Live life on purpose

From Impulse to Intention: My Journey to Mindful Spending and Financial Freedom

Mindful Spending

In 2021, I set out to be more deliberate in my spending and shopping habits. My aim was to refrain from unnecessary expenses and to make better use of what I already owned. I was taking the leap into what I would later understand to be mindful spending. 

 

Initially, the challenge seemed daunting, and I approached it with little confidence. This shift in mindset coincided with my decision to leave my long-standing career and embark on the entrepreneurial journey. I had decided to open two small businesses simultaneously. With this decision, it became clear that cutting back on extravagant spending and making thoughtful choices regarding material possessions was a logical step.

 

Recognizing My Overspending Habits

One of the first changes I made was to reduce my regular visits to discount stores such as HomeGoods and Marshall’s. These trips usually ended up with me buying items like bergamot-scented candles, cozy throw blankets, and impromptu holiday decorations.

 

Even when I didn’t have a specific need, I found myself habitually browsing these stores. Inevitably, those trips resulted in significant bills at the checkout counter. The catalyst for this challenge came when I discovered three identical candles in my guest bathroom closet and another on the bathroom counter. The realization struck me as I placed a fourth candle in the closet: why was I constantly purchasing things I didn’t truly need?

 

Taking a critical look around my home, I was astounded to find an excess of throw blankets on my couch, outnumbering the number of people that could actually sit on the couch. And two flour sifters tucked away in the same kitchen cabinet, and an abundance of white tees that I’d likely never wear in my lifetime.

 

Taking Control of My Spending Habits

Breaking the habit of my weekly browsing trips wasn’t easy. I missed the enchanting experience of leisurely wandering through the aisles of my favorite stores, exploring knick-knacks, clothing, and home decor.

 

To further align my lifestyle with intentional spending, I started buying groceries in bulk, a practice that not only saved money but also reduced packaging waste. 

 

I also began streamlining my living spaces, decluttering areas that had become repositories for unnecessary items. This not only created a more organized and visually appealing environment but also made it easier to focus on what I truly used and valued.

 

Embracing a more conscious approach to material possessions not only transformed my spending habits but also fostered a sense of fulfillment by utilizing what I already had.

 

During this time I was very active in my local Buy Nothing Group on Facebook. It’s a site where you can give away items to people that asked to be considered for them. I cleared out closets, including my overabundance of candles, my basement storage area, bookshelves, and more. I took decluttering to a whole new level.

 

mindful spending
Consider buying groceries in bulk. I like to bring my own reusable packaging like mason jars.

 

Being Mindful Through This Process

As I reflect on my own journey, I’ve come to realize the profound impact that mindfulness can have on our spending habits. It’s not just about tightening the purse strings; it’s about understanding the delicate dance between needs and wants and learning to be present in the moment. 

 

This isn’t easy to do while being constantly bombarded with flashy advertisements, tempting sales, and the latest trends all over social media.

 

The first step is recognizing the difference between needs and wants. Needs are the essentials, the things that sustain and support our daily lives. Wants, on the other hand, are the enticing extras that, while enjoyable, may not necessarily contribute to our well-being in the long run. Being mindful means taking a moment to distinguish between the two before reaching for our wallets.

 

Being mindful about spending is not about deprivation; it’s about making intentional choices that align with our values and goals. When we’re present in the moment, we can assess whether a purchase brings genuine joy and satisfaction or if it’s merely a fleeting thrill. It’s about finding fulfillment beyond the momentary excitement of acquiring something new.

 

Practicing mindfulness in spending extends beyond the act of buying. It involves appreciating the things we already have, fostering gratitude for what fulfills our genuine needs. This shift in perspective can lead to a more content and less consumption-driven lifestyle.

 

So, the next time you find yourself reaching for that tempting item, take a moment to breathe, be present, and ask yourself, “Is this a need or a want?” The answer might just reshape the way you approach your relationship with money.

 

My 24-Hour Rule for Online Shopping

In my journey towards reduced spending and financial mindfulness, one of the most impactful changes I made was implementing a 24-hour waiting period before clicking that tempting “Buy Now” button during my online shopping escapades. It was a simple yet transformative shift that empowered me to distinguish between genuine needs and fleeting wants.

 

Initially, the 24-hour rule felt like a self-imposed challenge, a test of patience against the instant gratification culture we’ve grown accustomed to. It forced me to pause and reflect on the true necessity of the desired item. Was it something I genuinely needed, or was it just a passing fancy? More often than not, I found that waiting a day revealed the answer with surprising clarity.

 

Over time, this deliberate waiting period became a powerful habit, ingrained in my decision-making process. As I grew more attuned to my spending habits and personal priorities, I discovered that the 24-hour rule wasn’t always necessary. 

 

I had internalized a deeper understanding of my own parameters for shopping and spending money. The practice had evolved from a precautionary measure into a thoughtful and intuitive approach, allowing me to make intentional choices without the need for a time-delayed safety net. Embracing this change not only fostered financial discipline but also helped me build a healthier and more conscious relationship with my purchases.

 

The Changes This Journey Has Made In My Life

It’s been almost three years since I made the shift in my spending habits. I no longer crave those leisurely strolls through discount stores. Now when I shop, I’m in and out as quickly as possible. I usually don’t even grab a basket or cart as I’m typically only going in for just what I need. 

 

My home is much more open, less cluttered, and filled with our favorite things. Everything has a purpose, represents a memory, or is just something we love. 

 

I also don’t get lost in the ads on social media. Sure, sometimes things catch my attention, but I make sure if I buy it, that it’s an intentional purchase. I consider the value that will be added to my life if I choose to hit the ‘Buy Now’ button. 

 

Honestly, I didn’t think I would see this challenge through. I thought my shopping tendencies and overspending were just part of my nature. I’m quite proud with the adjustment that I’ve made and as my businesses grow and my financial situation changes I know I will stick with my purchasing strategies that I have found through this challenge. 

 

I feel better, lighter, and that I’m making a difference by not contributing to the over-consumption and increased waste that the world is experiencing today. Don’t get me wrong, I still shop, I still treat myself, but I have so much more awareness. 

 

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Hey there! I’m Christina, a woman trying to live her best life with purpose and intention. I love hanging out with my family, eating food with natural ingredients, spending time in nature, and snuggling in soft, cozy blankets. 

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Hi, I'm Christina!

Hey there! I’m Christina, a woman trying to live her best life with purpose and intention. I love hanging out with my family, eating food with natural ingredients, spending time in nature, and snuggling in soft, cozy blankets. 

Ready to start living each moment with purpose? Get your free Daily Intention Tracker Now!

Start living with intention today with our Daily Intention Tracker. Grab it now!