On a daily basis we make a myriad of decisions as to how to spend our money. We meet a friend for lunch, pay for parking, pick up our clothes from the dry cleaner. A kind of unconscious momentum drives these decisions, based upon our stories of the role money should play in our lives.
How do we make more conscious decisions, so that we can begin to change our stories and infuse our money with meaning? First, we need to put a structure in place that makes us aware of each spending choice. My husband and I find that journaling each time we spend brings mindful awareness to our individual spending decisions.
Second, name the feeling tone that arises: excitement, shame, pride; as you make and record each choice. Then ask yourself, how do you want to feel? I often consider “does this purchase create more ease, more radiance in my life? Is there a replacement that doesn’t require money that can create this feeling for me?”
Finally, recognize the triggers that get in your way. Do you always go to the mall when you are bored? Do you need a new pair of shoes after a particularly tough week at work? Do you only eat at expensive restaurants when you socialize with those friends? Identify the hindrances that interfere with making money decisions that authentically bring you joy.
What would love do?— Laura Rotter (@Rotters5) September 5, 2016
“What would love do?” is the question I am asking myself this month as I consider each spending choice. This question does not ignore my need for self care and compassion, while it reorients me to consider whether there are other, better choices that can be made in that moment. And it reminds me of the eternal and internal sense of deep acceptance, no matter what choice I make.