Take a few moments to yourself. Breathe deeply, clear the clutter from your thoughts and tune into how you’re feeling today. Are you feeling awake? Energized? Or are you having a rough day and feeling tired? Are you happy? Excited? Anxious? Stressed? Annoyed? By tuning into yourself and taking note of how you’re feeling, you will be able to ground yourself in the present moment. Once you have centered yourself, you are ready to start your reflection practice.
As you swipe through your transactions, take a pause. The valuable insights you will gain come from thoughtful reflection. While reflecting, ask yourself: why did I spend money on this thing? How did I feel about my purchase at the time? How do I feel about it now? Does it align with what is important to me? Feeling anxious or regretful about something you bought? Don’t worry—that’s totally normal. The more honest you are with yourself the better your choices will become, as both negative and positive reactions will trigger mental reminders for the future.
Now, think about your life, core values, passions, hobbies, what you love and even what you hate. If you were to organize these things into containers what would that look like? That’s how you should use tags. Tags allow you to organize your transactions in ways that make sense to you. Tags are one of the ways you can later interpret your reflection results, so it’s important to make them meaningful. Having an abundance of groups might be overwhelming and difficult to track, so be mindful of making too many. You can also use multiple tags on a transaction, so each purchase can belong to several groups.
After reflecting, check your results. You’ll notice this looks and feels nothing like a regular bank statement or budgeting app—and that's intentional. You can either search from something specific or just review your spending by month. This is where the meaningful reflection and thoughtful tagging really shines through. By putting in the work upfront, you can now get a clear picture of which purchases align to your values, and which ones don’t.
Like any new practice, it will take time for you to get into the flow of things. Start slow, and if you find yourself getting fatigued take a break and come back to it. We suggest starting by reflecting about once a week and reviewing your habits every two weeks.
And finally, when you go to make purchases in the future, think about how you felt last time you made that purchase, and whether it aligns to your values. You’ll be amazed by how much you’ve learnt about yourself from taking the time to reflect.