Stop Feeling Stressed About Money! 4 Tips For Mindful Finances
It’s week two of the new year and I’m already exhausted! Anyone else? On top of having a very demanding and independent one year old, my work schedule is picking up and I’m trying to redefine what balance means for me in this busy season. None of these are bad problems to have. In fact, I’m grateful for each one of them, but dang! 2019 is already starting out with a bang!
As part of living with intention this year, Kevin and I decided to be more mindful about out finances and institute a spending freeze for the first half of the year. Have any of you ever done this before? Who knows, we may decide to carry it even further, but for now, it is for the first 6 months. The holiday’s can feel crazy with gift giving and purchasing, so we decided that this would be a good way to kick off 2019 and bring some mindfulness to this aspect of our lives (not to mention our bank accounts would probably be happier too!).
Even though we are on a spending freeze, we each still have a set amount of money that each of us can spend in whatever way we choose each month. For us, it’s $100 each. That might seem like a lot, but we wanted to be realistic with each other. If we spend the money each month, great. If we do not, even better! We each have the ability to make that choice each month.
What started out as a way for us to cut back and save ended up causing us to dive deep into our finances to assess where we are and where we would like to be. So, we took a good look at our finances, set a budget for each month, discussed our savings goal and what we are comfortable spending each month.
Now because the limit is on the larger side, that means that more things fall under the umbrella of what that money covers (do what feels comfortable for you if you decided to test this out). The beautiful thing about living with intention is that if you are really going to follow through, you have to do a lot of self evaluating and self love. As an example, I’ve been enjoying taking a weekly yoga class. I already have a gym membership, so this yoga class falls under the “fun money” or “miscellaneous money” (whatever you want to call it) category each month. But, this is important to me, so I make sure that I account for it when I’m thinking about things I may want that come from that $100 each month.
If we want something that costs more than our $100 limit for the month, we have to save the money each month until we reach the amount we need to make the purchase. This simple mindfulness practice has the ability to have such a HUGE and positive impact on our finances, and I’m very excited to do a check in at the end of 6 months!
Here are 4 Tips for Mindful Finances if you’re thinking about instituting a similar practice this year (tailored to your needs, of course).
4 Tips For Mindful Finances
.01 Evaluate Your Finances
Do you know how much money you have coming in each month and how much money you have going out each month? You may have a rough idea, but if you haven’t sat down a combed through things you are potentially leaving a lot of money on the table. Whether it’s just you, or you and your significant other, sit down and go through everything so you know where you stand.
Kevin and I had a rough idea, but there were definitely areas that we could clean up!
.02 Establish A Budget
There are so many budgeting strategies out there. There is the envelope system. The multiple bank account system. The Dave Ramsey ideology, and many, many more. Find something that resonates with you and implement it. Do not make it anymore complicated than it has to be.
Kevin and I have everything in a spreadsheet that we can each refer to at the beginning and end of each month.
.03 Do Not Forget “Fun Money” or “Miscellaneous”
Whatever you want to call it, it doesn't really matter. When you’re creating your budget, don’t forget to give yourself a monthly allowance for fun or miscellaneous stuff. It can be as much as $100, or as little as $20, but be realistic with yourself and your budget. Leaving this out of your budget is a sure way to end up overspending and not reach your goals.
.04 Delayed Gratification + Think About Your Purchases
The biggest learning that I recognize for myself is that this mindulf finances practice is really teaching me think about how I spend my money. I am stopping to evaluate if I really need something or if it is a want I can go without. It’s also helping me with delayed gratification. Most of the time, my purchases are impulse purchases. I see something I want, I buy it, and there is a fleeting feel-good moment.
Forcing myself to save and wait to make a purchase ultimately makes the purchase that much more meaningful and intentional because I’ve had to plan and really think about the purchase.
Tell me, have you set any intentions or goals related to your finances this year? I would love to hear about it! Leave me a comment below.
Thanks for stopping by! I hope you decide to stick around for a little while and join me on this journey!