The Importance of Financial Mindfulness during a Pandemic

The purple campaign 2020

June 15th is the day dedicated to the practice of financial mindfulness. It is a day to either start or continue to be a conscious consumer and make choices that will empower our financial and mental health. For the past 5 years, June 15th has been dedicated and promoted as a day to reflect on what really motivates our spending. This year, things are different. The pandemic has compelled us to STOP. It has made the Purple Campaign, recommendation of STOP, QUESTION, then DECIDE a reality. Covid-19 is pervasive and devastating not only to our health, but also our financial livelihood.

This pandemic has touched everyone. Some are coping better than others. We are all caught in the same storm, but not all of us live in brick houses. The pandemic has viscerally exposed the inequalities, the shortcomings, and it has highlighted the role that consumers have to play in the economy. Consumption is the engine of economic growth. This year the Purple Campaign takes on more significance because the level of consumption we choose, affects not only our individual financial status, it also affects the financial status of the businesses in our community.

This crisis is giving us an opportunity for making changes individually and for society as well. It is as if the pandemic is a dress rehearsal, for us to understand that we can and are able to live, work and consume differently. It has made us deeply appreciate our essential workers, who prior to the pandemic were not given the proper remuneration or respect.

Covid-19, is an inflection point, if we commit to making changes to individual consumption, we can influence how the resources are allocated in our communities.  Consumers have the power to collectively influence how the economy operates. Where and on what you decide to spend will determine which companies and what products continue to be produced and sold. Being a conscious consumer not only benefits the individual, but it can be the catalyst for systemic change in our community. Consumers will determine which businesses are able to survive. Is it going to be the small local business or is it going to be the multinational corporations?  The transformation process is overwhelming, and it is imperative to understand that it will not be easy or fast. It involves collective, consistent, and small daily actions. This is the first step towards a more sustainable and equitable normal.

The pandemic unplugged us from mindless and unconscious consumption. During the pandemic consumers have significantly reduced non-essential spending. The uncertainty about job security and a steady source of income have forced many to really assess their needs versus their wants. In the last two months spending on non-essential items have significantly declined. Moving forward, we must QUESTION whether we can afford to go back to “normal”. We must DECIDE whether we should revert to our pre-pandemic consumption patterns or make permanent some of the positive changes we have made during the pandemic.

The Purple Campaign 2020 is a call to action for those who want change. The decisions we make as the economy reopens, will influence whether we are able to capture the benefits of the positive consumption changes we made during the pandemic.  Keeping in mind the economic uncertainty, here are three suggestions moving forward as the economy reopens:

  • Continue to prioritize needs over wants. Keep nonessential purchases to a minimum and where possible eradicate them altogether in the coming months. The pandemic has taught us that we can live with less than we thought we could. Continue this habit moving forward.
  • Prepare for the worst and expect the best. Adopt the prudence principle in accounting. This principle recognizes expenses and liabilities as soon as they arise and only recognize income when it is received. It’s the accounting equivalent of ‘’Don’t count your chicken before they are hatched”. Operate as though you will have a reduction in income, this will help you to keep on track with prioritizing needs and wants. The result will be higher savings and less debt.
  • Have your end goal in mind. It is easier to reach a destination when we know where we are going. Know your why, and this will keep you working towards your goal. What is the purpose of practicing financial mindfulness and being a conscious consumer? Do you want to reduce debt? Do you want to save more?  Do you want to unplug from the materialistic matrix? Has the pandemic experience made you realize what is important in life? Are you tired of status consumption and keeping up with the Joneses? Do you want peace of mind? Are you trying to make an impact on your community? Knowing what you want to achieve is half the work. The other half is small, daily, consistent actions.

On June 15th, wear purple as a symbol of your commitment to change.

The Purple Campaign 2020

 

Dr. M

http://radhamaharaj.com/

 

The fastest way to get rich is to wear Purple and be Mindful

2018 Flyer PC
June 15th is designated conscious consumer day. On this day we ask you to wear purple as a reminder to be financially mindful. All too often people spend for the wrong reasons. These are so many cultural standards that we try to meet and in the process create debt for ourselves. Never stopping for a moment to question, why?
Do I really need to prove to my neighbors, colleagues, friends and or family that I am worthy because I purchase designer brands.
Will spending that extra $80,000 to get the luxury car really make you happy when it puts you further into debt? Is keeping up appearances more important than common sense and logic?
If you can afford to buy whatever you want and not left in crippling debt, by all means go right ahead. However, you really have to think long and hard when you try to portray a lifestyle that you can’t afford. You may get the temporary pleasure of proving to the world that you are worthy, but in reality not only do you feel like a fraud in the process, but you are actually hurting yourself mentally and financially. Sand castles don’t last.
On the surface finance might seem like a simple case of numbers, in reality the numbers are just the tip of the iceberg. It is what lurks below that drives you more than you’re willing to examine or even admit. Why do you feel you need to have things that will invariably cause a financial strain on you and your family?

