When it’s time to look at your finances, do you feel calm or at ease? Or, like many of us, would you rather avoid facing the numbers—and the reality of financial stress? It’s alright if you do. Even the best budgeter can experience financial stress from time to time. Here’s the thing, though: constant stress can take a toll on your mental health. Fortunately, you can bring mindfulness to your financial habits.
Here are several ways you can practise mindfulness to reduce stress and build a better financial plan:
1. Create a vision for your financial goals.
Start by developing a vision for your financial goals. Take the necessary time to flesh out all the details you can. For example, do you want to purchase a house? If so, by when and how big? Do you want to switch your super to SMSF? How much do you need to set up your SMSF?
How you capture your vision is up to you. You might lay out the details using a spreadsheet or make a poster in old-school style. Or you could even put sticky notes on your bathroom mirror, office desk or any spot you frequently see. The idea is to keep your financial vision top of mind.
Then, every day and in the long term, use this vision as a guide for making financial decisions. By being mindful and identifying what’s most important to you, you can find ways to accomplish your financial goals.
2. Reflect on your early associations with money.
How did your family talk about money? Did they yell about money, cry about money or pretend it didn’t exist? Your relationship with money didn’t emerge in a vacuum. There were probably money habits that you developed because of how you were raised as a kid. So see if you have spending patterns or financial beliefs that might have outgrown their usefulness.
Once you find out how your early associations with money affect your financial habits today, you can be more compassionate with yourself. Then it’ll be easier to bring mindfulness to your financial habits. That includes breaking poor financial habits and developing new ones that will bring you closer to your goals.
3. Change your attitude gradually towards splurging.
Splurging can bring joy and satisfaction. That’s especially true if you’ve been religiously sticking to your monthly budget just to afford a day of a splurge. But it’s better to have lasting gratification than having a single day of happiness. You can achieve that by changing your attitude towards splurging and being mindful of how you spend. That includes saying “yes” to purchases that bring you closer to your financial vision—and saying “no” to those that don’t.
You can develop a more mindful approach to spending by asking yourself these questions whenever you want to buy something:
- How long will I feel good about this purchase?
- Does this item or service keep me on track toward my long-term financial goals?
- Why do I want to make this purchase?
4. Get support to bring mindfulness to your financial habits.
Just like how people seek our support & courses to improve their yoga practice, you can also get all the support you need to bring mindfulness to your financial life. So whenever you find yourself getting overwhelmed or distressed about spending or budgeting, talk to a friend, relative, or financial coach. Some people can hold your hand while you do the hardest things.
Start Being Mindful of Your Finances Today.
If you’re new to mindfulness, know that it’s not merely an attitude adjustment. It’s a skill you can gradually develop and hone. And when once you become more mindful about your spending habits and financial goals, you can approach the most difficult financial situations more calmly and confidently. Money will no longer be the biggest source of your anxiety.