Find out how the secular practice of mindfulness helps you live more fully in the present moment and is a powerful way to take control of your finances.
Ask yourself, “What do I want to create with my money?” This reframes your mindset to be proactive, instead of feeling helpless. Consider that actions and behaviors you can adopt in the present moment to achieve financial goals most important to you, such as creating a spending plan or saving more for retirement.
If you choose a time or place to focus on your finances, as I covered in the previous tip, make that your only time to worry. Once that allotted time has passed, be disciplined about not letting your thoughts return there. Feeling anxious doesn’t help you solve problems or move you closer to your financial goals.
Raising your awareness about negative thoughts is half the battle. The rest of the battle is deciding to make positive changes, seeking the financial knowledge you need, and taking action.
4. Make financial decisions with more clarity.
If just the idea of making financial decisions, such as choosing investments or shopping insurance, makes you feel uncertain or apprehensive, you’re not alone. There isn’t always a right or wrong answer about how we should handle money—that’s the personal part of personal finances.
However, using mindfulness techniques, such as pausing to focus on your breath as it flows in and out of your body, can help you become more aware of your feelings and true desires. When you have more conviction about what you want to accomplish with your money, it’s easier to drown out distractions, evaluate potential risk, and make big financial decisions with more comfort and clarity.
5. Stay focused on your financial goals.
If you’re like many people, you have really good intentions when it comes to managing your money—but you just haven’t followed through. When you understand why you’re not taking the initiative to improve your finances, it’s much easier to break through roadblocks that are holding you back from financial success.
Using mindfulness can help you stay focused on both the big picture of your financial goals and the nitty-gritty actions you must take to achieve success. A motivator that always works for me is to consider the opportunity cost of a financial task, which is what you lose by not doing it.
For instance, if you invest $200 a month for a 7% average return for 30 years, you’d have close to $250,000 in a retirement account. So, procrastinating saving means that you’re saying “no” to a nest egg worth a quarter of a million dollars. That’s a heck of an opportunity cost! And if you slowly increase contributions over time, you’d end up with a much bigger balance.
In other words, taking an hour to set up your retirement account or to do other important financial tasks, such as budgeting, shopping insurance, and tackling debt, could easily turn out to be the most profitable 60 minutes of your life!
Results Begin with Your Money Mindset
The actions you take don’t just come from thin air—they originate from your thoughts. Having a poor mindset can be the reason you end up making bad money moves, such as going deep into debt, not paying bills on time, or dipping into retirement savings, just to name a few.
Returning to the practice of mindfulness can be a key strategy to eliminate negative thoughts about money and to choose a positive, proactive mindset that’s aligned with your financial goals.
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