Tired of feeling like you have to put your life on hold until your finances catch up? Feel like staying home is the only way to save money and avoid overspending? Starting to believe physical rewards such as over-the-sea bungalow vacations aren’t as realistic as they seem online? You’re right…but only to a certain extent.
As someone who’s lived through poverty to reach upper middle class status, financial scarcity is a mindset my life used to center around. It seemed like the more money was accessible to me, the more my living expenses went up. Which felt amazing and like an accomplishment until it didn’t. I’m also someone who prefers doses of luxury over the essentials or “what gets the job done”. But as my financial status began to improve, I quickly had to learn how to balance the two before I found myself seriously hitting rock bottom. If you can relate to any of those feelings, this article will give you the guidance, motivation, and tips you can start using right now to kickstart your journey towards financial freedom and security.
Implement daily mindfulness practices
Start an honest conversation about budgeting with yourself. Spend 10-15 minutes per day journaling or meditating on spending habits you observe. Beware: while reflecting on your finances, you may experience beginner’s relief at first — when you hit your fourth day of consistency and feel like all of your financial worries, concerns, or issues have been resolved just like that
. While the relief may feel good temporarily, you might find that the feeling doesn’t remain. When you slip, remind yourself that lasting change takes time. Sooner than you expect, you will see yourself on paper, calling yourself in. Because of that belief, the beginning of your mindfulness practice trial period may be a little rocky. But, sooner than expected you’ll begin to see yourself on paper…the essentials to calling yourself in.
There are various mindfulness practices that are quick, simple, and require very little to implement into your daily routine. Journaling and meditation are great resources that you can whip out at any time you want a quick session. But those aren’t the end-all-be-all. Here are some other mindfulness practices you can take with you anywhere, on any day, to help you manage your money mindset:
- Visualize your goals What do you want your finances to look like and what do you want to show for them? For example, do you aspire to live a luxury lifestyle everyone can admire or would you prefer to live minimally with financial security at the forefront. Once you visualize your goals, clarifying your spending routine will be easier.
- Eliminate your “earn more, spend more” mindset Too many of us fall into the trap of spending money like it grows on trees whenever we get that pay raise, bonus, a promotion, or start a new job. While it can feel great to treat yourself, don’t set yourself up for failure. When your finances improve don’t throw away your old spending and saving habits. Find practical ways to treat yourself as you would if you were still making your previous salary.
Find yourself still struggling with discipline? I’ve been there. Sometimes telling yourself to spend money practically is easier said than done. When you find yourself having a hard time reeling your spending habits back in, put yourself on a strict schedule where you revisit your goals regularly. It can also help to focus on one goal at a time.
- Spend less time on social media When you see less of what other people are buying and less of lifestyles you desire, you’ll focus less on what’s unattainable for you in the present moment
Note: this doesn’t mean to abandon your goals. In fact, by focusing less on what everyone else is doing, you’ll be able to tune into the intention behind your spending and work your way closer to your goals. Slow and steady really does win the race.
- Be consistent Take these mindfulness practices day by day to build a self-sustaining routine for yourself. The more you practice financial mindfulness, the more you’ll save and the better you’ll feel about the subject in general.
Eventually you’ll be able to identify your feelings, thoughts, or emotions around your spending habits, when you spend money, and why. From there, you’ll slowly get better at creating practical, self-guided boundaries for your finances according to your goals.