Money Mindfulness: 4 Steps to Understand the Role of Money in 2020

If you are like most busy professionals, you don’t spend too much time evaluating where you spend your money, how much money you have made with your investments, or what your future goals are for retirement.

You are busy juggling work priorities, family responsibilities, and running your household.

You don’t have much energy left for focusing on your finances and it doesn’t seem like it would be all that much fun to do anyway.

Dealing with money can seem like a chore.

On top of that, most of us never had a financial education—even college finance majors don’t get a proper dose of personal finance 101.

Furthermore, it is often considered taboo to discuss money and many parents don’t share their financial stories, struggles or wisdom with their children.

If any discussions do occur, they are normally centered on concerns or even fights about money.

Over the years, many of us have developed negative money messages or scripts that shape our day to day actions and financial decisions.

These “money saboteurs” are based on our personality as well as our first memories or experiences about money. I call these pesky saboteurs “money monsters.”

They wreak havoc on us without us even knowing it because they are ingrained in our subconscious. The good news is that we have the ability to eliminate these destructive money saboteur (I like to call them money monsters) by shifting into a wiser “wealth warrior” mindset.

If you truly are dedicated to gaining clarity and confidence about your financial life, you need to increase your mindfulness in this area.

What we pay attention to tends to grow and improve in our lives. Becoming more aware, educated, and motivated about your financial situation can have huge benefits.

It enables you to prioritize your spending so that your budget reflects the things that you care most deeply about

It gives you peace of mind that you are protected against any unforeseen events

It reduces anxiety around major life events such as retirement, sending your kids to college, or making large purchases or life changes

It helps you maintain a long-term investment strategy without getting distracted by market news and volatility

Here are four steps to shifting your mindset from one of avoidance to intention:

Step 1: Identify your purpose and values

Take time to reflect on what your unique purpose and passion is on this
earth. Consider these questions:

  • What gets you excited? What breaks your heart?
  • What would you regret not having done before your die?
  • What unique gifts and talents do you have that you can contribute to the world?
  • What happens when you fully engage in the world?
  • What do you bring to any situation?

These questions get to the heart of what makes you tick, what is most important to you and what you are meant to be doing with the time and talent you were given.

When you reflect on what excites you or breaks your heart what values do you notice are most alive?

Which are most important to you?

Your purpose and values are a great foundation that your financial plan can be built on. They can also help you prioritize how your time and money are spent. For help with this step watch this video.


Step 2: Create a spending plan that aligns with your purpose and values

A purpose and values-driven spending plan will foster conversations about money and minimize conflict.

When people observe, without judgement, how they are spending their money they are able to realign their budget so
that it prioritizes the areas that are most important to them. It also helps them notice and eliminate wasteful “zombie spending” in areas where spending is habitual and significant but not an important priority (or in alignment with purpose and values).

Couples can then engage in healthier budget discussions that center back to their shared values to ensure that
the spending plan is in alignment. For help with this you may want to review this video.


Step 3: Become familiar with your top “money monster” saboteurs

Take the saboteur quiz at this link.

  • What are your top 2 saboteurs?
  • How do they negatively contribute to possible money issues?

Now that you are aware of these saboteurs, you can notice how and when they show up in your life.

When you feel them influencing you in a negative way, label them and then try to shift into your more positive “wealth warrior” mindset.

For example, if your top saboteur is the Avoider, you may tend to avoid major issues or tasks involved with your finances.

If you are procrastinating paying bills, say to yourself, “Oh, that is my Avoider saboteur trying to get in the way.” Then ask yourself what would my wiser wealth warrior tell me to do in this situation instead of procrastinating?

Brainstorm a few ideas and then set them in motion.

Take action. Click here for more specific information about your money saboteur personality.


Step 4: Set mindful goals based on your unique situation that get you to a place of financial security

Where do you want to be 5 years from now?

What would financial security look like to you?

Try to envision this as clearly as possible. Perhaps you want to retire in 5 years.

What do you want to do, have, and be in retirement?

What will a typical week look like in retirement?

How will you stay socially and intellectually engaged?

What will make your life seem relevant?

How much money will you need to feel like you will be okay? Note that a common rule of thumb is to have 20 times your desired income in retirement saved in order to not outlive your funds for 30 years in retirement.

How close are you?

What do you need to do to close the gap? Try to create goals across all of the areas of your financial life: career, spending, savings, retirement, investing, risk mitigation (or protection from unexpected events) and your legacy.

Just writing down your goals makes it far more likely that you will reach those goals. In fact, you become 42%
more likely to achieve your goals and dreams, simply by writing them down on a regular basis.

Finally, this process can be overwhelming and so partnering with a financial coach may help you put all the pieces of your financial life and your life goals together.

If you need more assistance charting a path for your ideal financial future you can schedule a complimentary exploratory coaching session with me at calendly.com/abundancecoach/60min.

Laura Scharr CFP®, ACCL CPCC