If there were two key buzzwords of 2019, they would surely be money and mindfulness. Money management books are at the top of the bestseller lists, and our Instagram feeds are flooded with the promises of what can be achieved with a mindful approach. But these two "fads" seem to have seemed to be at odds with each other. Until Canna Campbell, that is.
Leave it to Canna – our go-to on all things finance (and capsule wardrobes) – to fuse together these two concepts in a way that not only makes mindful money management seem achievable, but also completely appealing.
In a world that is (let’s face it) expensive, and another ‘need’ is simply a click away, Canna brings spending back to basics and encourages us to approach our money in a mindful way. In her new book – Mindful Money – Canna outlines how look after ourselves, our families and our finances in a way that feels empowering, not restrictive.
We spoke to Canna about the value of a mindful approach to money, how she balances a demanding career with her expanding family, and we even asked her to give us a glimpse inside her accounts (cue: taking notes and making changes, ASAP). Here’s what she had to say, and as always, she didn’t disappoint.
While we are experiencing a move towards more mindfulness in life, we’re still living in an age of ‘more more more’ and shopping is easier than it has ever been before. A few taps of our phone and we’ve made a purchase. How do you approach mindful spending in today’s world?
I actually love the efficiency of the tap and go and embrace the cashless society, especially as I am a minimalist. But it is the mindfulness that goes in beforehand that is most important and powerful.
Taking a few moments to stop and think before deciding to purchase. Asking ourselves if we actually need this item? Do we have room for this item in our home? How will taking care of this item drain our precious resources? Does buying this limit future purchases? Or even what has triggered this desire to purchase this?
The insight, awareness and clarity we can gain are quite astounding when we do this and often we end up being more selective in our consumption and enjoying our purchases with more satisfaction and fulfilment and therefore finding ourselves needing less after making a mindful purchase.
And what are your practical tips for dealing with the barrage of marketing we are subjected to? The products that pop up in our Instagram feeds? How do we stick to mindful spending?
I am a very normal mother, just like the next, I love champagne, a beautiful handbag, sneaky drop-ins to my few favourite local stores or a parous of their new arrivals whilst looking on my phone in bed at night. But I keep my list of loves exclusive.
When we fill our heads and egos with too many loves it can become draining, distracting and toxic. It is perfectly healthy to appreciate nice things but the constant desire to consume is like filling a bottomless pit. When you learn to adjust your mindset and approach what you have with gratitude, you learn to appreciate from afar, without the need to have to necessarily have it.
I recommending having a select few favourites and stick to them exclusively. I won’t subscribe, follow or sign up to any other stores or brands unless I am willing to let go of one of them. I have about five favourite fashions brands/websites and that is enough to cover me for what I need for all occasions and the same goes for homewares. Their products match my style, needs and expectation of quality. This is limits wasting my time and enjoying the meaningful things in life like spending time with my family and friends, getting outside, exercise and my other interests.
Social media has encouraged comparison which can lead to people feeling insecure/spending more to compensate and make themselves feel better - what’s your approach to comparison and how does impact our relationship with money?
I come across this so often in my consultations with people. And often the key ingredient missing here is a meaningful goal. When we have something that excites us and we can realistically work towards, the need for the insecure spending literally falls away and we gain perspective as to how consumerism can take over us. We channel that energy towards building something that is going to serve us on a deeper level.
Talk us through how you manage your money mindfully each month.
I recommend keeping it really simple and nicknaming your account with its purpose:
- Everyday Account– (daily, monthly, weekly fortnightly) – think coffees, dry cleaning, gym membership, school fees, insurances, with a linked debit card and all direct debits coming out from here etc
- Life + $X Emergency Account– this is like a float, I stockpile this account for Christmas presents, birthday presents, quarterly bills such as water, rates, utility etc. But I also have a lump sum available there at all times for a major emergency. I recommend putting in the nickname the exact amount of emergency cash you have allocated. For example, nicknaming your account “Life + $10,000 Emergency Cash Account”. This stops the temptation to accidentally spend your emergency money and you can easily distinguish between your float and emergency money. This account gives me a huge comfort knowing that if anything suddenly came up out of the blue, we would be okay.
- Financial Goal Account– this is where I put money aside to invest in my future financial security. Which for me is building passive income as that is my definition of financial freedom. i.e. creating enough income from my investments, so that I don’t have to work if I don’t want to. It gives me great comfort knowing what I am working towards and how quick and easy it is to do.
- Holiday Savings– where I regularly put money in this account for those weekends away, school holidays and big annual overseas trips. Adding money to this account and watching it grow helps keep you going, knowing that your next holiday is going to happen.
What tools will we walk away with after reading mindful money?
- Understanding the way our minds work around money and how to motivate ourselves to embrace our financial health and feel proud
- Know how to quickly and easily manage our budgets realistically
- How to make a big dent in our debt and pay it off quickly
- Why we should be building passive income and how and where to start
- The best way to properly invest for our children and their future financial health
- The most important feature your superannuation account must have so that you don’t get caught up in large tax bills when you retire. Missed by most financial experts and could save you hundreds of thousands of dollars.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced as a working mother and how do you overcome any challenges?
Juggling to get it all done – I am overly ambitious in what I think I can get done in one day. So I try a look at what can be done in a week, and try not to overload my list. Spread those things that don’t get done, through to the next week.
What is your advice to working mothers?
Prioritise your physical, mental and financial health. You can’t pour from an empty cup. Know what simple things make you feel human again and prioritise them into your week by scheduling them in like an important meeting into your diary so that they happen.
For me, this means time at the gym, time at a café by myself, having 10 minutes each night to do a quick tidy of my home. Be kind to yourself and take it one day at a time. And never be afraid to ask for help.
Talk us through what 2019 has in store - a book, a baby...
I am planning on slowing down once baby apple arrives (famous last words), I really struggled mentally after my son and I am determined to be kinder to myself this year. I am mentally telling myself the 30thof December is actually the 30thof August this year so that I don’t book myself up with new projects and run myself to the ground.
That way by having a clean slate for 4 months, I can pick and choose if and how I want to work and on what passion projects. This time I am putting myself first. 2020 I will see how I am coping and base my new routine around what is best for my family and what makes me feel happy and whole.