5 Lessons in Mindfulness to Help Improve Your Finances

Written by Choosi

Every once in a while the wellness industry introduces a new buzzword that starts a movement. For the past few years, it’s been mindfulness – the practice of being present in the moment and being conscious of whatever activity you’re doing.

More and more Aussie mums are incorporating mindfulness into their lives to feel happier and stress free, but did you know it can have a huge impact on your personal and business spending? It’s a simple idea – having awareness of your finances can help you curb unnecessary spending and leave you with more money to spend on things that bring more value into your life.

Here are 5 ways to become more mindful next time you’re hitting the shops:

1.      Focus on why you’re shopping

Mindful shoppers hit the aisles for the right reasons. Do you shop to make yourself feel better or to buy things you and your family truly need? Take some time to check in with yourself to see what’s motivating you to go to the shops. Follow the H.A.L.T guidelines – this means not shopping when you’re hungry, angry, lonely or tired, to stay in the moment and not lose control of your spending. If you’ve scheduled in back-to-back business meetings, it’s easy for food related work expenses to creep up. Instead of scheduling meetings over food and beverage, try a meeting in the park instead.

2.      Write up a list

A successful, mindful shopping experience is planned in advance. If you set out what you need and make those items a priority, you’ll stay in control of your money and your desires when you leave home. For example, if you’re heading off on a weekly food shop, make a list of meal plans and ingredients so you won’t be tempted by any sales or cheap checkout items. If you need to stock up on office supplies, set a budget and make a shopping list so you can refrain from buying the pretty stationery you don’t really need. Apps like Evernote are a great way to keep a digital list with you on the go.

3.      Earn the Purchase

Money saved is money earned. With so many options at the shops it’s easy to get caught up with trying to get a quick deal at a great price. But when it comes down to your money there’s no better feeling than saving up and earning your purchase. That camera you wanted to purchase for your website shots may be a business expense but it is still money leaving your bank account.

Avoid impulse purchases by setting a savings plan or by giving yourself a reward once your business has hit a certain budget Working towards your purchase will help you appreciate your money more. If you feel the impulse to buy, then try the ‘Mindful Pause’. This is taking a moment and putting space between the desire and the action by asking the questions – Do I need this? How will I pay for this? How will I feel at home with this? Many times, you’ll see the urge to buy has faded away.

4.      Pay with Cash instead of Credit

When you pay with cash instead of credit you’ll find yourself in the moment and aware of the exchange. Physically holding the money you’re about to hand over adds a sense of reality that makes it harder to overspend. On top of that, recent studies have shown that paying with cash results in a higher sense of attachment with your purchase, which makes you less likely to experience the dreaded buyer’s remorse when you get home.

Try removing your saved credit card details online also. Having to manually add them will put you back in the moment and mindful of whether it’s a necessary purchase. Shopping with cash may not always be possible in business, especially if you’re making online transactions. If this is the case, ask about cooling off periods where you may be able to ask for a return due to change of mind.

5.      Assess and Appreciate

Don’t worry if becoming mindful at the shops doesn’t happen right away, these things take time. Research from CoreData and Choosi found almost 1 in 3 Aussies have made a large purchasing decision they have come to regret. Once you start to identify your purchases as either valuable or impulse buys you’ll be able to take that knowledge with you next time you shop.

And finally, appreciate what you have. We’re all a little guilty of getting caught up with the things we’d like to add to our home and business. Being mindful is about enjoying the moment and appreciating what makes your family unique. As the old saying goes, the best things in life are free.

The next time you’re at the shops or you’re about to invest in your business, remember to take a breath, ask yourself how you’ll pay for your purchases and what constructive role they’ll have in your life. Shopping mindfully will help reduce unwanted spending and keep you productive. Remember, a mindful Mum is a happy and balanced Mum.

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