5 Ways To Become A More Conscious Spender
Conscious and mindful spending can be a serious challenge. I've come a long way with my own money and financial struggles, but I still have a way to go! It's only been approximately six months of living more minimally and mindfully with what I choose to buy, where and how I spend my money but the joy and freedom these small and simple changes have created in my life is nothing short of mind-blowing!
I've hit a point in my life - nearing 30 - where I've realised that happiness, fulfillment and worthiness doesn't come from what I wear and the things I own. I would rather invest my money into items that bring me pure joy and put a smile on my face whenever I wear or use them! I highly value experiences, travel and treating loved ones to yummy meals out over the latest designer bag or an impulse purchase dress.
It all comes back to mindset. Operating from a place of abundance over scarcity. A place of love and joy over fear and 'not enough-ness'.
Gone are the days of being kept up at night by my crippling credit card debt, of having far more month than money after spending my pay check within a matter of days, where I blow a few grand on the latest Gucci bag that only makes me happy for all of 5 seconds and leaves me with a feeling of serious shame and embarrassment over my lack of control.
In it's place? Days of soaking up the beauty of nature around me, enjoying a deliciously high quality decadent chocolate treat, spending time with my husband, wearing the dress I purchased 4 years ago but feels as good and makes me as happy as the day I bought it.
And you know what? I feel richer and more abundant than ever. Things are looking up!
Here are 5 action-worthy ways to become a more conscious spender and feel abundant with less:
1. Hit pause and ask yourself...
I was a notorious impulse shopper! And the endless stream of purchases I was making without a second thought would still be sitting in my wardrobe months later. But the pieces that I adore, wholeheartedly, are still worn years later. They're mended, repaired and loved over and over again. So I ask myself before I make a purchase - does this seriously make me feel joyful? Not just momentarily excited or blinded by how I think this thing will make me 'look' - does it truly make me feel joy? Asking myself if this purchase aligns with my new values of mindful, conscious spending usually weeds out the poor choices too. Just hitting pause and asking myself these questions forces you to get real with yourself and think before whipping out the credit card!
2. Take a financial fast
When I decided enough was enough, I couldn't actually trust myself to not spend like mad. So I took a financial fast. Where I hit pause on ALL purchases (beyond basic needs for survival of course like food, transport, utilities etc) but on all the 'extras'- I just said no to myself entirely. Doing this for a couple of months forced me to get creative with what I already had and realise that I actually didn't need a new dress for that party when I already had a beautiful one that was singing out for more love! That I didn't actually need to eat out again because of 'lack of time' and could actually cook a delicious and quick meal after work. I realised just how much I already had and just how wasteful and crap those impulse purchases made me feel.
3. Make a budget and check the leaks
Have you ever added up just how much money you spend on coffee a week? Or clothes and make up each month? Or those ASOS purchases? Yikes! It's easy to think of it as just £3 here or £50 there but before you know it, that £3 daily coffee at work has added up to over £1000 over the year. That's a holiday! Though I resisted a budget, when I broke it down and allocated my income towards a) my basic needs and b) the added extras that I knew would seriously light me up, I had leftover money to the save towards that trip, that beautiful bag, the gift. It's not about cutting out all the fun stuff! It's about being smarter with the money you have so that it works with you, not against you. It also means that when you do buy that coffee once or twice a week instead of every day, you really enjoy it rather than just gulping it down! Getting a Monzo card has been a game changer for me in terms of tracking what I spend. You simply transfer money across to your Monzo from your current account and you can 'tag' each purchase so that come month end, you're empowered with the knowledge of where you spend your money! It helps that the card is a super cool fluro coral colour. Another note here is to get clear on all of the subscriptions and automatic payments you've signed up for - check your bank statements and see what you can cut. Perhaps that Hayu reality TV subscription is not in alignment with your high vibe kinda style now and that money could be put towards something you'll truly love!
4. Look at the positive over the negative
Rather than thinking about what you're missing out on, think about what you're working towards! You're not losing that daily coffee, you're gaining that plane ticket to Paris. When you focus on the positive goals and desires over the negatives, you're instantly operating from a place of mental comparison that becomes fun! You're in control of knowing that that £3 is moving you one step closer to baguettes and macarons under the Eiffel Tower! Pro tip is that for every cent you would put towards a coffee, new dress, whatever it may be, actually transfer that to a savings account. That way you're not tempted to spend what you have left over at the end of the month from all of your mindful choices! The best way to do this is to set £1000 goals. Saving towards that lower sum, as opposed to say a house deposit or luxury trip cost makes it much more achievable and attainable and you'll reach that figure much quicker than feeling like you're fighting for that huge number!
5. Choose quality over quantity
Every single purchase you make deserves to be the best quality you can afford. If that means waiting and saving for that Chanel bag you've lusted after for 10 years, that's far more preferable than spending £50 on a bag that will be forgotten in the back of the wardrobe after one season. The same goes for food. Quality over quantity. Choose the best darn organic produce you can get and revel in how juicy that tomato is, how you can actually taste it! Choosing to buy a 100g free-range, hormone free organic steak or piece of wild salmon over 300g of the hormone filled, grain fed, farmed stuff. Choosing to shop at farmers markets, at bulk food stores, at natural health shops and not only enjoying supercharged goodness, but supporting local owners and suppliers.
Doing this all from a place of abundance over a place of lack is key. Knowing how rich you already are with what you have, how beautiful the food you enjoy is, even soaking up how truly full you feel from the nature around you! Working on yourself and your own personal growth over 'retail therapy'.
Basking in these feelings of richness and saying no to the scarcity mindset. This mindset shift is truly the game changer when it comes to minimal and mindful living. Knowing that we are abundant, wealthy and worthy without 'things'. Knowing that we are deserving of the absolute best and have the power to give that to ourselves if it is something that will truly make us joyful. Knowing that we are in control of how we spend!
How freeing that is. To be able to choose. To live with less and yet so much more.