Learning to become a mindful shopper

January 23, 2020

Learning to make more mindful decisions has helped improve my finances, well-being and has allowed me to do more things that I love. However, to do this, you need to hit pause and reflect and look into what's holding you back from achieving the things you desire to accomplish in life.

We live in a society where there's an increasing amount of pressure to have our life sorted before 30. But that's not the case at all. I'm 27, and I still don't have my first home yet, and that's nothing to be afraid of admitting as it takes time to save for a mortgage especially if you're buying on your own!

Moving back home and educating myself about my spending habits has changed my lifestyle. I've learnt to be savvier with my cash and use my money more wisely to help benefit my long term goals. I cut back on shopping, I've become a thrifter, and I buy my food shop on a budget.  I've completely changed my way of thinking when it comes to spending my monthly salary.

However, even though I've tightened my purse strings, it doesn't mean that I can't go out and socialise. I give myself the flexibility to go out for dinner or drinks with friends, have date nights with my boyfriend and plan a mini getaway in the UK. But this is all done in moderation, and it avoids me from overspending.

However, this is something that everyone can do. Taking the time to overlook how much we spend a month can change the way we use our money. We can be more mindful and monitor how much spare cash we have can encourage us to save more money.  We can learn from our mistakes and change our shopping habits and adapt to a lifestyle which is kinder to our bank balance. It avoids us getting into debt, jumping into our savings and worrying about not being able to pay our bills or rent.

Budgeting is a skill that is doesn't come naturally to most of us as soon as we get paid we instantly buy the latest gadgets, new in items on the high-street or go out drinking with friends. The truth is that all these treat yourself moments add up and it could be in fact, costing you for one of your lifetime goals!

The only way you can learn from your financial mistakes is to look at your monthly bank statements. You can do this on your smartphone, but if you want to see a bigger picture of your overall outgoings, I would ask your bank to send you a paper version. I found having a hardcopy bank statement has helped me structure what I can afford as I would highlight the areas which are not bills. It allowed me to see how much I was spending on eating out, going for drinks with friends and also buying new clothes which truthfully I didn't need.

Instead, I've learned to be a lot savvier with my money and understand how to save my money. I've learnt to budget and live a lifestyle which puts my mind at ease.

I no longer invest in items that are produced by brands that contribute to fast fashion, and I only buy things that are from vintage, charity or thrift stores as they are more affordable and better for the environment. I've learnt to reduce my food bill and buy foods that meet my macros at a much lower price, and I've used the extra money to pay for my holidays.

All it takes is discipline and understand what you can genuinely afford by following these tips and overlooking your spending habits. You'll able to structure a way of using your money in a way that can save you from getting into debt and put towards your first home.

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