We’ve all heard that "money can’t buy happiness". And it’s probably true. Lots of research has shown that raking in the big bucks actually has little impact on our long-term happiness. But what about the opposite— can money make us feel low?
Perhaps unsurprisingly, yes. For many, money means stress. Budgeting, planning for the future, and managing our wallets can leave us feeling a little anxious at times. So, is there a way to fight this funk?
Have a look through our top zen tips to help you destress about your money…
1. Start talking about it
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, the money taboo needs to be tackled. Keeping things on the down-low isn’t the way to go when it comes to money worries. Not talking about it only make things worse, and can even lead to negative feelings around the subject.
We checked in with our community and, in a recent poll, 60% said they felt more comfortable talking about money since they started using Yolt. This is great news, and hopefully means more of you are well on your way to money mindfulness.
2. Get yourself the right tools
Even the greatest zen masters still need their tools. From Buddhist scriptures to a meditation mat, pure peace sometimes needs a guiding hand. The same goes for money mindfulness. It’s important to be conscious of your cash, and any tool that gives you a clear view of your spending is a smart idea – and empowering, too.
From money apps to forums and newsletters, pick a tool you find clear and easy, so it can quickly become a part of your everyday routine.
3. Remember, knowledge is power
Getting in the know is one of the first – and most important—steps to money mindfulness. Unfortunately, financial literacy in the U.K. is low. In fact, a 2016 study found that 1/3 of young Brits actively avoid checking their bank balance. This often leaves people lacking confidence when it comes to their money, which can lead to extra worry and sleepless nights. But the reality is, if you want to make positive change, you need to know where you stand first.
Start by taking the plunge and committing to checking your bank balance at least once a week. With Yolt, you can easily check your total balance across multiple accounts and credit cards, together in one app.
4. Don’t fall prey to the society blame game
There’s a pervasive message in our culture that money equals hard work, lovability or success. But as we all know, money struggles are highly complex – and not the result of being lazy.
If you’re stressed about money, the chances are you’re actually an average person. A study of 27,000 people around the globe found that money is the world’s number one cause of stress. Unfortunately, anxiety and shame stop many people from getting the help they need or just confronting their money matters as a whole. So, if we can shake off the stigma, money enlightenment awaits.
5. Share your money knowledge with the people who matter most
Now you’re in the know, take it to the next level. Simonne Gnessen, financial coach and co-author of “Sheconomics”, advises: “First of all, be intimate with yourself around money, know what’s coming in and going out … And then share that financial intimacy.”
If we open up to friends and family, and even get tips from them on how they manage their money, the taboo around the topic will begin to break. It’s also very likely that your nearest and dearest have the same woes – together, we can support each other and lift each other up.
6. Make a routine you can stick to
With structure comes a sense of security. Financial therapist, Amanda Clayman, advises setting up regular slots in your day for checking in on your money – just like you do with brushing your teeth or practising a hobby.
Most of us only think about money when there’s a problem, and so it becomes associated with those negative thoughts. By building money into your daily routine, you can decouple money from stress.
7. Check yourself before you check your bank balance
You can’t start fresh before understanding and forgiving your past behaviour. To do that, it’s time to get personal with your money fears and ask some of the big questions. Why don’t I want to check in with my money? What am I really afraid of? By answering these questions, you can uncover the link between money and negative thoughts.
Once you’ve asked some of the tough questions, try flipping it and ask yourself what positive outcomes could come from mastering your money. What are the best experiences money’s given me? What is my money goal, and which small wins can get me there faster?
8. Know the signs and stop them in their tracks
From online shopping to boutique hopping, impulse buying is more than just about the purchase. A lot of the time, it’s about getting that kick of dopamine, that quick rush at the click of a button or the tap of your card. Sure, this feeling is great for a speedy destress, but in the long run, it won’t leave you feeling zen.
So, how can we spot the signs of an impulse buy versus a genuine need? Try writing down what you were going to purchase, and then wait a day or two. Ask yourself: do I actually want this thing, or was it all for the rush? Would I rather this item now or would I prefer putting it towards that trip I’ve been planning? By delaying the purchase, you’re able to re-approach it with a clear mind.
9. Visualise your goals
Research shows that visualising your goals and seeing things clearly is a top way to get there quicker. Just like writing a list, you’re more likely to tick things off. So, don’t just imagine your money goals, allow yourself to really see them. Whether that’s writing them down in a diary, creating a mood board of your money dreams and goals, or using a money app, like Yolt, keeping an eye on your money and keeping your eye on the prize come hand in hand.
So, while we know money mindfulness might seem miles away, we hope you feel one step closer to enlightenment.
Got top tips to share on how to stay mindful with your money? Join the conversation on Twitter at @Getyolt.