Mindfulness is an abstract concept to some people, but everyone can benefit from it. It’s all about living in the moment to achieve more peace in your everyday life. It improves your mental health and it can also make your financial situation much more doable. This guide explains how to achieve financial mindfulness so you can tackle your goals, improve your self-esteem and have a better relationship with your finances.
1. Stop Avoiding the Uncomfortable Assets
It’s easier to avoid looking at your account when overwhelming credit card debt becomes the monster in your closet. An empty savings account might make you feel ashamed or you could push away thoughts that remind you about your nonexistent retirement fund.
Ignoring what makes you uncomfortable only adds to your stress. Become more mindful by acknowledging these thoughts and recognizing them as a common part of the human experience. You’ll face them more confidently if they don’t scare you by seeming like impossible tasks.
2. Focus on the Present
Almost everyone wishes they could make more money. Your income will likely increase in the future, but it’s healthier to focus on the present. Instead of betting that your boss will give you a raise or even a bonus, look objectively at your current income.
Record what you make every month and subtract your living expenses, like bills, rent or gas money. You’ll know exactly how to use the money you currently make so you don’t live beyond your means and add financial stress to your life.
3. Start With Small Goals
Maybe your biggest goal is to pay off your student loan debt. You’ll eventually get there, but setting such a massive goal will only lead to self-doubt as days, weeks and months go by without crossing the finish line. Set small goals for yourself as a mindfulness practice that recognizes what’s currently possible.
Put $50 into your retirement or savings account every month. Add $10 extra to your student loan payments to get above the minimum amount required. Even though the dollar amount is small, you’ll still make progress and get to check off your weekly or monthly goals.
4. Delve Into the Tax World
Most people can agree — taxes are stressful. Whether you pay annually in April or make estimated quarterly payments, the tax world is a murky place that most people don’t understand. Learning about the laws and requirements defeats the stress and helps you plan for when things go wrong. You’ll make more mindful decisions if you know the rules of the game.
Talk with an accountant to discuss the most relevant tax laws that apply to your situation. They could discuss saving methods or find what you owe in back pay. The IRS has 10 years to collect tax debt, but you can arrange a Partial Pay Installment Agreement (PPIA) to make regular payments without sacrificing your current budget.
Don’t get caught by surprise when you file taxes in April. Mindfulness encourages people to learn how their actions help or hurt their future. Prepare for your future by making mindful decisions about saving for or paying your taxes on time and reduce your financial stress.
5. Learn Where Your Money Goes
If you regularly ask yourself why there’s less money in your bank account than you expected, it might be because of subconscious spending. There are a few ways this spending affects people, like subscription services. In 2019, the average American spent $640 on subscriptions for entertainment, beverages and more.
You might also make impulse purchases on things that have free shipping or catch your eye at the store. Reflect on your most recent bank statements to see where your money went and tally the various transactions. You’ll find the most significant leaks and identify the best solutions so you’re more mindful about your money.
6. Get Rid of Credit Cards
Getting rid of credit cards isn’t always the best option for people. You’ll still need them to maintain your credit history if you own your house and don’t pay mortgage bills or car payments. Still, you can put them out of sight and delete their saved information from your Google autofill so they aren’t an instant option. If they’re not within reach, digitally or otherwise, you’re more likely to stick with your budget and avoid unnecessary purchases.
Achieve Financial Mindfulness Today
Anyone can find more financial mindfulness if they know what to work on. Use tips like these to strategize your spending, save more money and set realistic goals. When you know precisely how and why you use your money, you’ll find greater financial peace in your daily life.