How to spend money mindfully?
In recent times, there has been a shift in the mindset of consumers. There is a rise of conscious consumerism and the question “How to spend money mindfully?” is very common. People are becoming more aware of where their money is going and how their day to day purchases can have a positive social and environmental effect.
Being mindful of your spending habits can also be good for your finances. You might find yourself spending less and cutting back on unnecessary and wasteful purchases, leaving you more room to spend on what you truly enjoy and believe in.
Buy less: Before making a purchase, take a moment to think – Is it necessary? How often will you use it? Can it be replaced with something you already own? Can you buy it secondhand?
Try not to fall into a trap of excess consumerism which not only is bad for your wallet but also puts a strain on the environment.
Replace disposable and single use products with reusable ones: You may have to spend more upfront but in the long run you will save money and also prevent landfills from filling up.
Buy Local: Buying local boosts the local economy which has benefits for you and your community. Local produce is often fresher and since has travelled less miles, has a lower carbon footprint.
Support local businesses
Improve your community buying from small businesses
Choose to buy products that have been ethically and sustainably sourced: It may mean simply choosing one brand of product over another.
Support businesses and companies whose ethics align with yours: Nowadays, it is fairly easy to find out the track record of a company, their management and the corporate culture. Look for companies that have a history of supporting social and environmental causes that you care for.
Donate wisely: Do some research on the charities you support, the work they do and how your money will be used. When you can do so, donate directly to the charitable group.
Learn about Socially Responsible Investing (SRI): As the name suggests, this is an investment strategy which also takes into account the social and environmental benefits of the investment. SRI usually uses Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria to screen for investments. Some examples are ETFs that consist of companies with low carbon exposure, or companies that score high on a human rights scale.
Being a mindful or conscious consumer requires a shift in mindset. As with any change, start slow. It may not be possible to incorporate everything at the same time, but even small changes can have a big difference. And do not beat yourself up if you slip up occasionally. Eventually, you will feel in control of your spending, and confident that you are utilizing your spending power for the greater good.