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Mindful money practices to reach your goals 💸

In a world of digital banking and a million shiny budgeting apps, you’d be forgiven for seeing pen and paper as outdated tools for keeping track of your personal finances.

In reality, bringing your financial management offline can help you approach your money habits with more intentionality - and might be key in supporting you build financial success.

We're excited to have partnered with stationery brand Papier to allow you to win one of their beautiful finance planners as you progress through your in-app content. They are filled with practical tools to support you on your financial glow-up. Read on for our top tips for supporting financial success by bringing your financial management offline.

Achieving your financial goals

Writing is a more important part of achieving your financial goals than you might think.

A 2015 study at the Dominican University of California found that three simple things led people to be 33% more successful in reaching their goals: accountability, commitment, and writing them down.

A financial planner is your best friend in this regard. For example, if your overarching goal is to negotiate a pay rise, you can also use your planner to articulate exactly how you’ll build towards that goal, writing down small, bite-size milestones that pave the way to your big win. These milestones will be written in a place you can turn to when you need a boost of confidence. We like to call this our 'wins folder' 🏆.

Clare Seal, from @myfrugalyear used this 10x10 goals grid to keep herself motivated as she was paying off over £27k in credit card debt. Each time she saved up £100, she would color in another square! 💪

Building mindful habits

Our daily financial habits - how we spend, save, and invest our money - are a huge factor in shaping our financial situation. It’s important to make sure that they are aligned with where you want to go in the future. If you want to save for a mortgage deposit, but you never save a penny, your financial habits of today are at odds with your goals of tomorrow.

This is not to say that you should suddenly cut out all of your treats, coffees and non-essential purchases (aka anything that brings you joy!). This puritanical approach will set you up for failure, like any crash-diet veteran will well know.

Instead, try to bring more intentionality to your non-essential spending by writing it down each day. Keeping this written record allows you to mindfully, compassionately reflect on your daily money habits and takes some of the anxiety out of your bank balance. Maybe you'll find that there are some purchases you could easily replace. For example, your daily Pret Cookie when you're craving a distraction from work, with a walk and your favorite podcast episode. Identifying these patterns is the best way to empower yourself to start making small positive changes.

Challenging unconscious beliefs

A lot of people describe themselves as being bad with money. We're made to feel ashamed of our money - whether it's having not enough or even too much. These narratives can influence your financial decisions without you even realising. They can stop you from getting on top of your personal finances, let alone feeling confident about them.

Journalling is a powerful way to become more aware of these beliefs and examine where they come from. The act of writing itself can help to challenge these narratives and approach your finances with greater clarity and confidence.


Getting started

A money date is one of our favorite ways to kick off your personal finance revolution. A money date is dedicated, regular time for you and your finances, linked together with something nice - say, taking your financial planner out to coffee shop or to the park - so it feels like a treat rather than a chore.

There’s no better way to do the money date than with old fashioned pen and paper. Your first date is for the bigger questions:

  • Reflect on the ins-and-outs of your budget: what am I making? What am I spending? What am I saving?

  • As well as your attitude towards money - how does money make me feel? What are the beliefs I have around money and where do they come from?

  • And your long-term goals.

On subsequent dates you can check in on your progress and adjust your goals accordingly.

Visualise your progress. Seeing your progress on paper can be surprisingly motivating. Something like a “progress grid” is a great way to keep yourself on track and make your money wins super satisfying. It is important to remember that there will always be elements of our financial situation that are beyond our control - be it a cost of living crisis or a pandemic. But when it comes to those parts of your finances that you do have control over - your goals, your habits, your narratives - the simplest tools are often the most powerful. In amongst the constant notifications and occasional doom scrolling, sometimes there is nothing that compares to the intentionality of writing it down.

Dive deeper

✍️ No Spend Challenges are like a crash diet for finances. Why I chose to keep a spending diary instead - Clare Seal for Refinery29

🎧 Overcoming anxiety around money, a podcast episode between Emilie Bellet and Otegha Uwagba here

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