Deciding how to spend your hard-earned money wisely can be intimidating. Regret lurks around every financial choice. Thankfully, mindful spending is a one-two punch, easing spending stress while accentuating your uniqueness.
Mindful spending transformed my life.
Mindful spending involves making spending decisions aligned with your induviduallity. By slowing down and gaining an appreciation of how money helps you live, you can increase your spending confidence, reduce buyer's remorse, decrease the stress of decition making, and create a life you love.
What is Mindful Spending?
In a nutshell, mindful spending is lifestyle-based money management.
You may be wondering, "What does that mean exactly?"
Simply put, the focus of all your spending choices are on your personal lifestyle. When practicing mindful spending, you develop an acute awareness of how all your spending aligns with current needs and desires. This means your money reflects your individuality.
You may be thinking, "I am in good financial health (or getting there). Doesn't my money already reflect me?"
The answer is… maybe.
Most financial experts emphasize the practical side of money management. Common mantras are "budget, pay off debt, save for retirement, and improve your credit score". They often apply a cookie-cutter formula for helping you be financially healthy. But they don't teach you how to use money to reflect your true individuality!
While undeniably important, basic financial actions and recommendations from experts place your logical brain in the financial driver's seat.
In contrast, mindful spending allows your heart to decide, while your logical self is in the passenger seat on life's financial journey. Your heart is determining the destination and how scenic (or straight-forward) the road trip is, with your mind simply navigating the way.
Money is a tool to live. I want to embrace my life, not be one of the many bland cookie cutters. I want more from life than being practical and "safe".
What about you?
Any frustrations experienced trying to decide which purchases to make are often a result of not knowing how to use your logical self while being guided by your heart. It is not a common skill taught in basic personal finance courses or books.
Mindful spending is a constant guide for how to utilize resources to live a life of delight instead of regret.
Why Practice Mindful Spending?
I struggled for years to achieve a healthy financial balance. After all my hard work, the thought of spending versus saving my money sounded like blasphemy!
Plus, when I did spend, I would still hear the gurus whispering in my ear "save, save, save." Even worse, their ideas of how to spend money wisely often left me feeling flat.
Today, I'm plonked in my favorite chair browsing computers online. In the sidebar an advertisement for patio furniture is prominently displayed. An opportunity for an all-inclusive skiing package pops up on the bottom of my screen catching my eye too.
I've been considering all 3 of these purchases. However, I only have enough spending money for one in order to live within my means.
Which of these options is the best for me right now?
If you have ever been in a similar spot, mindful spending may be your answer.
Benefits of Mindful Spending
The answer to how to spend your money is never an easy one.
Every person I speak with has a different perspective on when, where, and what I should buy. While the when and where maybe a challenge at times, mindful spending has empowered me in determining the what.
Without practicing this form of mindfulness, I would be emotionally torn sitting in my chair pondering the 3 unique choices.
However, I practice mindful spending which offers 4 key benefits:
- Increases my spending confidence
- Reduces the odds of buyer's remorse
- Decreases the stress of decision making
- Creates a life I love.
The Goal of Mindful Spending
Don't misunderstand, mindful spending is not a reckless pursuit of any and all purchase opportunities that tug on your heart.
The goal, instead, is to slow down and gain an appreciation of how money helps you live.
Yes, you need all the practical money management tips touted by financial experts. After all, without responsible management, being mindful with money may still end in heartbreak. Hello, credit card debt for concert tickets to your favorite band or repeat trips for beers with your buddies.
Yet all the practical money management habits will never bring you unfettered joy or express the true you.
The practice of mindful spending allows you to relish your life. Every. Single. Day.
Mindful Spending Basics
Relishing life. Doesn't that sound wonderful?
Trust me, it is!
The underlying requirement for this practice is knowing who you are. To start your journey, define:
- your life goals (not financial goals)
- your top values
Yes and no.
Self-reflection is harder than you may think.
You and I are bombarded daily by what someone else tells us we should want (family, friends, colleagues, social media, billboards, TV, etc.). Pushing past all this noise is the hardest part of your journey.
I promise the efforts to discover what really drives you are worthwhile. However, who you are today is not who you will become tomorrow.
Which leads to the next critical component of mindful spending.
Mindful Spending is Lifelong
Like most financial actions, mindful spending is a lifelong pursuit. This is not a "check the box and it's done" activity.
Learning the skill of mindful spending takes time and effort.
Even years after starting, the art of mindful spending sometimes escapes me. But I don't stop trying.
I am on a relentless quest for a life of meaning and joy. Every day I continue to practice mindfulness so it becomes effortless. I crave the joy found each time I am successful - and learn from each mindless spending mistake.
This art form is not about finding peace, paying off debt, maximizing your discounts at the store, or even building a large retirement nest egg.
Mindful spending is mastering a thought process driven by your heart to ensure every penny in your pocket reflects your individuality and creates a life uniquely yours.
As for the purchase from my favorite chair? I'm writing these words on a new computer.
I chose to create a life empowering me to share my thoughts and ideas more easily with you.
What do you think?
Are you ready to practice mindful spending and make your money more you?
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