How many times have you walked into Target just to buy shampoo and dish soap, and ended up walking out with half the store?

Yeah, that’s what I thought!

Let’s face it, saving money is not always easy. We are constantly faced with internal debate– spend the money because #yolo, or save the money because #goals? All too often, our need for instant gratification kicks in, and the next thing we know, we’re $200 further away from our savings goals.

To prevent mindless spending, and to keep you moving towards your goals, here are 3 mindful techniques that can keep you moving in the right direction.

Learn to differentiate between “needs” and “wants”

Before every purchase, simply ask yourself: “Is this a necessity, or can this wait?” This question alone can change your purchasing behavior, and the size of your bank account, dramatically! “Do I want these new shoes, or do I need these new shoes?” Your answer may change from time to time, and that’s ok! But the more awareness you can bring into each purchasing decision, the better the understanding you will have of where your money is going, where there is room to cut costs, and ultimately, how you can save more.

Keep your values close

Another easy way to gauge whether or not something is splurge-worthy, is to remind yourself of your goals and values. Try keeping a list in your Notes app for easy access to remind yourself of what’s most important to you, or what your current goals are. If regular community involvement is a top priority for you, maybe that big screen TV– that you know will distract and isolate you for hours on end– is not the smartest investment for you and your long-term goals. Keep your values at the forefront of your purchasing decisions to help you stay on track.

Actively limit exposure

Retail stores are not the only places that try to suck the money out of you, it’s online stores, too! Limit mindless browsing on Amazon, or mindless scrolling on Instagram, and choose to occupy your downtime with something that (again) aligns with your goals and values.

Saving money doesn’t have to be all that complicated. By adopting one or more of these simple and powerful mindful-money techniques, you can learn to make smarter purchasing decisions that will benefit both your goals, and your bank account.