The Money Blog

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Mindful consumption

Jun 02, 2022

I grew up spending summers with my family in the beautiful Columbia Valley in British Columbia and it’s now my favourite place to take my children for vacations.

I often seek the pleasure and nostalgia of my summers in BC and play with the idea of making an impromptu trip. Every couple of years, I go so far as to consider buying a second home there, but I don’t want to add another fixed monthly expense such as a mortgage, taxes, and utilities.

Many of us make impulse purchases to experience a high or to feel better, and this doesn’t have to be a bad thing, but if we rely on it too much we feel buyer's remorse.

At this point in my life, I would rather have more money to grow our household’s net worth. I would rather work and stress less by investing in my freedom to visit B.C. more often in the future.

How busy physicians can use mindful consumption to handle their next major purchase:

Before making your next major purchase, take some time to consider whether it is a one-off or fixed expense.

  • Trimming a fixed cost requires that you make a decision once.
  • Trimming impulse purchases like eating at restaurants, buying clothes, playing an unplanned round of golf, or buying a last-minute flight to B.C., will require you to practice mindful consumption.

Mindful consumption helps us to observe our thoughts, sensations, and emotions without judgement or action.

Each time you are considering purchasing something on a whim, ask yourself if the spending will bring value to your life, and if the additional (often permanent) work hours are justified.