Make it a Mindful Money Moment

    Learn some ways to be mindful about the daily money choices we make.
    Practicing mindfulness can be challenging. We can be distracted by the patterns of our routines, behavior, never-ending online notifications, daily activities and moment-by-moment thoughts. Money mindfulness involves taking steps to help get ourselves out of autopilot and reframing the things we are accustomed to doing. Here we offer steps to create awareness of your spending choices so you can shape a future that supports your overall financial health goals.

    Mindfulness through planning
    Planning is the key to being financially healthy. A great first step in navigating your finances is figuring out what’s important. Be specific in your money mindfulness by asking yourself questions:
    • What are my financial goals?
    • What areas of my finances would I like to better understand or track?
    • How much money do I actually spend per month?
    • How can I best use my bonus, tax refund or financial gift to support my financial goals?
    A Spending plan is a great way to start planning. This helps you identify where all your money is going each month so you can set goals with any financial slack you have available. If you would like help getting started but want to try it on your own first, our article “How to Map Out Spending Plans” tells you how to create a spending plan.

    Mindfulness through daily decisions
    Another step in practicing money mindfulness is being considerate of our daily decisions. The process of figuring out how your daily decisions are translating into spending choices can help you free up money in unexpected areas. Many of us make daily choices with the mindset “it’s just a few dollars here and a few dollars there.” This mindset can easily lead to daily decisions on autopilot which add up to more than a hundred dollars a month. Consider the following when making daily spending decisions:
    • How might you be more present in your daily spending decisions?

    • Avoid judging yourself – it’s not about being perfect, it is about gradually making progress towards your financial goals.

    • Look at your areas of spending. Sometimes we believe we may spend very little but adding it up tells a different story. Do I stop for coffee every day? Am I going out to eat often? Am I easily swayed by emails from retailers with the latest deals? Think about how changing some of these patterns may help you reach a financial goal faster.

    Remember, we don’t want you to give up something you value. We just want you to be aware of what you’re spending so you can account for it in your plan. Awareness of spending allows for more realistic saving and spending goals.

    Mindfulness resources
    By being mindful of how much money we are really spending in all areas of our lives, we create an awareness mindset. Things change so we must continue to monitor as we go. These resources are a great way to stay mindful of your spending:
    • Check online and mobile banking regularly.
    • Review your monthly statement for an itemized list of outgoing expenses.
    • Use our spending plan worksheet to start planning.
    • Check in with your neighborhood Financial Health Center regularly so you have a buddy to help you stay on track.
    Ready to get started?
    Visit your neighborhood Financial Health Center or make an appointment with a Member Relationship Specialist. Real people who will meet you where you are in your life and help you learn how to make the progress you want towards your financial goals.