Did you know Canadians, on average, spend 7 hours a week worrying about their finances, according to a report by Capital One Canada! That’s a lot of time spent unproductively. If only a fraction of that time was spent on learning self-control, the rest of it could have been spent being more productive!

The fact is, most people know what it takes to keep their finances under control. It just needs some basic addition and subtraction skills to know how much you earn and how much of it you can spend. Yet, more and more people continue to live in debt and financial troubles. Needless to say, it takes more than just some basic math skills to keep your finances in order- and this is where money mindfulness comes in!

Practicing mindfulness has been a game changer for many seeking clarity and focus regarding their health, lifestyle, relationships, and now, even finances! Following are a list of ways money mindfulness can help attain financial freedom!

1. It’s all in the Head!

Just like successfully managing a business is not possible by jotting down a rule book, financial management cannot be achieved by bookkeeping or even accounting! You need to understand that it all starts in the head. You need to practice self-control in order to control your spending habits.

2. Keep Track of Your Expenses

Might sound like a moot point, but tracking your expenses when rummaging through your bank statement does not count! Make a weekly log of every little penny that you spend. At the end of the week go through all your expenditures and mark the ones that could have been avoided. How much did it sum up to? Now think of more productive ways that you could have spent that money! You could perhaps have invested in that new printer you had your eyes on, paid half your mortgage, or fixed the bathroom sink? Mindfulness helps you remain focused on the necessary expenditures rather than tempting splurges.

3. Practice Delayed Gratification

Want to withhold spending on new candles every time you go grocery shopping? Set a goal to upgrade the dining table or computer and you will find the motivation to control impulsive purchasing. Having long term and short term plans are a great way to remain focused on your goals.

4. Be Mindful of Your Expenses

One of the biggest mistakes we make with our finances is to believe we have more than we actually do. Just because you earn a specific amount does not necessarily mean you take home that amount too! Evaluate your taxes, mortgages, debts, bills, groceries, insurances, retirement funds and other costs to figure out how much you are actually left with to spend.

5. Follow Warren Buffet’s Advice!

When Warren Buffet tells you to be mindful of your money, you have got to be mindful of your money to attain financial freedom! His mantra ‘save before you spend’ is pretty basic yet pretty effective.

6. Forget About Your Investments

What do you do when financial worries take over all other thoughts? You check for an update on your investments! It is a feel good strategy that is ineffective and time wasting. Continually checking up on your investments makes you believe you have money to spend when you don’t. It also makes you worry about your returns in times of economic fluctuations. Uninstall your investment apps and turn a deaf ear on your investments, until it is time to reap the benefits of course!

Money problems occur when you spend without having any goals, plans or track on expenditures. Just a little dedication, calculation, self-control and mindfulness can help you take better control of your finances!