We talk about a lot of things, arguably we share a lot on internet, some might say too much, but one thing we don’t talk a lot about is money.
And yet it’s something we all think about (a lot).
We all know that knowledge is power, and that our thoughts become our actions, and yet we don’t check in with ourselves probably as much as we should. In light of, of Financial Literacy Month I’ve teamed up with Capital One to share with you some Money Mindfulness Tips, so we can all work towards being a little less stressed about our finances, and a little more mindful about decisions. So whatever your goal, and where ever you are in reaching them, one thing is for certain we all need to slow down.
Money can be an emotional topic, you could be squirming in your seat reading this right now, maybe you’re feeling uncomfortable with even just the idea of talking about your financial situation, but here’s the thing it’s just you and me here. This is a safe space, so let’s all just take a deep breath we’re going to get through it together.
I run my own business, and my boyfriend is a Chartered Account, so money actually is a topic we discuss quite a bit in our house. As a former teacher I always joke that I now teach the internet, and because of my background (and my forever quest to share knowledge) I always want to equip you dearest blog readers with the best skills and advice I can possibly give you. With all the talks here on Short Presents about the best beauty products, how to style that new “it” item, or recipes or travel advice I do think it’s also important we also talk about money.
When we’re working towards living our #bestlives financial awareness plays a really big part. Personally, I think we should talk about money more, and not because the holidays are just around the corner and a lot of money is about to go out the door, but because it’s empowering to make your finances a priority.
Finances are one of those things that seems super scary when you’re on the outside looking in, but once you are in the driver’s seat it’s really not as bad as you initially thought.
However #realtalk, it’s also important to remember that it’s not going to magically fix itself, so facing it head on really is the best approach because even small steps can lead to big change over time.
According to a study done by Capital One, 44% of Canadians believe that their financial situation negatively impacts their mental health: The biggest financial stressors on Canadians’ mental health is their total debt load (31%), followed by affording essentials (20%), credit card debt (16%), and housing affordability (15%). And as someone who has put themselves through university, and not one but two degrees: I can totally relate to the stats above. What’s even more interesting to me is the following:
For a society that spends an enormous amount of time worrying about something, it’s interesting to learn that many people aren’t actively trying to do anything about it. About one in five (21%) would actually go to extremes to avoid reviewing their personal finances, including: Eating dinner with an ex-friend or ex-significant other (11%) Getting stung by a bee (7%) Sit through a root canal (6%) Sitting next to a sick passenger on along-haul flight (4%). I think we can all agree that time would be much better spent tackling the issue head one or making some small steps to move in the right direction.
You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge, and ain’t nobody needs to choose between their finances and getting stung by bees lol There’s got to be a better solution right?? So let’s chat about some things we all could be doing to make sure we’re on the right track with our finances.
MONEY MINDFULNESS TIPS
1. IDENTIFY WHEN YOUR WORRYING IS IMPACTING YOU
We all do it, and honestly we kind of need stress to stay alive, but it’s how you manage that stress that makes the difference. We should all worry about money on some level because otherwise we would spend it like there’s no tomorrow, and that just wouldn’t be responsible. However, if you find yourself in a perpetual loop of worrying (or it’s something that’s keeping you up at night) it might be time to reign in the professionals to help you make a plan.
2. KNOW YOUR FINANCIAL SITUATION
I think it’s easy to just not look at it, and pretend everything is fine, but when you take a REAL look at your finances and see where your money is going (or where it should be going) it can really make the picture a lot clearer, and ultimately help you make better choices. For me or anyone who works contract work it’s tough because I don’t have a regular pay check with the same amounts all the time, so personally I have to kind figure out what my constants are, and make sure I’m always a few months ahead because I just never know what will come up. When you’re an entrepreneur it really just means you need to remind yourself to check-in and check in often. If you have a regular pay check it’s actually much easier for you to build budgets, set up some automated payments for savings, retirement, credit card debt etc.
3. EMBRACE A BUDGET
ohhhh the dreaded “b” word that no one wants to face lol However, once you figure out your income (or roughly how much money is coming in) you really want get an idea of how much you’re spending on the basics: rent, mortgage, transportation, savings and any additional expenses. You might find there are some places where you could be saving, and ultimately you’ll have a better idea of what you should be spending each month.
4. TRACK EVERYTHING
Spending money is part of life, we buy a coffee here, and we buy lunch there, but I think we can all agree we unknowingly spend more than we need to on certain things.
However, there are some really great free tools available to help you identify where you’re money is going, and when you see how much is actually going out the door on specialty coffees, eating out, or shopping etc: it really does put things into perspective pretty quick. As the accountant in my house would say you can’t argue with the numbers, and once you see how quick it adds up it can really be eye opening.
5. BE CAREFUL WITH CREDIT
Borrowing money is definitely okay, it helps build your credit score, but it’s really important to not allow it to get out of hand. If you find you’re typically holding a balance on your credit card at the end of each month, take a step back, review your budget, and see where you can find efficiencies or maybe consider putting little sums of money aside for financial emergencies (like for your pet etc). Try not to dip into too much, but having a little safety net is always a good idea.
Bottom line we all need to slow down and take a beat from our fast paced lifestyle, and really focus on doing the work. No matter where you are with your finances there are some great tools available like Capital One’s Credit Keeper which can help you better understand credit and the importance of a healthy credit score to your overall financial health. If you’re planing on borrowing money for a mortgage or a car anytime soon it’s really smart to make sure your credit score is in a good place well before you even consider making that leap.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
www.cewc.ca is also a great resource to learn more about financial literacy month, and all the different events that are taking place across the country, including credit building programs which are designed to teach Canadians how to build or rebuild their credit and help increase their credit score.
Whether it’s financial literacy month or any month of the year: you can never regret making your finances a priority. Shout out to brand partner Capital One here for sending me over some statistics it was really eye opening, and I was really excited to share it with all of you. If you have any questions about the information you see here, or about the resources listed in this post please do not hesitate to reach out to me or the folks at Capital One, as I’m sure they would be happy to assist you.
Hope you enjoyed today’s post!
**This post was sponsored by Capital One, however all opinions expressed are my own.