Financially debt is not pleasant and it can be avoided, but it will require some exploration between what you think you need and what you really need. This will be the hardest part of the process because when you start down that rabbit hole you’ll soon realize that there are many more twists and turns that you really never could have anticipated. This is one adventure that when it’s over, you’ll be richer for it! Let June 15th be the day to start off in this bold adventure.

Dr. M
radhamaharaj.com

 

 

The Purple Campaign

2018 Flyer PC

June 15th is designated conscious consumer day. On this day we ask you to wear purple as a reminder to be financially mindful. All too often people spend for the wrong reasons. These are so many cultural standards that we try to meet and in the process create debt for ourselves.  Never stopping for a moment to question, why?  Do I really need to prove to my neighbors, colleagues, friends and or family that I am worthy because I can buy designer brands.  Will spending that extra $90,000 to get the luxury car really make you happy when it puts you further into debt? Is keeping up appearances more important than common sense and logic?

If you can afford to buy whatever you want and not left in crippling debt, by all means go right ahead. However, you really have to think long and hard when you try to portray a lifestyle that you can’t afford.  You may get the temporary pleasure of proving to the world that you are worthy, but in reality not only do you feel like a fraud in the process, but you are actually hurting yourself mentally and financially.  Sand castles don’t last.

On the surface finance might seem like a simple case of numbers, in reality the numbers are just the tip of the iceberg. It is what lurks below that drives you more than you’re willing to examine or even admit.  Why do you feel you need to have things that will invariably cause a financial strain on you and your family?  Debt is not pleasant and it can be avoided, but it will require some exploration between what you think you need and what you really need. This will be the hardest part of the process because when you start down that rabbit hole you’ll soon realize that there are many more twists and turns that you really never could have anticipated. It will be a bumpy ride, but financial peace of mind awaits you on the other side.

Let June 15th, be the day that you start taking real control of your spending, don’t be a puppet of society, marketers and values that are not true to you.

Be sure to wear purple and practice financial mindfulness on June 15th and share your photos on social media.

 

Dr.M

https://radhamaharaj.com/

Who’s watching you?

pexels-photo-319968

Today we are constantly being tracked and analyzed. Every time you click on your browsers, Google is learning more and more about you. The first time I did a search on Google and then a couple a seconds later found an ad for what I was searching for on my Facebook feed it really freaked me out.  Someone out there is collecting our information to learn about our likes and dislikes so that they can craft the best advertising campaign and marketing medium to reach us. This is not something we have control over.

What we do have control over is how well we monitor ourselves. If we are good at self monitoring, then the data that they collect on us can’t be used against us. It is when we are not able to self monitor is when we become prey to all the marketeerings and corporations out there. To be immune to any and all marketing onslaughts there are a few things we have to be able to master. Here are some:

  • Know who you are and what you want

This means having clear goals that are specific to your lifestyle given your resources. It is critical that you realize and understand that your self-worth is not the same as your net worth. You need to know that material possessions don’t define you as a human. This is crucial to defend against any type of marketing assault.

  • Let common sense prevail. It is not always easy to tell the difference between a manipulator and a persuader. One thing is clear, both require that you be motivated. Marketers use various physiological tricks to make us think it was our idea and that we are the one making the decision. When in reality we are not. A common tactic is to “disturbed and motivate” it is a combination of scaring then manipulating/persuading. Fear is often used to motivate people to act and some ads can be very persuasive.  In such cases it is best to let common sense and logic guide you. If something doesn’t make sense to you or you can’t see clearly how it can benefit you, then perhaps it is not for you. No sliver tongue should be able to persuade you otherwise.

 

  • Finally, be aware. Know what to look for and recognize when marketing is trying to manipulate you. Beware of “expert” opinion, celebrities are not experts and consuming the products they endorse doesn’t mean it right for you. A common tactic for marketers to use is the association of their product with attractive people. They subtly try to associate the idea that if you use their product you too will be considered attractive.  Marketers often connect their product with a particular lifestyle to reach their specific target audience.  You can easily figure out if you’re the one they are targeting when the people in the ad seem eerily familiar to you!

Leave a comment below and let me know what you think or how it’s working out for you is.

Dr.M

https://radhamaharaj.com/

The difficult D word!

pexels-photo-673018

We live in a fast pace world and we are constantly looking for quick, easy and convenient.  Enter all our apps and fast food, which meet all these requirements. The road to success, however, is usually never quick, easy or convenient.  If it were, we would have more healthy, fit and financially free people.

