Banking on Mindfulness for Financial Gain


As I go through this wild, sometimes rocky, but always beautiful journey called life I've realized what a more contented, stable, and thoughtful person I am when I'm actively practicing mindfulness. You may be wondering what this has to do with finances and frugality and paying off my debt. The answer is: everything.




I know that mindfulness has become sort of a buzzword, so let me break it down the way my spiritual mentor, Cierra, explained it to me. It's as difficult and as simple as noticing. Noticing without goals or aims of fixing and without self blame. Noticing simply by stepping out of our normal internal dialogue and truly using our senses.


This can be done through meditation, though it doesn't have to be. I notice that I am often the most mindful when I'm cooking or sitting quietly in nature. You don't have to have any sort of formal practice to be mindful and its accessibility is part of what makes it so great.


Mindfulness and Money Management: What’s the Connection?


So what does that have to do with money? For me the two are so intimately interconnected that it’s almost challenging to parse it out. For one thing, when I’m noticing my thoughts and feelings about money I’m able to let go of toxicity and change the script. This is HUGE. Kate Northrup has an awesome quote in her book Money, A Love Story. She says, “The second step to changing your reality around money is simply becoming aware of your thoughts about it. Why? Because our thoughts create our beliefs, which create our actions, which in turn create our reality.” That’s it, right?! That’s what mindfulness can give you - the gift of noticing and paying attention, which almost always begets change. Awareness is the first step. Acknowledging that you have a hand in creating your own reality is the second. Then rolls in the change.


Then there’s the fact that when I’m aware of myself in this present moment I am neither blaming myself for the past nor anticipating the future. When it comes to debt repayment in particular this is so key for me. I often get stuck thinking about my financial situation because it feels so enormous and I have so many negative beliefs about it. Mindfulness allows me to notice those and, at least in the moment, let them go. Wow. Just writing “let them go” I felt a softening in my shoulders.


Some Basic Mindfulness Practicing Tips:


1. When cultivating a basic mindfulness practice, your mind is bound to wander. This is neither good nor bad, it is just a truth. So notice the path your mind has taken, and redirect back to your sensations.


2. Many people find that focusing on one thing is the best way to start a mindfulness practice. In traditional mindfulness meditation, this is often the breath. I like to focus on the physical sensations in my body. You might like to focus on the depth and breadth of color or smell or sound in the room.


3. Every time you remind yourself to be mindful you get to begin again. There is something so lovely about that. Very rarely in our everyday lives do we have the chance to start fresh, with a clean slate. But in mindfulness that is every moment.


4. There are some great guided meditations out there if you're looking for a place to start. I personally love the HeadSpace app. You could also poke around YouTube and find someone who you don't find obnoxious and give it a whirl.


Tips for Mindful Money Management


1. Every time you look at your budget, bank account, or debt balance, allow yourself to notice what thoughts and feelings are coming up for you. As I said, awareness is the first step toward changing your relationship with your money.


2. Stay present while you’re reviewing your finances. Sometimes this means doing some breathing exercises or a few yoga poses while you’re budgeting. Staying in your body and in your sensations will help you stay present with yourself as you look over your finances which will, in turn, help you to not focus all of your energy on the past or the future and instead create space for your money (and yourself) as they are now.


3. As Kate Northrup says “What you pay attention to grows.” So pay attention to your money. And I mean kind, gentle, loving attention. This can be anything from checking your balances daily or weekly to reading an empowering money-related blog post every day to meeting with a financial team. Pay attention. Notice. Be aware. Give love.


4. Allow yourself to be imperfect. I have logged lots of hours meditating and I still have to remind myself to do these things on an incredibly regular basis. The beautiful thing is that nobody else is in your head so you’re the only one who gets to watch you release your own toxicity around money and turn it into love. If you need to do that every time you sit down, that’s okay! The beauty is in the practice, not the perfection.

11 comments

  1. Great tips and I love that it provided me several insight into my own money management efforts. I will try to apply this as I am continually working on improving the way I manage my finances and ensure financial freedom.

    Abby of Life in the Fash Lane

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  2. These are really helpful tips! Especially during this time of year, it's so important to be mindful with your money.

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  3. These are great tips! For 2017, I definitely need to be more wiser with my finances.

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  4. What awesome tips. 2016 was the year that I really picked up mindfulness, and I want to continue it for 2017. I'm not very good at it, but sometimes just reminding myself to be present and to focus on my breathing makes all the difference.

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  5. My goal for 2016 was to be more mindful with our finances, especially that I'm now living with my husband (I just moved to the US in April 2015). We did pretty good this year, but it shouldn't stop here. May we continue to be mindful of our resources in the years to come.

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  6. Mindfulness is such a power thing! It's great that you are able to use it in such a thrifty and beneficial way in your life!

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  7. I am working hard on bring our finances up to par especially with a new baby on the way. Thank you for this!

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  8. These are things we practice as well. Great tips!

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  9. Very Practical tips!Sometimes I get so mindless with money. Money management can be a huge challenge for many ppl. Thanks for sharing this!

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  10. These are all great tips and suggestions! These are things I want to practice in 2017.

    Greta | www.gretahollar.com

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  11. I consider myself pretty good at this. We barely go out to stores (grocery is an exception haha) We try going to parks, watch movies at home, make home made meals, etc. Thanks for the tips!

    Rosalyn | LynSire.com

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