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Mindful Spending Mantras: 9 Clever Ways to Spend Mindfully

One of the best ways to improve your budget is to change the way you spend. Always going over-budget can lead to financial stress and anxiety, but smart spending can instill confidence while also helping to make your budget more comfortable every month.

The key is mindful spending. Most people think of “spending less” as a practice of self-denial, which can be just as stressful as overspending. However, smart spending is empowering instead. Rather than going without, you can use a few simple mental mantras (phrases you say to yourself) to guide your spending decisions and change your spending habits with surprising quickness.

We’ve put together ten simple, useful mindful spending mantras that will help you spend intentionally and only on what makes you happy.

Here is What You Need to Know

1) I Do Not Need That.

You are about to buy something or add an item to your cart. Stop and ask yourself, “Do I really need this?” This isn’t an act of self-denial, it’s a real question. Roll it around in your mind. Consider when you would use the item, how much it’s worth, and whether it’s something you really need.

If the answer isn’t a strong positive on the ‘need’ scale, then put it back with confidence. “I don’t need that” is an empowering thought that can help you pass by unhelpful impulse purchases.

Delay Purchases for Increased Savings

2) This Can Wait for Later.

Another great way to reduce impulse spending is to put off purchases. You might feel that you absolutely have to have something, but can it wait? Could it wait a day? Two days? A month? If you put off buying something in the moment and never think about it again, it probably wasn’t that important, and your money goes successfully un-spent. And if that item winds up back on your list or in your cart, maybe it really is worthwhile to buy.

Price Hunting is a Valuable Skill

3) I Can Find a Better Price.

Another smart mantra that encourages mindful spending is reminding yourself that there are better prices. With so many stores and online shops, you can often find something you like for a better price somewhere else. Finding the best price gives you time to consider the real value of the item, and you save on the things you really want.

Price-hunting is also a valuable skill. If you make a habit of looking for the best price on items before you buy (including fees and shipping), you’ll start getting better prices across the board, which will improve your overall budget.

The Details Matter, Consider the Following

4) What is This Charge?

Check your bank and credit card transactions. Like login alerts, these records should all be things you remember buying on purpose. If you see a charge you don’t remember, track down the vendor, date, and price. Maybe it’s a subscription you totally forgot about and could cancel to save money every month. Maybe it’s a late fee on a bill you totally forgot about and could pay off. Or maybe it’s a sign that someone’s got your card number and you can save yourself a lot of trouble by swapping card numbers quickly.

Cooking at Home Equals Sizzling Savings

5)I Can Cook That.

You see a delicious snack, an enticing entrée, or a sumptuous dessert. Maybe it’s in a restaurant or the overpriced pre-cooked section of the grocery store. If your first thought is “I could cook that”, you could save a lot by making your favorite foods at home.

A box cake with a canister of icing is five times less expensive than the same cake from the grocery bakery. Chicken parmesan is surprisingly easy to make with a little Italian breading and pasta sauce. A six-dollar container of potato salad could be $2 worth of potatoes, mayo, eggs, and relish at home. Once you learn the secrets of cooking at home with whole (or boxed) ingredients, you can enjoy all your favorite foods at a fraction of the price.

Channel Your Inner Handyman

6)I Can Repair This.

When something breaks at home, you don’t always need a replacement. Get handy, instead. With a cheap sewing kit, you can stitch the button back on your favorite shirt, mend fraying hems, replace missing hooks, and even repair things like curtains and cloth furniture. With a few wrenches and screwdrivers, you can keep your furniture and plumbing in better condition without paying for repairs or buying replacements. 

With so many DIY and How-To YouTube videos, you can learn almost any basic repair in just a few minutes and save a ton of money in the process.

Convenience Fees and Luxury Upcharges

7) Is It Worth the Cost?

Ask yourself if something you want is worth what they’re charging for it. You may be craving a brownie, but is it really $7 worth of brownie? That necklace or toy might be cute, but is it $20 cute? Watch out for mark-ups where the situation or season causes desirable items to be exponentially more expensive than their worth. Convenience fees can double or triple the price, while posh stores sometimes charge ten times the price of the same item somewhere else.

Getting into the habit of guessing the true value of an item and asking, “It is worth the cost?” before buying can help you jump directly to “I could get a better price for this.”  It is empowering to walk away from overpriced goods.

Enjoy the Moment

8) This is Worth It to Me.

The flip-side of questioning the worth of an item or expense is the power in deciding when something is worth it to you. You are on a date. The sun is setting, it’s going really well, and someone is selling ice cream and roses on the river walk. You decide it is absolutely worth the slightly higher price for both to treat your date to a perfect evening. Go you!

You have been building a collection for years and you see that one missing piece in perfect condition. It’s a little pricey, but you will glow with happiness every time you see your completed collection. This might be the right moment to spend.

When an expense is worth it, give yourself permission to bask in the perfect moment or purchase. That glorious experience and possibly the joy it will bring you for months and years to come will make all those cost-saving decisions all the sweeter.

Here's What You Need to Know

9)I Would Rather Do This at Home.

You might see a great experience at a fee, then realize you’d rather experience it at home. Go see a movie in a crowded theater or watch it from the comfort of your couch on Netflix? Most people will gladly pop their own popcorn and save $50 on tickets, snacks, parking, etc. to enjoy the movie at home. 

The same is true for partying with friends. Pay a cover charge and for overpriced drinks all night, or BYOB with your besties in pajamas at home? Take a painting class, or buy a painting kit for cheaper and do your crafts at home? Buy into a community garden or plant your own flower beds with vegetables? 

If you have activities you enjoy, but would rather do at home, you can save by simply embracing your real feelings about the matter. And when it’s worth it to go out, let yourself enjoy the full joy of your outing guilt-free because you know you have chosen mindfully.

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Take Control of Your Finances with DebtBlue

At DebtBlue, we believe that anyone can recover from financial challenges, whether you struggle with budgeting or have debts piling up. Starting with a few mindful spending mantras, you can turn your finances around and empower yourself to achieve a brighter financial future.

If there are debts looming in your finances, enact your new self-direction and take advantage of DebtBlue’s debt resolution tools. We can help you turn your current debts into an approachable plan and get creditors out of your hair as you take control of your finances. Contact us to consult on the next step to resolve your debt and build your financial future.