There are two words that bring a lot of discomfort to people, these words are delayed gratification. This means giving up something now so that you can enjoy more of it or something better later.  No one is saying you can never have sweets, or buy yourself luxury items, but you must first be in a position where you can truly enjoy it.  Giving up sugar today will help you be healthier tomorrow and an occasional treat will not jeopardize your health. Similarly curbing your spending now, will increase your bank account and you will be able to treat yourself later on without worrying about getting into debt or having to make high interest payments.

Success requires the cultivation of this skill.  Evidence has shown that people who have this skill are more successful in all areas of life. So how can you develop this skill? Here are some suggestions to build your delayed gratification muscles:

  • Start small. The first thing is to start small. For instance, skip your afternoon coffee and wait until the next morning to have coffee. Don’t buy that packet of gum or that magazine today, wait a few days.
  • Keep a picture or a note or some other reminder of your goal. Whether it is health or wealth related, keep it top of mind. You will be more likely to hold out when you have your goal top of mind.
  • Avoid temptations. Don’t drive by the bakery, don’t browse Amazon, and don’t watch the shopping channel.
  • Visualize yourself achieving your goal and try to embody the feeling you would have when you achieve it. Our minds can’t tell reality from fantasy, so if you really embody that sensation of the goal achieved, we start to take the actions that support the achievement of the goal.

Leave a comment below and let me know what you think or how it’s working out for you is.

Dr.M

https://radhamaharaj.com/

Consistency is the name of the game!

pexels-photo-703012

Last week I challenged you to make your choices keeping your goal in mind. How’s that going? When we act consciously it makes it easier to change a behavior or a habit. We can do it for one day, but the trick is to do it day after day. Consistency is essential for success in any endeavor. We won’t get fit and strong if we do just one perfect workout a week. We have to do it consistently at least three times a week, month after month. We have to do it, especially when we don’t want to. It is in those moments that the change occurs. Pushing beyond the discomfort, pushing beyond the monotony, pushing beyond the grind is what is required for success.

Here five tips for that can help with practicing being consistent:

  1. Set very specific and short term goals.
    For instance, you can set a goal to lose one pound this week. Or, you can set the goal to stop for coffee only twice this week instead everyday of the week. These are examples of very realistic and achievable goals and they can be accomplished in the time frame set. Specific and short term goals are a great way to see success quickly and this keeps you motivated to keep going.

  2. Do what you say and say what you do!
    When you set a goal, you have to make the commitment. Be sure to that your actions support your words. If you want to lose weight you have to commit to working out and watching your diet. If you want to reduce debt you need to commit to spending less on non essentials items.

  3. Keep moving forward even when you mess up.
    In all likelihood at the beginning of the process, you will slip. Changing a habit or behavior takes time. If you mess up one day, don’t let it ruin the rest of the week. Forgive yourself and keep going. If you do it often enough a new pattern will emerge and you will reach the stage where it becomes effortless.

  4. Be mindful.
    Be mindful when making choices, be mindful when working out, be mindful when eating, and be mindful when shopping. There is enough evidence that support the alchemy that occurs when we are present and mindful. Mindfulness exponentially increases the chance of success in reaching our goals.

  5. The final tip is even if you don’t want to, do it anyway.
    This point is so important I have to repeat it. We may not always want to exercise, eat healthy or show restraint when shopping. But if it is what is necessary to reach our goal, we have to, even when we don’t want to. This may be painful, but it is the price of success and we have to be willing pay our dues.
    Leave a comment below and let me know what you think or how it’s working out for you is.

June 15th is designated Conscious Consumer day.
Wear Purple to remember to practice Financial Mindfulness
#ThePurpleCampaign #WearPurpleJune15th

Dr.M
radhamaharaj.com

 

What‘s your next move?

The Purple Campaign_week 1_what is your next move

Building health and wealth have so much in common. It all boils down to our daily choices. Our everyday choices affect the size our waistline and the size of our bank account. Making the right choice in both cases requires us to know whether something is a need or a want. We all can tell the difference between the two. A need is that is necessary for survival or for reaching your goal. A want is something you would like to have but if you didn’t get it you would be just fine. We all know this, the question is do we practice it?

The secret to success in reaching our goals lies in the choices we make moment to moment. These seemly little inconsequential choices accumulate over time. Whenever we make a decision contrary to our goal, however tiny, it takes us one step further away from that goal. If we do this enough times in an hour, a day, a week, a month, a year, then we will be getting farther and farther away from what we want.

The next time you hear yourself saying “ah one cookie won’t kill me” or “I must have those shoes”, ask yourself if this something that you really NEED given what you are trying to accomplish in your life right now.  When you realize that each moment of the day you have a chance to move closer or further away from your goal, it really puts things into perspective. When we make conscious decisions and are mindful of the consequences, it will allow us to succeed in reaching our goals today and in the future.

