THE BLOG
07/09/2014 12:03 pm ET Updated Sep 08, 2014

Financial Mindfulness: The Path to Worry Free Finances

I've always been fascinated with meditation.

Recently I started using an iPhone app called Headspace. Headspace walks you through how to mediate. It's really quite nice.

One of the primary things meditation helps with is mindfulness. Mindfulness is defined as being in the present, the here and now, fully engaged in whatever is happening, free of distraction and with an open mind.

Mindfulness or focusing on the present is kind of difficult for me. I've spent over 20 years helping people focus on the future and their goals. However, an interesting question occurred to me today after my meditation.

How would financial mindfulness work, and how would it help you and your finances?

Reduction of stress and worry over money. I think we all would like to worry a lot less about money. Now bare with me on this idea for just a moment. By focusing on the present, the financial decision you have at hand, it will allow you to make a better decision about money no matter how important. You can decide at that moment if it makes more sense to save or spend. Do I really need this? Should I make this expenditure right now or wait?

Therefore, the sum of each decision made at that moment with financial mindfulness, will make your future with money all the better. Just focus on the one decision about money at that moment and nothing else. You should be able to relieve your stress over money by focusing on one thing at a time, and eliminate confusion.

That's not to say that you should just worry about the here and now and not your future. You can be mindful, while creating a financial plan for your upcoming goals. Financial goal setting requires that you focus on today so that you can have what you want in the future. Goals drive the moment by moment decisions.

Achieving a greater sense of contentedness. I'm probably as guilty as anyone of never being happy with what I have. Technology is my vice. I love buying the next new gadget. We all have some area where we just never are happy. This is probably the hardest thing and probably the key to lowering your financial stress. Once you start becoming financially mindful, being truly present as you are making that decision, it will lead to getting your head right about saving and spending. You'll start to figure out what truly makes you happy.

Your decisions will be more reflective of what's important to you. Financial mindfulness will help you be better at making trade offs instead of just saying I want it all. You might not take that second vacation because you want to save more for retirement. You'll make the most of the one vacation you actually take.

Becoming financially mindful will take some work. It will take some practice avoiding distractions and being in the moment as you make each financial decision throughout the day. The payoff could be financial independence.

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