By Melissa Lafrance on April 2, 2019
Did you know that there’s a connection between mindfulness and financial wellbeing?
Mindfulness can help us pay closer attention to the present moment and acknowledge its beauty through focused awareness. By paying attention to our personal finances, we can spend our money more intentionally and thoughtfully, rather than spending impulsively on unnecessary things. Improving our self-awareness can help us become savvier shoppers.
That’s not to say we need to think about the present moment all the time; being financially responsible involves planning for the future and understanding how our spending habits will impact it. Bringing a mindful awareness to our shopping habits will not only help us make better decisions in the present, but set us up for long-term financial health.
Before making your next purchase, try applying this simple Pause, Notice, Take Action practice:
When you discover something you want to buy, pause and take a mindful breath. Take a moment to reduce the distractions and stimulations around you.
Check in with yourself and consider: How am I feeling? Will this item bring me joy? Is it within my budget? Listen to your intuition and give yourself time to decide. You can always step away and come back later.
After making your decision, take action mindfully. Notice your behaviour. Whether you purchase the item or not, be proud that you made a conscious decision rather than an impulse buy.
You should absolutely treat yourself with your hard-earned money. However, by being more mindful, you can avoid impulse purchases and savour the moments and things that bring you joy and satisfaction.
Take action now by signing up for UBC’s 30-Day Online Mindfulness Challenge cohort, starting April 15.
By Miranda Massie on April 3, 2018
I was fortunate to take a short vacation to a sunnier destination at the end of last month. Nothing gets me thinking about my finances more than travel, especially when converting hard-earned Canadian dollars into US currency. With tax season upon us, and in an effort to bring attention to the importance of financial wellbeing, I present a list of our top financial hacks to help set you on the right track for the new financial season.
Hack #1: Deal with high debt
Prioritize debt with the highest interest rates. When you’ve paid off one, move on to the next highest.
Hack #2: Unsubscribe from temptation
If you are trying to practice good financial health, unsubscribe from mailing lists so that you are not tempted to impulse-buy through online shopping deals.
Hack #3: Travel tips
Planning a vacation and want to stretch your dollars? Look at “value for money” destination lists such as Lonely Planet’s 2018 Best Value guide. Or, try clearing your cache (browsing history) each time you search for flights online, as sites often raise their prices if they see that you are searching multiple times for the same flight.
Hack #4: Statements serve a purpose
Read your monthly financial statements to help combat fraud and identify potential mix-ups early. Real-life example: I discovered I was being overcharged on my cellphone bill even after contacting the company to clear up the error. I would not have caught it without fully reading through my statement each month.
Hack #5: Get gift card savvy
If eating out is important, save some money by giving someone an “experience” gift, purchasing prizes in bulk, or buying discounted gift cards from places like Costco or London Drugs. Alternately, if you find yourself with a wallet full of unused gift cards, look at re-selling them online through sites like CardSwap.ca.
Hack #6: Maximize your benefits
Do you know all of the details of your UBC Extended Health plan? You might be missing out on opportunities to save money. Learn more about your benefit details, or check out our Health, Fitness and Family Discounts.
Hack #7: Strengthen your money know-how
Attend our upcoming workshop on Debt Freedom & Finances or The Psychology of Money, or read some of our past finance-related articles, including A Financial Cleanse in Five Steps and ‘Cha-Ching’: Cost Effective Health Hacks.
Here’s to healthier wallets this spring!
All my best,
By Miranda Massie on April 3, 2018
We live in a demanding world, one that keeps moving and often leaves us feeling as if we are struggling to keep up. This can be compounded by tasks we might avoid or feel less inclined to do such as budgeting and finances.
Try this mindfulness micro-practice from the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute as a way of becoming more present and focused, for yourself and your team.
Use this mindfulness tool before you start a new task, whether you’re alone or with others. You can even try it before you begin a work meeting.
- Pause before you begin a financial activity or task such as budgeting or taxes.
- Take 1 minute (in silence) to focus on breath and breathing.
- Allow the body and mind to settle and focus on what you are about to begin.
For more information about the Search Inside Yourself leadership program at UBC, click here.
Photo Credit: Melissa Lafrance
By Melissa Lafrance on April 3, 2018
Debunking the Diet Series with Dr. Thara Vayali (Location: Point Grey)
Part 3: Diet, Hormones & Health | April 10 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
In this final session, let’s put superfoods and myths aside and explore the impact of diets on metabolism and health. We will cover the dos and don’ts of dietary changes and learn how diets impact hormones. You will leave with three tangible steps for balancing food choices, metabolism and overall health. Find out more and register now.
Debt Freedom & Finances | April 12 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. (Location: Point Grey)
Creating a plan to manage your money is a sound way to achieve the goals you want in life, whether it be a house, travel, education or retirement. Sometimes, this comes with a cost and results in financial debt. Join money coach Melanie Buffel to gain power over your money. You will learn how to pay down your consumer debt quicker than you thought possible, manage and control finances, and build good habits. Find out more and register now.
Office Ergo Rep Training | April 16 | 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Location: Point Grey)
If your department is looking for more efficient response and support with regards to ergonomic issues for staff, consider taking the three-hour Office Ergo Rep Training. Learn basic ergonomic risk factors and assessments, as well as proper computer workstation set-up, and get resources to take back to your unit. Find out more and register now.
The Psychology of Money | April 17 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. (Location: Point Grey)
The idea that humans are rational and that their relationship with money is simple has been soundly disputed by empirical research. We need to examine financial planning and investment management in a more realistic psychological context if we are to truly take control of our financial decision making and behaviour. You will learn how to develop sound decision-making processes, recognize patterns of conflicting behaviours and be better at creating a more successful financial strategy. Find out more and register now.
Ergo Your Office Tutorial | April 18 | 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. (Location: Point Grey)
Optimize your computer work environment to improve comfort and reduce the risk of injury. This one-hour tutorial combines a presentation and a practical session, giving you hands-on experience adjusting typical office equipment. By the end of the tutorial, you will know how to set up your chair, keyboard/mouse and monitor to promote neutral working postures. Find out more and register now.
Sit-Stand Desks & Platforms | April 18 | 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Location: Point Grey)
This workshop will provide important information about different types of sit-stand desks and platforms available on the market. Understanding the pros and cons of each will assist departments, staff and faculty in deciding which option is most suitable. Product samples will be available for participants to try out in order to get an idea of how the different models impact positioning and workflow. Find out more and register now.
Understanding Your Travel Benefits | April 30 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. (Location: Point Grey)
Planning a vacation in Canada or abroad? This information session will be useful for anyone wanting to know more about UBC’s travel benefits and how to be prepared in a medical emergency. Join UBC benefits specialist Stephanie Mah for a one-hour session to deepen your understanding of your travel benefits and ensure that your well-earned vacation is as stress-free as possible. Find out more and register now.
Coming in May:
Photo Credit: UBC Communications and Marketing