I will be the first to admit that I am not a mindful spender. I like to attribute part of the problem to the dollar bins at Target. If you can go into target and walk past those dollar bins and not put a single in your shopping cart, you have more self-control in your pinky finger than I could probably ever possess. GOOD. FOR. YOU.
They say the first step in getting help is admitting the problem right? Well here it goes…I know I have a problem mindlessly spending money and the majority of the time when I am mindlessly spending money I find it is on items I could most likely live without. Amazon, I am talking to you.
Eating & Shopping. Those are the two activities I catch myself doing mindlessly when I am bored. Can anyone relate?
We are getting close to the holidays, which mean it’s almost time to declare a New Year’s Resolution. I know my resolution for the New Year may take some getting used to so I decided to start early. I have created a goal for myself to become a more mindful and practical spender, both of my time and money (but mostly money).
After much soul searching and internet browsing I have found some helpful tips. And, believe it or not, a few of these I already do, #winning.
Think Before Spending
A few questions to run through before making that new top, cup of coffee, or random Amazon purchase.
- What is the purpose of this purchase?
- Is it necessary?
- How will I benefit from this purchase?
- Are there cheaper alternatives?
Just taking a moment to rationalize whether or not the purchase is necessary will help create a more mindful attitude. This is one of those tips I actually have done before starting this journey of mindfulness. More times than not I have realized if I even have to ask myself these questions the item I am debating on getting is probably not a necessity. But, don’t be fooled, there have been numerous (more than I would like to admit) times I have completely avoided all four of these questions and bought whatever it was that I wanted. Sometimes you just have to #treatyoself.
I don’t know about you, but it is much easier for me to swipe my debit card than it is to hand over cash. I will hold on to cash until I absolutely have to spend it. Even more so, I hate breaking large bills. I do not know what it is, but it almost feels as if a piece of my heart breaks when I break large bills. Maybe it is the physical act of having to watch myself hand over the cash that makes it so hard to part with, whereas when I swipe my card I don’t actively see the money go unless I open up my mobile banking app. Not only is it beneficial to have cash handy in case of an emergency and you can’t access an ATM, it has definitely kept me from making some unnecessary purchases.
Have a friend or a family member hold you accountable. Whether it is for your shopping habits, working out, eating better, find an accountability partner. Let’s all be honest here, it is so much easier to point out the faults in others before we point them out in ourselves. Find someone who is able to not only point out your bad habits, but identify and celebrate your successes with you.
Name-brand sometimes isn’t always the best brand. I am a firm believer that there are certain things to splurge on and get the name brand. But, there a lot more items that serve the exact same purpose as the name brand items and are cheaper. Look for sales, coupons, or specials on items. It is perfectly acceptable to be picky and shop around for the best deals. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
An Attitude of Gratitude
Gratitude goes a long way. The truth of the matter is, this day in age it is so incredibly easy to mindlessly spend our time and money. We have the world at our fingertips, but that is no excuse to not be grateful. I am guilty of filling the void of boredom with random online shopping sprees or getting completely sucked into a Netflix binge. When you catch yourself in the midst of those things, take some time go outside and get some fresh air. Better yet, go for a walk, a run, a hike, a bike; anything that gets you up and moving. Or…if you’re going to be on your phone send someone you love a text and let them know why you’re thankful they are in your life. I promise it will make their day and yours a little brighter.