Are you spending money the way you want to: on purpose, rather than by accident or habit?
When it comes to our spending often our unconscious habits and behaviours can trip us up. Most of us spend money on needs and wants, emotionally and impulsively even without awareness.
But it’s important that we don’t let our emotions or impulses, instead of our core values, drive our spending.
Creating conscious spending habits requires our attention and an intention to spend in accordance with what we value most. If we can create a better connection with our spending and understand our emotions that underpin our spending decisions, we can learn to control and plan our spending so that it is conscious and intentional.
The money we have as a resource to use in our life is limited, so rather than wondering where it went at the end of each month, we need to be consciously telling it where to go. In other words, we need a spending plan.
This means that we choose how, when and where we are allocating it. And this purposeful action can help us move closer to our goals.
Contrary to what most of us may think, conscious spending isn’t restrictive, it’s liberating.
We can adopt mindfulness with our spending habits and triggers and begin the process of increasing our awareness of our spending habits by doing a spending audit. This is a simple process of taking a good look at our bank statement or online banking transaction history and assessing where we’ve been spending our money. There are also many apps out there that can download and classify your spending into categories for you!
We can also adopt more conscious spending habits by:
1. Allocating set amounts of our income to spending categories (creating a plan for our spending)
2. Planning our purchases.
3. Shopping with intention and not just for something to do.
4. Taking a list and sticking to it.
5. Unsubscribing to the constant sales emails and offers.
6. Asking questions like do I really need this before buying.
7. Waiting before we buy something.
8. Not buying something if we’re not 100% sure we need or want it.
9. Choosing our shopping buddies wisely.
10. Remembering our goals and weighing up if a purchase will get us closer or further away.
Conscious spending isn’t about buying nothing - it’s about buying differently.
In some cases, there may also be alternatives to us actually buying an item. While it might seem obvious, often we forget about the alternatives we have to buying brand-new.
Instead we could consider:
1. Borrowing it
2. Shopping around for it
3. Making it
4. Renting or hiring it
5. Trading for it
6. Buying a second hand version of it
Remember, the purpose behind conscious spending is about taking control: the idea is to make all of our spending intentional. This means that we choose how, when and where we are allocating it and this purposeful action can help us move closer to our goals.
© 2016 The mindful wealth movement