How You Can Save Money By Practicing Mindfulness

by Kaitlyn Ranze

Every so often, I get a text message from my friend Kayla. It’s usually a screenshot of an order from Amazon or a selfie in a Target mirror. We notoriously shop our feelings. We’re not proud of it, but the last 2 years have been rough, so sometimes we resort to a quick dopamine session of shopping.

Uploaded with permission of my friend Kayla.

And while we have never looked cuter, with rising inflation and a growing existential dread, we can’t keep going on like this.

In an effort to improve how we manage money and our feelings we looked into strategies for coping better. Here’s what we found.

Practicing mindfulness can help you save and improve your relationship with money

Mindfulness is all about being present in the moment and paying attention to what’s happening around you. When you’re mindful, you can focus on your thoughts and feelings without judging them. This practice can help you become more aware of your spending habits.

There are several studies that support the idea that mindfulness can help people save money. One study, published in the Journal of Consumer Research, found that people who practice mindfulness are more likely to make thoughtful decisions about money and stick to a budget.

Five ways that practicing mindfulness can help you save more and spend less

1. Mindfulness Can Help You Be More Aware of Your Spending

Meet transaction swiping: Become more in tune with how you feel about your spending.

When you’re mindful, you’re paying attention to your thoughts and feelings in the present moment. That means you’re more likely to catch yourself when you’re about to make a purchase you don’t really need. Also, if you tend to overspend when you’re feeling emotional, mindfulness can help you deal with that. When you’re aware of your thoughts and feelings, you’re less likely to make impulse purchases you’ll regret later.

2. Mindfulness Can Help You Change Your Attitude Towards Money

Mindfulness can help you become more aware of your thoughts and feelings about money. If you’re always stressing about money, mindfulness can help you change your attitude and find a more positive outlook.

3. Mindfulness Can Help You Prioritize Your Spending

When you’re mindful of your spending, you’re more likely to prioritize your spending on things that are important to you. That means you’re less likely to waste money on frivolous purchases.

4. Mindfulness Can Help You Stay disciplined With Your Budget

If you’re trying to stick to a budget, mindfulness can help you stay disciplined and avoid overspending. When you’re mindful of your spending, you’re more likely to stick to your budget – and see the results in your savings account.

Managing money takes work. Mindfulness makes the work a little easier.

9 Ways to practice Money Mindfulness:

1. Keep a spending journal. Write down everything you spend for a week or month, and then take a close look at your patterns. Not into all the extra work? Yeah, neither am I. Try downloading a money tracking app that automatically pulls in your transactions through a secure connection with Plaid. Then check out where can you cut back.

Use the money app to schedule worry time, improve your relationship with money, journal and practice mindfulness daily.

2. Make a budget and stick to it. By categorizing your spending, you increase your mental accounting. In other words, you’re more aware of how much you spend and what you spend it on. (Hello, money mindfulness!)

3. Pay attention to your feelings about money. Are you feeling stress or anxiety about your finances? During one episode of the money podcast, Ashley explains how her experience with really wealthy but racist people made her avoid wanting t o grow wealth. Mindfulness can help you work through these emotions.

4. Make a list of your financial goals. What do you hope to achieve financially in the next year, 5 years, or 10 years? Keep these goals in mind when you’re making spending decisions.

5. Focus on values based spending. Not everyone has the same outlook on what they value. For some, it’s a really fancy car or good food. For me, it’s travel. Mindfulness is all about being present and enjoying the moment. Your moments should be defined by you, just like your personal finances.

6. Use cash instead of credit cards. When you use cash, you can see exactly how much money you’re spending and you’re less likely to overspend.

7. Be mindful of your triggers. Do you tend to overspend when you’re feeling stressed or down? Be aware of your triggers and practice mindfulness when they pop up.

8. Make a plan. If you know you’re going to be tempted to overspend, come up with a plan ahead of time on how you can resist.

9. Practice gratitude. When you’re feeling good about your finances, practice gratitude for what you have. This will help you stay mindful of your blessings and make more mindful spending decisions.

Practicing money mindfulness pays off.

Mindfulness is a practice that can take some time to master, but it’s worth the effort. If you’re looking to save money, is also an essential tool. By paying attention to your thoughts and emotions, you can make more thoughtful decisions about your finances. Start with baby steps and practice a few of these tips each day. Over time, you’ll develop deeper money mindfulness and see the savings add up.

Related Reads:

How Tracking Your Money Can Reduce Stress and Save Money

How to Practice Money Mindfulness with Expense Tracking

Managing Stress and Money

How Stress Impacts Spending, Saving, and Investing Habits and What to Do About It

Defining Your Relationship with Money


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