Despite how you feel about money, money is an integral part of how we measure energy exchange, as well as our sense of security, value and 'success' in the modern world. Yet how many of us have wandered aimlessly in a shopping centre? Have impulse bought something that we regretted later or perhaps have yet to use? Have swiped our debit or credit card without a second thought?
Think about the time and energy you spend looking at, improving, integrating different aspects of your life. Now think about the time and energy spent on managing your finances. Do you give this area the same, more or less time and energy you give to others? How often do you stress about money, yet struggle to feel a sense of fulfilment and abundance with what you already have?
Often when we start to look at our relationship with money, it can bring up fears or blocks around our sense of abundance, worth and success. It doesn't help that we live in a society where sense of self worth and abundance can be measured with how much you earn, or how many expensive items you have. Using a more mindful approach to our finances and material wealth can help improve our relationship with money, and may offer additional benefits such as:
A realistic plan and strategy to achieve financial goals
Confidence to make financial decisions
Feeling more empowered and in control of spending habits
Greater sense of abundance and value for what you have
Less financial stress overall
Here are 5 tips to consider if you are wanting to be more 'money mindful':
Be honest about your current financial situation
Before setting any new financial goals, it is important to be realistic. What are your current earnings and expenses - right now. Where are you losing money? Where is money coming in? Are you saving as best as you can? What is working for you? What could be better? Take a good, honest look at the facts of your current situation. If needed, a third party source like an accountant or financial advisor can help look at where you are, and can help refine any areas that may need improving.
2. Be present when shopping
It can be easy to lose yourself while shopping - to get swept away into mindlessness with the bright colours, sale signs and subtle shop music, beckoning us to buy a quick fix or two for any worries or thoughts that pop up as we shift into shop mode. Online shopping is just as crafty, particularly if we are unwinding with a little social media or internet time, we may be more vulnerable to ads and impulse buying under the guise of convenience.
A great way to help with this is to set an intention before you shop (or scroll). Write a list, set a budget, and keep it in your mind as you go. While you are shopping or browsing, if you notice that your mind starts wandering (and wondering), bring yourself back into the present moment by noticing the feel of an item of clothing, the brand names of the cans of food in front of you, and so forth. Sometimes, taking the exact money that you need can help if you are a tap and go kind of person, as it helps bring your awareness back to the initial budget that you set yourself.
If you do decide to treat yourself or kids or companion, do so within your means, and be honest about what you can afford.
3. Review your finances regularly
It can be easy to get comfortable with financial routines, and we can often forget about our savings, investments and outgoing expenses. Reviewing your finances regularly can help keep you up to date on any extra money you may be missing or that may be entitled to you, and can help keep you aware of the in and out flow of money. If you are budget conscious, regular reviewing can help keep you on track with your saving and spending goals.
4. Look at your beliefs around money and abundance
Think about your first experience with money - maybe your first savings account, things you used to do for pocket money, your first visit from the tooth fairy, your first job, or your first big purchase? How did these experiences help shape your beliefs around money and abundance? What lessons did they teach you? Did you grow up in poorer circumstances wanting more money? Did you grow up in wealthy circumstances and feel guilty about it as an adult? Exploring these themes may open up how your past experiences with money shape your current perspectives, and can help create awareness with your current relationship with money and your sense of abundance.
Next, look at any beliefs that may be negatively influencing your financial life and keeping you from achieving your goals. These core beliefs can be formed in childhood from your parent's core beliefs, your circumstances and personal experience. Some beliefs might include:
Rich people are corrupt and entitled
Money is evil
Poor people are lazy
My self-worth equals my net-worth
I need to make more money to be happy
I need to overwork myself to provide for my family
Spending money on new things is irresponsible and costs too much
I'm not that good with money
Money is there to be spent
I'd feel selfish if I earned too much money
Amazingly, research shows money beliefs are linked to income.
So if you want to change your income, you will need to change your money beliefs. You need to first of all begin to become aware of your beliefs, and then begin to gently question their validity.
5. Save where you can, give back where you can
Whether you are a believer in the 'threefold law' of the universe or not (essentially, what you put out comes back to you threefold), donating and giving back is a great way to help create financial balance and to keep that good karma flowing in. It doesn't always have to be about money, like donating to a charity or loaning someone some extra cash. Giving back can involve donating time, resources, or energy. Of course, it is wise to do so mindfully, making sure that you are not putting yourself or your family or friends out in the process. Some examples may include:
Donating old or unused items to your local second hand store
Helping someone out
Visiting the sick or elderly
Babysitting for a new parent
Donate a coffee or meal at a restaurant or cafe that perhaps runs suspended coffees
Support local or small business by purchasing from them or promoting them
Make time to talk and listen with loved ones
Be kind to others without the thought of kindness in return
What are your thoughts? Let me know below!