Mindfulness, money and this moment
15 December 22
Reading time: 4 minutes
Many of us are getting a lot out of mindfulness these days. It’s all about how much we’re in the present moment – and where we find ourselves right now.
Mindfulness can be a way to lessen the burden of what’s happened, and ease any anxieties we have about what the future may bring. It’s valuing what’s right now, right here.
And as summer rolls in and on, there’s no better time to reflect, sit back and notice our thoughts and feelings streaming by. This helps with our money choices, too.
What exactly is mindfulness, anyway?
It’s about being aware of the present moment, welcoming all the thoughts, sensations or feelings it can bring. Mindfulness gets talked about as a new thing, but it actually originated in the Hindu and Buddhist traditions thousands of years ago.
Some people are able to be in that mindful state more frequently and for long spells. All of us, though, can increase our awareness of each moment, noticing it without trying to change it.
It’s peacefully paying attention to what’s happening.
What has any of this got to do with money?
A lot, actually.
It can be helpful to be mindful with money, especially as we head into the holidays. The ‘urge to splurge’ can be strong! Yet there are heaps of ways to stay social and not fall into FOMO, that fear of missing out or of not keeping up with everyone else.
There will be so many decisions to make – and some choices will be good for our money situation, some less so. Which ones are which?
Staying in the now
What matters most in each moment is to have the best experiences, often with those we’re closest to, really connecting. How can we make the most of every single moment? You may find yourself being overly generous, giving more than you have and borrowing to do so no matter what. If you are a bit too comfortable relying on debt, a bit of reflection can keep you mindfully spending within your means.
Part of being in the now is being ready to fund it – having fun money for that last-minute road trip, those spontaneous drinks at the pub, or when flights are suddenly on sale. Spending with splurge funds – and skipping having to deal with debt down the line – is one of the best ways to be mindful with money.
Our money gives us options, but there is often the possibility to not have to use it, and instead set it aside to grow. If possible we need to always have a part of our finances that’s growing. It’s up to you and what fits your plan.
Letting some things float on by
The fascinating thing about the whole mindfulness thing is discovering and building awareness that we are not our thoughts. They are more like a stream flowing by us.
By practising mindfulness, we can watch them go by, along with the emotions or worries that come with them. We can pick some out as they go, identifying with some, and letting many others drift on past us.
When it’s all on with friends, family, fun – it can be challenging to weigh up money choices on the fly. There always seem to be many flowing by.
At times money will fuel the fun – like heading out to that music festival you’ve been waiting for all year. But it doesn’t always have to – like a pick-up game of touch at the park. So much is up to us.
Just as we are not our thoughts, we are not what we spend, either. Some options can just float on by. And we can skip the splurge if we want to.
Where do you find yourself?
In this very moment, you are on a money path, potentially heading upwards towards wellbeing. Your financial life is growing. The more you are able to set aside and invest for your future, the more things are looking up.
Now this might not be you just yet – perhaps you feel like your path is getting nowhere, or even spiralling downwards. Don’t stress. There is always something you can do – a choice that you can make right now in this moment – that can set you on a different path.
And that’s what Sorted is here for. For most people it begins with working out a plan for their money, and making sure that each spending choice fits that plan, what we want to see happen.
It’s a bit of mindfulness that will come in handy over the holidays for sure. And as we head into the new year, your better future will come that much more into focus.