3 Easy Ways to Practice Mindfulness and Improve Your Money Habits
by Kaitlyn Ranze
Mindfulness can seem like a difficult concept to grasp, but it’s actually quite simple: paying attention to the present moment without judgment. And it turns out that mindfulness can have a big impact on your money management and your money habits.
If you’re like most people, you probably have some good money habits and some bad ones. But do you know which ones are which?
Here’s how to identify your money habits:
1. Track your spending for a month. This will give you a good idea of where your money goes each month.
2. Make a list of your financial goals. What do you want to achieve with your money? Do you want to save for retirement, buy a new car, or pay off debt?
3. Compare your spending to your goals. This will help you see if your money habits are helping or hindering your progress.
4. Talk to someone who knows about money. A financial planner or coach can help you understand your money habits and make changes if needed.
If you take the time to track your spending, set financial goals, and compare your progress, you’ll be well on your way to understanding your money habits. With this knowledge, you can start practicing money mindfulness.
Here are three easy ways to start practicing mindfulness and improve your money habits:
1. Track your spending. One of the best ways to become more mindful and improve your relationship with money is to track where it goes each day. This doesn’t mean creating a complicated budget; simply write down what you spend each day, or better yet, use a money tracking app like Nav.it (on your right). With Nav.it you can track what you spend AND connect it to how you’re feeling through transaction swiping.
2. Invest in yourself. Another way to be more mindful with your money is to invest in yourself. This could mean taking a class to improve your job skills, investing in a gym membership or taking up a new hobby. Just make sure your spending is aligned with your values.
3. Give yourself time. Finally, one of the most important things you can do to be more mindful with your money is to give yourself time. If you’re considering making a large purchase, take some time to think about it first. Sleep on it, do some research and make sure it’s something you really want or need.
Bonus mindfulness tip: Try breathing exercises.
Don’t underestimate the value of just taking a breath. Box breathing, also known as square breathing, is a simple but effective relaxation technique that can be used to help reduce stress and anxiety. The practice involves inhaling slowly for a count of four, holding your breath for a count of four, exhaling slowly for a count of four, and then holding your breath again for a count of four. This cycle is repeated several times, and the result is a feeling of calmness and relaxation.
Here’s how it works: by taking slow, deep breaths, you’re teaching your body to relax and de-stress. This can help you break out of any negative money patterns you may have developed, such as spending when you’re feeling anxious or stressed.
Plus, the act of focusing on your breath can help you become more aware of your overall relationship with money. Are you always worrying about money? Do you spend without thinking about it? Box breathing can help you become more mindful of money habits so that you can start making changes for the better.
So next time you’re feeling overwhelmed by your finances, try some box breathing. It may not fix everything, but it can definitely help get you started on the path to money mindfulness.
Practicing mindfulness doesn’t have to be difficult; even small changes can make a big difference in your money management. So try out these three easy tips and see how mindfulness can help you improve your financial habits!