have a different meaning of luxury and I’m not judging your choices here. If a big-ass house is a sign of luxury for you, be it; if a trip to Europe is a symbol of luxury; I have no questions but get this thinking of spending and living luxurious life out of your head. This just points to societal pressure when you equate spending and living the life of luxury.
While mindful spending will help you evaluate the money based on your values and will help you live the life of your dreams. ( and there’s nothing wrong in having a luxurious dream but you gotta be mindful to achieve it)
4. Use more cash payments
Ahh yes!! In this digital era, I’m advising you to use cash payments to help you in mindful spending. It’s super easy to make big purchases through your credit cards but when you actually have to pay the money then and there, you will pause and think. This will help you ponder whether you actually need to make the purchase or you’re just doing it randomly.
Withdraw only the amount you need, this will help you be careful during overspending. I actually found this method very mindful, when I had to pay in cash; I became so calculative of my expenses than the time I used cards.
5. Make a list
My darling, lists are your best friends when it comes to being mindful around money. Make a list of the expenses you need to make weekly and monthly and keep a track of your purchases. Design a budgeting system and plan accordingly. Having a list will prevent the expenses of all unnecessary items that you carry along while browsing online or during offline shopping.
6. Pause before purchasing
Before purchasing just pause and think of your intent behind buying. Do you actually need that thing or is it adding value to the life you wish to live? Is it supporting your dream or making the life of people around you joyful? Is it in alignment with your purpose or will you need it for a longer run? Ask yourself these thoughtful questions before making the final payment.
I’m sure you will get a better insight if you ponder on what’s needed and what’s not. The idea of mindful spending is not preventing you from spending but to shift your mindset towards becoming more thoughtful.
7. Have a financial accountability partner
Get a friend or a relative who knows you in and out and share your financial journey with them. Ask them to be your accountability partner and to be vigilant enough to stop you during your unnecessary purchase. Having a partner that keeps track of your expenses or simply someone you can share your money mindset with is so very important. I do this with my husband and vice-versa; it helps us to keep a close watch on our expenses and be mindful of our spendings.
8. Spend on the life of your dreams
Your hard-earned money isn’t only for saving; it’s for creating the life of your dreams. When you’re practicing mindful spending; it will be easier for you to invest in the things that help you live the life you always wished for. Spend on experiences, on adventures, on things that amplify your values and add joy to your living. You have worked hard for earning the amount you have now; it’s time to spend it on your dream life.
9. Tame your money shame
Again, so many false stories around money. Since childhood, we may have told to spend less, earn more, keep saving money, and whatnot. I was always taught to not talk more about money and I have literally seen homes breaking apart because of monetary issues. This made me believe that wanting more money isn’t something I should aspire to and I really made some bad choices because of this thinking. It took me years to reframe my money story and mindset around money.
Know that those stories were based on someone else’s experience around money and you don’t have to accept it all. Before being mindful about spending, clear out all these money blocks and these books help a lot in setting the correct mindset about money.
The concept of mindful spending to reduce stress – conclusion
I know it’s a lot to take in one go but I would highly suggest it to take one day at a time. Learning to be mindful is a journey and I so appreciate you for choosing to be mindful while spending.
I hope that these tips will help you reduce the stress that’s caused due to emotional spending and adopt a lifestyle of being mindful of all your purchases. Do let me know your views on mindful spending in the comments below.