Here is my challenge to you; if you have never practiced mindful or conscious decision making, this will be a great exercise for you to start with. Set a goal for yourself that you can accomplish in the next five days. It can be either a financial goal or a health goal. For the next five days, practice being conscious of your moment to moment choices. It doesn’t have to be too intense.  It can be a simple question you ask yourself when faced with making a decision.  That question is “Will this action take me further away from or take me closer to my goal”. If you can answer that question honestly each time, then you would be well on your way to achieving your goal.

I would love to hear from you. Feel free to drop me a line and let me know how it’s working out for you.

Dr.M

https://radhamaharaj.com/

 

Wine with A Purpose Inaugural Event

1When women have wine with a purpose and come together to support each other a kind of alchemy occurs.  The sharing becomes natural and flows effortlessly. This is what happened on March 3rd at the inaugural Wine with a Purpose event.  I had the pleasure of spending and evening with some very diverse and beautiful women.  We came from different backgrounds and had different life experiences, but were able to understand each other in a very authentic and unspoken manner. We all talked about  the issues that face us and as diverse as they may have been, we call could empathize with each other. During the course of the evening we sometimes veered off from financial issues. There was a lot of talk about shoes and cars, but we kept circling back to the central theme of the evening which was the disentanglement of self worth and net worth. The more we talked, we realized that this insidious concept haunts a lot of us and for some it is deeply ingrained.  If this inaugural session is an indication of things to come I would say were are in for some deep exploration and intense sharing, which will get us closer to freeing ourselves from the burden of this concept. The evening ended with a mission. The first part of the mission is acceptance. Accept where and how you are now. The second part of the mission is that moving forward we start asking: Why do we want the things we want? Where are we in a rush to get to? Be warned that when we take a moment to question our motives we may start to uncover more than we bargain for!

I am looking forward to our next session. Register at https://radhamaharaj.com/financial-therapy  to have the details sent straight to your inbox.

Dr.M

https://radhamaharaj.com/

 

Let’s Talk!

 

Today is Bell’s Let’s Talk day. The purpose of this day is to remove the stigma that surrounds mental health. The ability to reach our full potential depends on how well we can cope with the day to day stresses of life. For some, these stresses consume them and it  affects their ability to function effectively on a day to day basis. Mental illness can result from biological, developmental and social factors.

Financial stress is one of the leading contributors to mental health issues among adults. Being worried about your finances or feeling intimidating about how to manage your finances can make it hard for people to make clear logical decisions that will actually serve them. Fear and panic takes over and as a result one’s mental and physical health are both affected.

There are steps you can take to reduce financial anxiety. First, you have to understand and accept where you are. Take inventory that means figuring out what your strengths and weakness are and then develop a plan of action. This plan of action requires you to set clearly defined financial goals for yourself and have a strategy for reaching these goals. I suggest you start off small, so as to build your confidence. When you start to achieve goal after goal, it will wire you for more and even bigger successes.

The second step is when you fall off the tracks and you will, don’t beat yourself up. Simply stop, reassess and start again. Learning a new behaviour takes time and it is natural to get resistance, but persistence is the key to success here.

Finally, reach out and get some help. There is a lot you can do on your own, but sometimes you may need guidance, advice and moral support, to help you achieve your desired level of financial well-being.

Feel free to drop me a line with any questions you may have: kidonomics@gmail.com

 

The fastest way to get rich is to wear Purple and be Mindful

The Purple Campaign (1)

June 15th is designated conscious consumer day. On this day we ask you to wear purple as a reminder to be financially mindful. All too often people spend for the wrong reasons. These are so many cultural standards that we try to meet and in the process create debt for ourselves.  Never stopping for a moment to question, why?  Do I really need to prove to my neighbors, colleagues, friends and or family that I am worthy because I only purchase designer brands.  Will spending that extra $80,000 to get the luxury car really make you happy when it puts you further into debt? Is keeping up appearances more important than common sense and logic?

If you can afford to buy whatever you want and not left in crippling debt, by all means go right ahead. However, you really have to think long and hard when you try to portray a lifestyle that you can’t afford.  You may get the temporary pleasure of proving to the world that you are worthy, but in reality not only do you feel like a fraud in the process, but  you are actually hurting yourself mentally and financially.  Sand castles don’t last.

On the surface finance might seem like a simple case of numbers, in reality the numbers are just the tip of the iceberg. It is what lurks below that drives you more than you’re willing to examine or even admit.  Why do you feel you need to have things that will invariably cause a financial strain on you and your family?  Financially debt is not pleasant and it can be avoided, but it will require some exploration between what you think you need and what you really need. This will be the hardest part of the process because when you start down that rabbit hole you’ll soon realize that there are many more twists and turns that you really never could have anticipated.  This is one adventure that when it’s over, you’ll be richer for it!  Let June 15th be the day to start off in this bold adventure.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SuXF5QJeIgw

Share your purple pics on our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/thekidonomicsseries

 

Dr. M

radhamaharaj.com

 

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