Self-care is a concept that refers to practices that improve our well-being and reduce stress. Exercise, journaling, eating well, spending time in nature, and even having a nice bubble bath are all examples of self-care.
Did you know that taking care of oneself financially may also be considered self-care? Yup, that’s right!
For many people, money is a major source of stress, so it’s easy to understand why some people experience stress when thinking of their financial goals. Plus, budgeting can be an overwhelming task.
However, it’s empowering to comprehend your financial picture and manage your cash flow. By actively managing your finances, you can feel more in control and less stressed.
Getting to Know More About Financial Self-Care
A type of self-care that addresses financial wellness is called financial self-care. Essentially, when practicing financial self-care, you find the best approach to manage your finances. Rather than engaging in more traditional self-care activities, such as getting massages or enjoying dinners out, you will engage in activities to improve your financial wellness.
Worrying about debt, paying bills, and not saving enough money may all result in high levels of stress. Plus, stress motivated by an uncertain financial picture can be physically and mentally exhausting.
One benefit of financial self-care is that you’ll have more funds available to spend on the more traditionally enjoyable aspects of self-care. Once your financial situation is under control, you can decide if your self-care plan entails finally spending money on that cleaning service or a new pet.
5 Steps for Financial Self-Care
Self-care and finances can coexist. Here are some tips to help you easily incorporate this type of self-care into your everyday routine.
- Set realistic primary goals. Setting realistic goals is essential if you want to progress in the area of financial self-care. By setting clear goals, you can enjoy a dopamine boost as you advance toward and eventually accomplish a goal. For example, even with a high income, trying to pay off your student debt in a single year would be challenging. A more realistic, attainable goal would be to focus instead on paying off your highest-interest debt, such as paying off your credit card balance in a year. Examine your income in terms of your monthly essential expenses. Weigh the needs in your life, and—after paying your essential expenses—see if you can start applying some of the remaining money to your debt.
- Monitor your expenses every day. Although spending on the spur of the moment may seem nice, it may be really unhealthy. By checking your personal finances every day and noting where you spent your money, you will be more conscious of your purchases. You may be unaware of how much money leaves your possession every day. Tracking expenses will make that clear. Give yourself a big high-five when you don’t spend much or anything at all. By increasing your wealth, you’ve just taken care of your financial wellness.
- Establish (and stick to) a budget. Budgeting is one of the best self-care practices you can develop! The goal of budgeting is not to restrict your freedom. Rather, budgeting comes down to being deliberate with your money and aligning your income with your needs and objectives. Consider your budget as a spending guide that allows you more flexibility and financial control.
- Set objectives that excite you. You’ll be more likely to continue practicing financial self-care if you have goals that inspire and drive you. List your primary financial objectives in writing. Keep your objectives in plain sight. To visualize their goals, some people enjoy making vision boards using magazine cutouts and images. Further suggestions to help with visualization include placing sticky notes on your desk, in your car, or on the mirror in your bathroom. Knowing your priorities can help you focus and stay on course.
- Envision your retirement and make investments for it. Financial self-care entails attending to both the demands of the present and the future. Consider how you would like to live when you reach retirement age. