Spending your money mindfully means you are more disciplined about what you purchase. Having a budget can help you distribute your money where you need it, but you’ll need to be mindful about what you are purchasing if you want to stick to it. If you’ve ever found yourself wondering where your money went, it may be because you were not mindful about how you spent your money. Luckily, there are a few ways to ensure you are being as careful with your funds as possible so you can save more.
Create a Waiting List
Impulse purchases can prevent you from being able to hit your budgeting goals. It’s easy to see something and experience an intense desire to have it, and without enough self-control, you may find yourself purchasing it. Whether it’s clothing, technology, or a trip, ask yourself if you really need it right now or if it can wait a bit. Instead, consider putting it on a waiting list and saving your fun money for that item or experience. You can write it down on a piece of paper or put it in the notes section of your phone.
Whenever you add something to your waiting list, put the date that you included it. Force yourself to wait a certain amount of time, like a few weeks or a month, and then revisit it to see if you still want it. If you feel you really want it, you can purchase it at that time. While waiting to purchase it will help you manage your money more mindfully, you may still find you can’t afford it right then. If it is something you still really want, you might be considering getting a personal loan to cover the cost. There can be risk when taking out a loan, and you will want to review the pros and cons carefully.
Consider What Triggers Your Spending
Think about the times you spend the most money. It might be when you are in person, or it could be when you are shopping online. You may find it’s when you are bored and have nothing better to do, or you might find it is when you are with friends who are also spending money. No matter what it is, finding what your spending patterns look like will help you get in control of your finances. Knowing why you are buying will help you get it under control. If your trigger is being bored, you might take up a hobby, so you have something to turn to when there isn’t anything else going on, and it can help you avoid certain situations.
Use a Dedicated Card for Fun Money
It can help to separate your finances a bit. Access to all your money with one card can be dangerous since you won’t have as much incentive to restrain yourself. You could set up a separate checking account for fun money and set aside the debit card. That way, you can only spend the amount that is in the account. You could also use gift cards for this purpose. Once the card is empty, you can’t buy anything else. Another option is to use only cash for your spending. If you do not have the money with you, you won’t be able to spend it on impulse. This also makes you more aware of your money. If you only have a limited amount of cash with you and nothing else, you might rethink how much that night out is costing you.
Set Financial Goals
You can’t be vague here, simply saying you want to save money and grow your wealth is too non-descript. If you are buying a lot in one category, you can set up a financial goal to restrain yourself. Maybe you want to go out to eat less this month. The next month, you may see if you can go out even less and cook more at home. Setting specific, reachable goals and then moving on to the next goal can mean you are more likely to make progress.
Put Every Dollar to Work
Consider creating a budget that forces you to set aside every dollar for a certain purchase. It could be for food, entertainment, or savings, but every dollar should be allocated to some purpose. When you focus on each dollar you have, you are more likely to pay attention to the way you use your money. You should have a zero balance after you have used that month’s money. That means you should not have a negative or positive balance left. Tracking your spending can help you in this area since it helps you understand where your money is going. Keep track of receipts and review your credit card bills carefully so you can tally up total amounts. This helps you see how the little costs tend to add up, allowing you to be more careful.