18 tips to be more mindful with your money

The Mindful Movement has something to offer all aspects of a healthy lifestyle. We thought we’d look into how it could apply to finances, and found out that there’s more ways than one to be mindful about your money.

  1. Set an intention: Some of the most successful athletes visualise themselves performing well before competition – and sports psychology proves that this has a positive effect on an athlete’s performance! If you’re not working towards a goal, what are you working towards?
  2. Get real: Be clear on what it means to live within your means. For example, it’s possible to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars just by avoiding putting expenses on a credit card that just keeps building debt.
  3. Let go of the past: Just because you’ve been bad with money before, it doesn’t mean you can’t aim to now start being brilliant with your money management. There’s no need to tell yourself the same story over and over – let it go.
  4. Define your values: Do the principles you live your life by align with how you spend, save, and invest your money? Writing your values on your wallet, credit cards, or computer screen might help you to remember your values every time you make a purchase so you can consider if they really do align with your ethics. You can read about the differences between ethical funds in this report by the Responsible Investment Association Australasia.
  5. Give your time, love or money: These are all currencies, so it makes sense to use them all mindfully rather than mindlessly. You might like to donate to a charity, or commit to a monthly volunteering day at a local community centre.
  6. Take control: Dealing with money can have a strong emotional effect on some people. But it is possible to be mature about this; don’t let money control you – control your money. Be resilient about this, and make your money your business partner!
  7. Future fit: Women are especially prone to having less superannuation in the future… But this can be countered by taking a thoughtful approach. You might want to consider talking to a financial planner about the benefits of putting a voluntary payment into your super account. Alternately, there are a number of managed funds that can help your savings to grow, and where you’ll have access to pull your money out sooner than a super account.
  8. Know yourself: By setting goals that actually work with your lifestyle, you’ll have a higher chance of success. You’ll probably change with time, so don’t be afraid to shift your goals too.
  9. Start a rainy day fund: Making sure you have some easily-accessible savings means you won’t be likely put off important medical expenses. After all, without health you can’t live your life fully!
  10. Less is more: Modern society encourages consumerism, but shopping to excess has negative impacts on the environment, and obviously also on personal finances. Ask yourself honestly if you need to stop self-sabotaging your bank account for some ‘retail therapy’. There’s a mindful philosophy that ‘you are enough’ which may help to stop a compulsive purchasing habit.
  11. Be a better person: Take action to improve yourself and increase your knowledge through a course.
  12. A calm, peaceful mind: Reduce stress and anxiety by focusing on what’s important when managing your cash, savings, and investments. Don’t sweat the small stuff, stay calm and ride through market fluctuations or volatility to make considered long-term decisions without having a panic attack.
  13. It’s about more than survival: You should be the one to decide what level of cover you need, but be aware that your insurance might cover more or less than you need. In Australia, 95% of families do not have adequate levels of insurance. It’s often overlooked, but life insurance is just as important as taking out car or home insurance cover. You might like to read up on how to choose the right level of cover for you.
  14. It’s a long journey: Plan ahead for the long-term. Do a little research so you can have comfort – and then you can get back to the mindfulness of living each day, each moment, in the present in a considered way without being frivolous!
  15. Have fun! Like the song by Aussie rapper Illy and songstress Owl Eyes,Happiness, happiness is fine but it’s momentary, a momentary lapse of reality. Reality is fine – for the moment it can wait, I’m addicted to the chase of my happiness”… well, one way to get addicted (in a good way) to happiness with your money is to have fun with it! Check out the ASX Sharemarket Game‘ virtual stock’ exchange game where you ‘buy’ and ‘sell’ fake stocks online and get to learn the ASX system at the same time!
  16. Daydream a little: Thinking about real prosperity and abundance so you are truly ‘rich in life’ – but not greedy – will deepen your experience of life. Take action to improve your lifestyle and make it as healthy as possible to enhance your life in the best ways possible. You’ll find more time for yourself and your family, and you can’t put a value on that!
  17. Be open: Have open and comfortable conversations. Share your newfound knowledge with others – remember that hippy-phrase ‘we are all connected’? Well, what goes around comes around.
  18. Find yourself: Australian Ethical members can find and combine any unclaimed money in old super accounts by clicking ‘Find my super’ in the portal at www.australianethical.com.au. For lost money in bank accounts, shares and investments, perform a search at www.moneysmart.gov.au.

 

* This information is general information only, and does not take into consideration your personal financial situation or needs. You should consider obtaining financial advice that is tailored to suit your personal finances. Any views or opinions expressed are the author or quoted person’s own and may not reflect the views of opinions of Australian Ethical Investment.

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