How to Practice Mindful Spending

Date: March 16, 2022

Can you think of a big purchase you’ve made that seemed great at the time but ended up sitting in your closet collecting dust? You’re not alone! We’ve all made those purchases because spending money is so easy to do. Click here, tap there, the offer to spend money is everywhere! However, just because it’s easy to spend, doesn’t mean spending mindfully is easy to do.

Learn to master the skill of making mindful purchases and you’ll begin to gain the financial benefits of a strong money mindset. Try these tips to help you appreciate your purchases, avoid impulse buys, and keep a grip on your money.

1. Track it

We recommend an audit of your spending habits to find out where you might have room to trim your purchases. Do a check-in on your expenses weekly, monthly, or yearly to monitor where you can cut back. Viewing your purchases on an itemized list makes it easy to see where there is room to improve. It’s easy to forget about a daily trip to the coffee shop, but those takeout orders can add up!

2. Set up your budget

By establishing your financial goals, you give yourself something to work towards which will outline your next moves towards the goalpost. Choose what types of purchases are a clear “yes”, and what types of purchases are a clear “no”. Determine what you want your money to buy and establish priorities among those goals. Get a kickstart on your budget today by using our Budgeting Basics Workbook.

3. Designate “fun” money

Mindful spending doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun! After all, you should plan to include some fun into your goals. By setting aside a portion of your money that can be used for things that don’t align with your goals, you are not depriving yourself of a little retail therapy on occasion.

4. Disable one-click buying

Set yourself up for mindful spending success by deactivating one-click or one-swipe purchasing in your account settings. Eliminating the convenience of effortless spending will improve your chances of avoiding those impulse buys.

5. Pause before you purchase

Giving yourself a bit more time to focus on what you are purchasing will make you more intentional about your purchase. Give this a try: Take at least 10 seconds before any purchase to consider whether the purchase is enriching or detracting from your life. Consider waiting a few hours or until the following day to make significant purchases. Just like making any big decision, taking time to “sleep on it” can help you really think about the purchase and determine if it’s in your best interest. You can ask yourself:

  • Do I need this?
  • How much enjoyment or use will I gain from this purchase?
  • Does this align with my goals?
  • Can I afford it?
  • What else could this money be used for?

The purchase may very well be worth making, and you may find a deeper sense of satisfaction in a purchase that you’ve taken the time to really think about. Or maybe tomorrow you’ll realize you don’t need or want it, and that money will still be in your wallet, ready to spend on something you’ll really enjoy!

“A very common scenario is getting distracted while shopping. Walking away with products we did not come to the store for and forgetting what we came for,” says Jessi Swaenepol, Financial Consultant at Westoba’s Souris branch. “From my experience, I have learnt to create a list of items I need on my phone and to check them off as I put them in the cart. This way I stay focused only on the items I need versus the items I want. I walk out of the store feeling accomplished and proud of myself.”

6. Ask yourself “Why”

Before you reach for your card, or click Apple Pay or PayPal, ask yourself some of the following questions:

  • Why am I making this purchase?
  • Why do I want this?
  • Why will this purchase improve my future?
  • Is it an impulse buy?
  • Is this something I really need?
  • Is this a retail therapy purchase?
  • Am I buying it because it’s on sale?
  • Is this “a deal that’s too good to pass up”?

As Manitobans, we love a good deal but try not to let the sales and deals drive your reason to buy. Refer to your budget and your goals to guide you toward success.

Benefits of Mindful Spending

These tips will help you learn how to make more mindful purchases in your life. When you become more intentional with your money, you will start to see positive results throughout your life, in addition to having more money in your pocket! We hope this process will help you:

  • Realize what you really want and need
  • Develop the ability to just say no to purchases that don’t align with your goals
  • Learn the true value of your money
  • Pay off debt faster
  • Increase happiness, decrease buyer’s regret
  • Reinforce quality over quantity
  • Accomplish long-term goals

Now it’s up to you to take action on these tips to master your money mindset! Start today by paying more attention to making mindful purchases and act by applying these practices one step at a time. With a little bit of practice, you will accomplish becoming intentional with your money and rest easy knowing that your money is working for you, not against you, in ultimately finding peace of mind with your finances. If you can flex your money mindset, you can change your life!

If you need guidance on developing a budget or setting up a Fun Fund, please reach out to our experts. Call 1-877-WESTOBA or click below to book an appointment today!

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