When you aren’t aware of where your hard-earned money goes, it can sometimes feel like it just slips from your fingers the moment you get it. Keeping track of your expenses can reduce financial stress and help you save by encouraging you to be intentional with your spending.
What is Mindful Spending?
Mindful spending is exactly what it sounds like — knowing exactly how, where, and why you use your funds. This practice requires you to re-evaluate the value of a peso, outline your financial priorities, and take note of your spending habits. Each transaction you make with your card or cash should be purposeful. Keep in mind that whatever you don’t spend, you save.
How to Become a Mindful Spender?
Differentiate Between Needs and Wants
Being able to tell needs and wants apart should be the basis for your transactions. When it comes to wants, a few things you want to ask yourself is why you fancy it, can you afford it, how long will it take to earn that amount back, and is there anything else you can invest that money on instead. Giving it more thought ensures there isn’t buyer’s remorse and you become more appreciative of the item.
Don’t Make Impulse Purchases
Online shopping and digital wallets have made it easier to lose sight of your money, especially with the convenience of next day shipping. The next time you’re browsing online stores, either save it to your wish list and come back to it another time or add it to your cart but don’t check it out until at least a week later. This gives you time to consider the purchase or look for a better deal elsewhere.
Don’t be tempted to buy something just because it’s trendy or on sale. Set yourself up for success by unsubscribing from marketing emails that notify you whenever there’s a sale and delete the shopping apps on your phone. This is a classic, “Out of sight, out of mind,” scenario. Even though you think you’re getting a bargain, in the end, that’s still money coming out of your account.
Try practicing mindful spending for a month and create a spreadsheet to track your expenses so you have something to compare to. At the end of it, you should be making fewer impulse purchases, replaced retail therapy with a healthier coping mechanism, and have a little extra to put in the bank.