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Money Mindfulness

Creating Healthy Financial Habits

The topic of money is often considered taboo in our society, leading many individuals to feel apprehensive or scrutinized regarding their financial situations. However, avoiding conversations about money can lead to impulsive purchases and a lack of awareness of one's spending habits. We understand the challenges associated with mindful spending, especially living in a cashless society where you often swipe before looking at the price tag. Elements is here to offer insight into the psychology of spending and practical tips on how to be mindful of your money and take control of your finances. 

Understanding Your Financial Motivations

In most cases, our attitudes toward spending and saving are heavily influenced by the way we were raised. If you grew up in a household where careful spending was emphasized, you likely carried those values into your adult years. For many individuals, money was rarely discussed in their household, leaving them to learn financial responsibility on their own. Regardless of where you’re at on your journey, anyone is capable of creating a reality where they can make informed decisions with their money. 

The first step to developing a healthy relationship with money is to talk about it! Whether you choose to chat with a financial coach or confide in a close friend or family member, it’s important to be honest about where your money is going. Consider asking yourself these questions: 

  • What does your current financial situation look like? 
  • How often are you checking your bank accounts? 
  • Are you living below or above your means? 

Setting aside time to review your finances will allow you to make realistic financial goals. When you are self-aware of your spending habits, you can hold yourself accountable while maintaining a spending/saving plan, balancing your wants and needs, and keep your accounts positive.

Now that you are aware of the reasons why we spend money subconsciously, here are some tips to keep you mindful:

Make Spending More Intentional 

Money is a powerful tool that allows you to acquire many of the things and experiences you desire, and as the notorious quote goes, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” You must learn to distinguish between purchasing necessities and overspending on non-essential goods. While there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to the luxuries of life, it’s important to keep an eye on what that's costing you.

In today’s digital age, where money is less tangible, it’s easy to make online purchases or use your smartphone to pay for items on the spot. Luckily, there are simple steps you can implement to make your spending more intentional, such as:  

  • Removing debit and credit cards from "saved status" on your favorite online shopping sites to reduce impulse buying
  • Setting a spending limit on your checking amount and establishing alerts in online banking to help you stick to that limit
  • Using cash for everyday purchases to give yourself a more tangible view of your spending

Create A Conscious Spending Plan 

Conscious spending plans are designed to focus on your values and how they translate into your spending habits. Unlike traditional budgeting that can feel rigid and confining, conscious money habits are flexible enough to keep you disciplined while allowing for adjustments to fit your life circumstances. 

1. Think about what is important to you and how you can create a plan that aligns with your lifestyle.  Start by establishing how much money will go toward necessary expenses like housing, groceries, transportation, and other bills. 

2. After you’ve outlined your needs, you can allocate funds toward your hobbies and passions. When you align your spending with your values, you can enjoy your money guilt-free, knowing that you aren’t overspending in areas that aren’t a priority for you. 

3. Put your plan into action by engaging in active mindfulness. Before making a purchase, ask yourself if it aligns with your values and financial goals. Don’t be afraid to hold yourself accountable. 

Whether you’re saving for a specific goal, paying off debt, or simply trying to be more mindful of your finances, creating a conscious spending plan can help you achieve your goals while staying true to your values. 

Give Yourself Grace

Taking control of your finances is a never-ending journey that requires a balanced approach. As life situations change, so do your financial needs. This may include reevaluating your spending, finding new ways to save, or investing in new opportunities. Remember that you’re not alone in your quest for financial freedom and reaching your financial goals won’t happen overnight. Be patient and give yourself grace during the process!

Have questions or need help creating a personalized spending plan? Contact Elements Financial for expert guidance on achieving your financial goals! 

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