Being mindful isn’t just about living in the moment. It’s making good choices about every aspect of our lives, from what we put into our mouths to our spending habits.
Our future is an accumulation of present moments. So, what does your financial status say about your mindfulness practice?
If your first reaction to that question was to run screaming in the opposite direction of your screen, you’re not alone. Money can make us uncomfortable, but if you want to change, you have to be willing to be uncomfortable.
Luckily, we have some tips that may help you save a bundle and feel less anxious about your finances. What’s not to like about that?
1. The Power of Compounding
What could be better than seeing the numbers in your bank account steadily rise? By setting up automatic contributions to a registered savings plan, you’ll feel that your hard earned money is actually working toward something.
You’ll be surprised at how quickly the numbers can look significant. You may even save by saving, as contributions to an RRSP or TFSA will shelter you from taxes.
2. Limit Your Use of Plastic (But if You Must, Make Sure it Comes with Benefits)
Credit and debit cards are easy to use, but hard to keep track of. Give yourself a daily cash allowance and stick to it. If you love the convenience of credit cards, make sure that you get something in return, whether it’s travel, insurance, gift certificates or cash rewards. There’s no point in a vanilla credit card that doesn’t have any attached benefit.
And remember: you can avoid paying interest on credit cards by setting up automatic bill payments and making sure to pay off your balance in full before the next statement.
3. Create Wish Lists
Santa Claus didn’t bring you everything on your Christmas list every year. As an adult without any magical figures, you have to rein it in by prioritizing. Your wish list can be for small things, like a new summer dress or yoga mat, or slightly bigger ones, like a new bike or dishwasher, or for the big mamas of spending: the new house or car.
By making lists, you can decide what’s for now and what can wait till later. And by setting goals and creating a financial framework for yourself, you’re more likely to be able to afford the things that are important to you later on.
4. Should You Buy It?
When your friends are pulling out the plastic to indulge in the latest juice fast, it can be hard to “just say no.” Using credit cards can be oh so tempting, but think of all of the things you won’t be able to have later if you spend your next paycheque now.
With online shopping still on the rise, it can be easy to distract yourself with a necklace on Etsy, which you may justify is handmade and perfect for you. Stop shopping because you’re bored. Period.
Tape your wish list to your computer to keep yourself focused and if you ever get tempted, hold yourself accountable by heading to this “Should I Buy This” flowchart and answer honestly.
5. Have a Prize in Mind
Saving all the time every day is not exactly the most invigorating way to live life. There needs to be an end in sight and by rewarding your good behaviour, you may be less likely to spend frivolously. So whether it’s a tropical retreat, a new sofa or the tattoo you’ve been secretly designing in your head, take the time to think of what it is that you really want. Who needs thirty pairs of yoga pants anyway? No, not even you.
Being in the now does not always mean spending in the now! Getting financially savvy is not only as grounding as a deep breath, but it also might make you feel empowered.
Still feeling powerless against the alluring calls from your promotions email folder? Just remember: the best way to get something done is to begin.