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Mindful Money

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Financial Stability Through Mind Power

By contributing columnist,  Alexandra Deluise

Achieving financial stability and wealth takes dedication, a strong plan, and determination to stay out of debt. Overall, the secret to financial happiness is a strong mind game. With mindful money, you learn to incorporate the principle of mindfulness and being aware to how you handle your finances.

Dedication and determination are created when something you are working on means a lot to you; mentally, you have chosen to continue with a task because you deem it important. Staying dedicated requires mind power so that you are not swayed off your path, be it a path to financial freedom or asset building. 

By spending a few minutes right now considering what’s really important to you, will create greater long term wealth.  After all, are you the winner when you’re the richest one in the cemetery?

Become wealthier with mindful #money practices #mindfullness

Your mind can also craft a strong plan for your financial goals. By thinking strategically, you are able to plan your way to wealth and a debt-free life. Rarely do people accidentally stumble upon wealth – average people like myself need to consider our steps.

There are other ways to literally put your head in the money game, and doing so is extremely important for your financial well-being. These are my top four ways to live with money mindfully.

Top 3 Mindful Money Strategies 

  1. Remember that you are not defined by your money.

The media would have us believe that without all that money can buy we are nothing. When you begin feeling overwhelmed by pressure to purchase, remember what you are dedicated to, and ask if this purchase is adding to your goals, or simply a way of hoping to conform to whatever lifestyle you are hoping to portray.

Two acquaintances of mine go to Florida and Disney World at least once a year, and sometimes twice; their apparent life of luxury is certain to make a few jealous. If the life of luxurious travel appeals to you but you do not have the means, do as Barbara recommends and take a day trip somewhere you don’t often go with a picnic lunch. You can still get the relaxation benefits from cheap, fun day trips – besides, full-blown vacations often come with their own headaches.

Jealousy will happen, of course, if you see friends flying off to faraway places. When you feel jealousy kicking in, just think about airport security. That should cure you!

  1. Make priorities and stick to them.

It is easy to be distracted from what you want most by what you want now. Once you have created your plan, you must stick to it. Remember that your emotions make quick purchases, but your mind, when given a chance, can think through impulse purchases and guide you back to a rational place.

For example, you may think you deserve to spend money on treats, vacations or your children, but that voice that justifies spending money you do not have is your emotional voice. By practicing mindful money, you will learn to say no when you have to, and will limit intense credit card debt.

  1. Change the way you think about money.

Simply changing your mindset can help you look at your finances in a healthier way. For instance, have you ever thought that you might be stealing from yourself when you make certain purchases? We might be able to shake off feelings of guilt for “one time splurges,” regardless as to how often these splurges actually happen. We cannot, however, forgive theft!

On the other hand, you might need to change your thinking so that you are regarding your money in a happier light. Instead of considering money as a burden to be carried, or an additional task to add to your already busy schedule, consider your money as the friend who will be taking care of you in your retirement. If I had a friend I could guarantee would feed and house me in my retirement, I would take very good care of that friend.

  1. Decide to be happy with less.

I cannot claim to be a full minimalist, but minimalism, to whatever extent you take it, has many benefits.

Owning fewer possessions means that you need to take care of fewer possessions; that is, instead of having maintenance on three cars, you will have maintenance on one or two cars only. I miss my Mazda Miata every time summer rolls around, but having a one-season vehicle is completely impractical.

Likewise, owning fewer possessions means that you need to clean less often. Perhaps there are not as many picture frames to dust, or you do not have to force your children to clean up their overstuffed playroom. Whatever the case may be, by reducing the number of things you own you will have extra time and money, allowing you to appreciate the things you do own.

The key here is not to suffer through minimalism by owning only one bowl and cup per family member. The goal is to get your mind in a position where it can be happy owning only one television and not needing to upgrade to a larger screen or smarter TV every time one comes out. 

Make sure to investigate the relationship between time and money.

There are many more ways to get your head into the money game with mindful money practices, start now so that you can ensure your mind and money have an effective working relationship.

Interested in reading more about ‘Mindful Money’? Check out Ira Israel’s article in the Huffington Post.

Staff columnist Alexandra DeLuise combines her banking experience with real-world financial advice to provide simple money tips to everyday people.

What other ways do you keep you use mind power to keep your financial stability or build wealth?

    7 Comments

  1. Interesting take! Mindfulness is one of my hobbies, but I never quite thought of this perspective on money. I can really identify with ‘decide to be happy with less.’ It fits my nature, and it does seem that the less stuff I have, the happier I am. 🙂

    Kurt

    May 21, 2015

  2. Yeah, me too. The older I get, the more I find that there’s not a lot of stuff that makes me happier. In fact, there’s almost nothing that beats just looking at the sea or browsing through houzz or decorating images on pinterest to relax me. (Of course I do love my Mom’s day gift of new noise canceling headphones) 🙂

    Barbara Friedberg

    May 21, 2015

  3. There’s a lot of stereotypical poopooing of seemingly practical gifts for Mother’s Day but that’s just right up my alley! PiC bought me a new pair of walkabout sandals this year. 🙂

    <When you feel jealousy kicking in, just think about airport security. That should cure you!
    That is by far the best way to combat that sort of jealousy I’ve heard yet! It’s not at all useful to me to imagine that the Lucky Joneses are in debt but reminding myself why it’d be a personal pain to follow suit is incredibly effective.

    Revanche

    May 25, 2015

    • Dear Revanche, We all have occasional bouts of jealousy. Your tips on how to combat those green feelings are welcome. Getting out of a ‘jealous’ frame of mind fast is so helpful in living a wealthy life.

      Barbara Friedberg

      May 26, 2015

      • I’m not an expert at it but after being on the receiving end of envy, I’ve realized it’s far easier to be happy with my life and make good choices to improve than it is to try to live someone else’s.

        Revanche

        May 27, 2015

  4. Barbara, you are so right on! Managing your money is a matter of discipline, first and foremost. If you have the mindfulness to not fall into the system’s traps, you can easily take advantage of the benefits of credit card rewards and other such incentives

    Erica

    May 28, 2015

  5. Hi Erica, Habits seem really tough at first, especially spending smart. But as you mentioned, once they’re in place, greater doors open for financial rewards-through smart use of credit cards and auto investing (to name a few).

    Barbara Friedberg

    May 31, 2015

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