How many times have you thought – goodness, it’s the end of the month and I have no idea where my money went?  And there’s definitely no money to save for retirement!

Conscious living, or mindfulness, tries to ensure that we don’t wake up regretting the life we live because we were on autopilot most of the time.  And being conscious about where our money goes helps us make informed decisions the next time we pull out the card for a double-shot cappuccino.

The best way to ensure you stick to your retirement savings plan is to pay yourself first.  Set up a direct debit or stop order to go off your account the day after you get paid into the investment of your choice.  Then you know you’ll achieve that objective.  And what is left, you can spend freely (without going into debt) knowing you’re doing your best to secure your future.

So understanding our spending, and then making a realistic budget that doesn’t starve our life of the richness of living, is the first step to conscious finances.  It allows us to plan how much we can save for big ticket items, or retirement.  And there’s great freedom in knowing that your long term retirement saving is taken care of and the rest is yours to spend.

Pay yourself first – before those double shot cappuccino’s eat your retirement.