This post is sponsored by Capital One Canada. All opinions are 100% percent mine. As always, please support the brands that make this blog possible.
I consider myself someone who is more money conscious than the average person. However, being money conscious does not necessarily mean that I always make the best money decisions. If you’ve been reading the blog this year, then you know I had a goal to get better at managing my finances. I want to make better choices as far as what I spend on and invest my money in. Most of us influencers fell into this job with very little knowledge about how to deal with finances. For that reason, our stress level is always at 100 percent because of the unknown that lies ahead. Since November is Financial Literacy Month, I’ve partnered with Capital One Canada to share some tips and tricks to help manage the stresses associated with money.
Just ahead of Credit Education Week, which runs from November 13-16, Capital One Canada and Credit Canada Debt Solutions invited me to experience their Money Mindfulness retreat. The event aims to educate and empower Canadians with the knowledge and tools to help mitigate financial stress. We started the day with a quick self-assessment (#MoneyMindfulness quiz) about our overall knowledge about money. Did you know that 3 out of 10 Canadians cite financial stress as their largest day-to-day worry, second only to their overall health? That means that at any given time, many of us might be spinning in our heads with worry and or anxiety about our spending, investments, and debts.
This first exercise taught me that it’s important for me to embrace my financial situation and work through it healthily and mindfully.
What are some things you can live without? A yearly vacation? Your morning coffee? Or that dress you’ve been staring at on your computer? That’s what the second exercise was all about. If you review your finances in a realistic and healthy way, it becomes apparent what you can cut back on. While the majority of Canadians (79%) don’t mind reviewing their personal finances, according to the study done by Capital One and Credit Canada, one in five (21%) would go to extremes to avoid reviewing their personal finances.
This exercise worked its magic right after the event. I walked into one of my favorite stores just a few days ago, saw an absolutely gorgeous and expensive dress that was marked down to $18. Grabbed it, went around the store and ended up leaving it behind. First, there is no extra space in my closet; second, it’s a summer dress so I will have to wait a year to wear it. At that moment, I knew I took something away from the Money Mindfulness retreat. I knew that I could afford it but left it behind because I could use that money for something else.
Without going through every step of the event, here are some things I learned and started to put into practice right away.
Practice some honesty with yourself
One in four Canadians has hidden their financial situation from loved ones at some point, whether it’s by using credit to purchase something they couldn’t afford (11%), lying to avoid spending money (11%) or lying about their current financial situation (10%). If you know you cannot afford that luxury bag, don’t buy it. Build budgets based on your income, necessary expenses, and savings goals. A budget tracker can help track your spending against your budget, as well as looking at your credit or debit account statements.Mindful monitoring
Know what’s coming in and going out, what needs to be paid and, how to keep your credit score as high as possible. Tools like Capital One’s Credit Keeper can help you better understand credit and the importance of a healthy credit score to your overall financial health.Leverage the tools and resources available
The Credit Education Week webpage, www.cewc.ca, is also a great resource to learn more about Credit Education Week and the different events that are taking place across the country, including credit-building programs designed to teach Canadians how to build or rebuild their credit and increase their credit score.Meditate and Breathe
Giving yourself fifteen minutes every day to breathe and meditate can help you relax and make better decisions.
What happens when we actually take the time to be mindful about where we’re spending our money? Something to smile about.
To learn more about this year’s Credit Education Week or Money Mindfulness Retreat, please visit cewc.ca. Please join the conversation online by using the following hashtags #CEWC2018 and #MoneyMindfulness