Did you know that money is one of the leading causes of stress in today’s day and age? The fact remains, people need to earn a living in order to, well, live. Whether it’s providing sustenance for their families, buying a home in a safe neighbourhood, or giving their kids the best education that they can afford, money is always on the mind.
Now, it’s no secret that people practice mindfulness as a way to lead calmer, and healthier lives. But, if money is the cause of their stress to begin with, no amount of medication or chanting can keep the stress at bay. However, when bringing mindfulness into one’s finances can make all the difference.
Here’s what you need to know:
Get realYou need to start by keeping things real. While it’s easier said than done, getting real about your finances can help put things into perspective. Yes, it will cause you to panic, sometimes shame, and anxiety, but when you consider aspects like, ‘Are you saving enough?’, ‘Are you tracking your spending habits?’, or ‘Do you spend money you don’t have?’, you’ll manage to figure out your next steps. And when you do, pay close attention to your habits, and make a conscious effort to avoid those patters.
Develop a non-aggressive attitudeThis simply means, don’t be too hard on yourself. Yes, you’re bound to slip, and when you do, instead of scolding yourself, it’s better to analyse how that unnecessary spending made you feel. This will also force you to look at more budget friendly alternatives. For example, should you spend for that ₹250/- cup of coffee from Starbucks? Maybe you can brew some equally delicious coffee at home. Small steps can help curb the habit of unnecessary spending.
Realign your beliefs around your financial goalsHow you view money is how your relationship with it, will blossom. However, it’s those subconscious beliefs your harbour that can make or break your resolve. Do you subscribe to the belief that more money means more happiness? Perhaps you equate your self-worth with your net-worth. It’s important to tell yourself one simple thing—it’s not what you have, but what you do that defines you. Doing this will help you refocus and meet those financial goals you’ve set for yourself.
Practice precisionSimply put, this means creating a budget and sticking to it. However, when making a budget, be as precise as you can. From how much you spend on utilities, to groceries, and even daily household essentials like laundry detergent, soaps, etc, set an approximate budget. This way, you’ll be able to track household expenses, personal expenses (for clothing and personal hygiene, if you live alone), insurance premiums, and incidentals. For those with families, you must factor in various fees and other incidentals. This will provide you with an overview of your monthly spends, as well as make you plan and save better.
Consider consulting a financial mentorIf you find that you have serious issues when it comes to managing your finances, it’s advisable to consult an expert. Financial advisors and money managers can help you manage your investment portfolio. However, seeking the help of a therapist or counsellor will help you in the long run. It’s a healthy practice to read up on financial psychology, and in some cases, get a family member or friend to keep you motivated and stay on track.