Sometime last year, I took up classes at the Registered Financial Planners Institute and one of the things that stuck to my head was that money, and probably, most of things revolving around it, such as spending, saving, investing and earning it, was mostly a mental exercise.
To me, it was all about fighting through money stigmas that hound us. Sometimes, it’s as small as “Should I buy these PHP 595 F. Scott Fitzgerald tea towels or not?” When I realized what was probably one of the most important skills in money, and in life, was being mindful, I began to be more careful of where my time, focus and resources went.
- Mind your time. An old notion that always surfaces in FGD results, surveys and research is the belief that long working hours equal long streams of income. Unless you’re part of the bracket that actually gets substantial overtime pay, this may not be applicable to you. In Tim Ferriss’ book The Four-Hour Workweek, he extensively explains how one can look into non-linear ways of earning (a startup, outsourcing things you don’t like doing, and having fun with life, simply because we all should be).Does the two-hour commute to work compensate for the ten hours you spend at your job? Where did the last 30 minutes go? Could you have done something more groundbreaking than stalk people online (though this can be recreational, ha!)? Could you be earning from sources other than your job like the stock market, offering freelance services, or a startup business? Where are you wasting your time? Use that instead of spending so much time that doesn’t earn you anything.
- Mind your focus. It wasn’t until I started tracking every single thing in my life that mindfulness gave me a whole new perspective about myself. That day, I was nearing my 1,200 kcal (via MyFitnessPal), I was on track with my self-imposed budget (via Bought) and I already walked 8,000+ steps for the whole day. When I checked my planner, I saw that I was able to attend a digital marketing conference, complete the tactics under my Q2 column strategy, dump funds into my stock portfolio, and grab cocktails with dearest friends by the evening.Not all days are like this. Some days, I just lounge around in my apartment, read French books, watch French romcoms, and listen to The Shins. But if I never wrote these down or tracked them, I wouldn’t know I sometimes lack focus. I wouldn’t feel compelled to do something productive every now and then. Do you know where you focus most days?
- Mind your resources. This may be in the form of money (we all know the BL buzzword by now: Save and Invest), your Internet time, electricity, commute, or your talent. For a long time, I wasted time pursuing things that weren’t beneficial to me, my career, or anything in my life. I lost a lot of time and money on those but I’m not here to lament what cannot be recovered. Take a hard look at the websites you visit, the coffees you’ve downed, the people you spend time with. Do your activities fulfill the bigger picture in your mind? Do these make you a better person? Do they enrich you?
Image used under Creative Commons from Jeff Kubina