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Slow down spending to make more mindful decisions

Is online shopping so convenient that you buy without even thinking? Putting some speed bumps in the way can help you to mindfully spend.

We live in a consumer-driven society that reinforces the idea that buying more things will enrich our lives. From algorithm-driven advertising to the #YOLO and #FOMO-inducing posts on social media, we are constantly encouraged to spend. Purchases can be made with just a few taps and swipes. And access to money we don’t have is easier than ever thanks to Buy Now Pay Later, credit cards and personal loans. 

So, how can we practice mindful spending when there’s no time to think before we have completed a transaction? By changing our environment to slow down our spending, we can overcome the tactics retailers use to influence our decisions.  


Remove temptation  

Reducing time spent on social media significantly reduces exposure to advertising and #FOMO. You can also unfollow or unsubscribe to content, emails and notifications that you know creates temptation. A bonus of doing this is a significantly uncluttered inbox! 


Create a list 

Make time to mindfully curate a list of things that you need or want to buy. This could be a list for groceries, clothing or gadgets that you want. Make a habit of checking your list before putting something in your supermarket or online cart to resist impulse purchases. 


Give yourself more time  

Work to unwind “convenient” payment options. Remove your saved debit/credit card details from online stores, browsers and apps – and consider removing your cards from your digital wallets. Physically entering your details when making a purchase means you’re forced to think about the purchase.   

Apply a 24-hour rule to online purchases – put it in your cart but don’t check out for 24 hours. Or if you’re in a store, ask for the item to be put aside for you, then leave the store. If you later decide it’s what you really want, you will come back for it. 


Check spending allocations 

With your money on Autopilot, it’s easy to see how much you have left to spend in your Needs or Wants accounts before making a purchase. It’ll help confirm whether you can afford the purchase and prompts you to consider saving for something more important. 

By implementing these practices, you can cultivate mindful spending habits and resist the constant push to spend impulsively. 

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