Did you know almost 49% Americans make budgeting a part of their new year resolutions and only 3% follow through? While budgeting to keep your finances in check is a good idea, it is also important to start being mindful of your spending. With budgeting you can control how much you spend on things, mindful spending will ensure that you spend it the right way.
So what do I mean by being mindful of your spending?
Well, mindful spending is making conscious buying choices to create a sustainable lifestyle by being aware of your money cycle: knowing where the thing you are buying is sourced from, is it helping a community business, do you need the item you are buying, will it add to your carbon footprint, etc.
6 ways you can be mindful of your spending –
The add to cart rule
A rule that I have been strictly following for the past few years to control impulse buying or avoiding spending on something I don’t need is the “add to cart” rule. Add the thing you are wanting to buy to the cart but don’t buy yet. Sleep on it or wait a day or two. I wait for three days but I know people wait up to 30 days! Once you come back to your cart, ask yourself do you really need this? If you spent the last few days without feeling the need for that item, you don’t really need it, do you?
By following this rule for 3 days, I have been able to avoid buying a million things that I liked while scrolling through social media or shopping websites! Not only have I saved money like this, I have been able to do more research about where to sustainably source things that I needed and if in the process I could help a small business.
Try and source products locally
Buying locally is not only good for the economy but also for the environment! While there have been questions raised at the working practices of a lot of big box retailers and brands, local productions are considered to be more sustainable. Most times, local products are also higher quality and buying locally helps sustain businesses in your area.
Shop around before you actually buy
Another rule that I strictly follow is checking multiple resources online and in store to compare prices, craftsmanship, ingredients/materials etc. of the item I have been wanting to buy. Most often than not, you will find it at a better price or for a better quality somewhere else. You may even come across another product that matches your needs better than the one you were planning to buy.
Don’t save your credit card info on your laptop or your phone
It’s funny how many times you’d end up not buying something just because you are too lazy to get your credit card. Honestly, it only shows that you don’t need that thing that bad and can live without it. This is one trick that almost always works 😉
Take stock of things you already have
Want to buy something new? Are you absolutely sure you absolutely need it or you don’t have anything similar to use or you have the space to put it? I am a plant mom and want to buy more plants all the time. Before buying a new plant almost a month back:
- Is the time right? The temperatures were dropping and there is no natural light/not enough sunlight for the plants to grow
- Do I have the space? I live in an apartment with no patio or outdoor space which means all my plants live inside the apartment with me. Space is a constraint and I didn’t want to get a plant if I didn’t have place for it where it would get ample light
- Would I need to invest in other things? Winter means no sunlight for a number of days at a stretch. I realized that if I bought more plants, I’d have to keep them in areas that got no natural light due to limited space which meant I’d have to buy grow lights to supplement for the lack of natural light which meant spending more
The end? I didn’t buy more plants and have decided to wait till spring to propagate from what I already have.
Another great habit to practice is upcycling what you already have? Want to buy a new jacket but you already have two that you don’t wear but are as good as new. Try to see if you can add some newness to them! You’d be surprised at how many things in our homes can be upcycled and turned into absolutely new products!
This is just one example of how I turned my French coffee press into a plant pot instead of buying a new pot.
Hope these ideas help you make better buying decisions and allow you to be more mindful of your spending. It may not happen overnight but small changes to your spending habits will ensure that you are spending your money well and also saving enough!
How to be mindful of your spending?
Hope you enjoyed reading this article and found useful info on how to save your money and lead a sustainable lifestyle. If you like reading posts on money matters and would like these to be delivered right to your mailbox, sign up for our weekly newsletter below!