Do you have a good relationship with money? If you’re not sure the answer is a definite yes, you need to know more about mindful spending.
This approach to spending can change your relationship for the better and help you reach your financial goals.
If it’s time to break up with bad money management and start afresh, now’s your chance!
What Is Mindful Spending?
Table of Contents
Mindful spending is the practice of applying more intentionality and restraint to your spending habits.
In a world where near-constant spending and consumption have become a normalized part of our lives, making the decision to be more mindful of money management is a revolutionary act.
Spending mindfully is about embracing rational, conscious spending decisions and practising more patience, self-discipline, and intention when it comes to choosing where you put your money.
When done right, it comes with many benefits that impact your life and the world around you.
Before I begin with the ways you can transform your money management, let me share some benefits of mindful spending.
Mindful Spending Benefits
1. Reach your financial goals faster
The first and most natural benefit of mindful spending is that it makes you more financially disciplined. This empowers you to reach your goals in a faster and more efficient way.
Not only does mindful spending mean that you end up buying less stuff you don’t need, but it also teaches you the invaluable skills of self-restraint and self-discipline, specifically in the realm of money.
Mindful spending sets you on a more consistent financial path, providing the mental clarity and determination you need to reach your financial goals.
Whether your goal is to put down a deposit on a home or simply make bigger year-on-year savings, this way of spending is the way to get there.
2. Minimize financial regret
In this consumption-driven age, we’re all guilty of spending money on random junk and gadgets that we don’t actually have a need for.
This excessive, unsatisfying approach to spending is a one-way street to financial regret that can be draining in more ways than one.
By becoming a more mindful spender, you can significantly reduce the regret you feel after making purchases or investments.
Spending money can be uncomfortable when resources are tight. But if you’re like 64% of people who feel a sense of regret after most unnecessary purchases, it’s a sign that something needs to change—and mindful spending can be the catalyst for that change.
3. Contribute to a sustainable planet
That’s right, being a mindful spender isn’t just good for you and your personal life. It’s something that can positively benefit the rest of the planet, too!
Mindless spending on fast fashion or mass-produced, low-quality items directly contributes to overconsumption, which is bad for the planet in a number of ways.
But by practising mindful spending, you can reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to a more circular economy and sustainable planet.
This is achieved through investing in higher quality, small-batch, locally produced goods and becoming less consumptive in general.
4. Feel more secure and confident
Living paycheck to paycheck is a stressful experience that many people struggle to sustain.
But even if you’re working on a small budget, being more mindful about spending is something that everyone can practice, leading to less financial stress and a sense of confidence that is not achievable with reckless, mindless spending.
5. Have a more rewarding spending experience
Last but certainly not least on this list is the incredibly rewarding feeling you get from spending your money more mindfully.
When you become more intentional about how, when, and where you spend your hard-earned cash, you get to experience the deep contentment and satisfaction of not only knowing that you are making wise financial decisions but also that you can invest in things that mean something to you.
Instead of throwing your money mindlessly at random stuff you know you don’t need, mindful spending creates the opportunity for more meaningful, rewarding purchases.
For example, you could mindfully spend money on a class or workshop that you’ve been wanting to take for ages, but haven’t had the resources for due to more reckless spending.
You could also mindfully spend money on a family member or close friend who is in need of support if it feels right.
Regardless of what you’re mindfully spending money on, the practice as a whole makes it possible for you to cultivate a healthier, more satisfying relationship with both yourself and your finances.
How To Spend Your Money More Mindfully
There are more ways to practice mindful spending than you’d think.
While simple things like restraint and smaller budgets cover a small aspect of what this approach to money management means, it doesn’t cover the full picture.
Mindful spending is deeply intertwined with the concept of mindfulness and meditation in general.
This practice isn’t just about changing when, where, and how much money you spend, it’s about fundamentally changing your relationship with it.
If you’re curious about mindful spending but aren’t sure where to start, use these tips to get you going:
1. Pause and reflect
Mindfulness is the art of being fully present, conscious, and aware of yourself and your surroundings.
When applied in the context of money management, it involves taking a moment (or two) to reflect on how this transaction is serving you and to what extent you really need it.
When you feel the impulse to buy something, stop for a moment and ask yourself whether it’s a want or a need and whether it is truly necessary for you to spend this money.
The more mindful you become about your purchases, the easier it will be to resist splurging temptations and adopt a more financially responsible approach to life.
2. Reassess how you de-stress
A lot of our excess-spending impulses come from a place of wanting to unwind, relax, or treat ourselves to something nice.
While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with practicing self-care— in fact, it’s highly recommended!—constant spending as a way to cope with stress is unsustainable on a variety of levels.
Take a hard look at what kind of items or experiences you’re spending recklessly on and ask yourself if they are really worth it in the long run.
Only recently I had read an article where a woman would constantly buy shoes every time she got stressed because buying shoes felt like the only way she could make herself feel good about herself.
But then after purchasing, she would feel bad about it and to cope with that bad feeling, she would go and shop for more shoes, only to result in a room with no space for shoes and a toxic relationship with money, shopping and her own self.
It’s also important to find de-stressing activities that cost less money.
In fact, many of the healthiest and most relaxing activities are the simpler, less expensive ones, like spending time in nature or preparing a meal with loved ones.
Find healthy de-stressing substitutes that don’t cost the earth.
3. Set a budget
This is an obvious one, but always worth mentioning—and a core element of practising mindfulness with money.
A lot of mindless money management happens when there’s a lack of structure around your finances, leading to haphazard splurges that set you back emotionally and financially.
Embracing frugality and setting yourself a weekly or monthly budget can feel restrictive in the beginning. But if you maintain consistency, you’ll soon realize just how financially transformative it can be.
4. Focus on saving instead of spending
Mindfulness is all about shifting your mindset. So, don’t just focus on where you’re spending your money, look at where you can save it too.
When you draw up your budget and get reacquainted with your finances, see if you can increase your savings in any way. There are plenty of ways to do so, from opening a high-interest account to “paying” your savings a set amount every month.
You can also look for ways to make money while spending it on necessary purchases or bills. Accounts that give you cash back for spending are an excellent option as they reward you financially.
Cashback vouchers for everyday purchases are a great help too, and so are coupons for products you buy regularly.
5. Give yourself small goals to work towards
If you’re new to the mindfulness game, that’s not a problem. You can always start with baby steps.
For instance, if you feel the urge to splurge on something you’re not sure you need, ask yourself whether you are willing to wait a month or two for it and if you are willing to sacrifice other treats for it.
6. Practice mindfulness in other areas of your life
Mindful spending isn’t just a habit, it’s a lifestyle.
As you’re probably aware, there are endless opportunities to exercise intentionality and mindfulness in your life, from the yoga mat to the grocery store.
Incorporating other mindfulness techniques can help you become a more present person who makes decisions based on true emotions and healthy foresight rather than on a whim.
7. Keep Your Money In Mind
We live in a time where big brands and businesses are constantly vying for our financial attention.
But succumbing to these consumerist influences doesn’t just drain your bank account, it can also impart unhelpful spending habits and lead to needless financial stress in your life.
Being more mindful about your spending habits isn’t a magic trick that will make you a millionaire.
However, it certainly can help you cultivate a healthier, more sustainable relationship with money that leads to more savings, less financial anxiety, and a more minimalist lifestyle that is rewarding and fulfilling on an emotional level.
So these were the 7 tips to help you spend your money mindfully.
In a world where excess spending is becoming a commodity, taking a more mindful and intentional approach to money matters can change not just your life for the better but also the lives of those around you.
You might also like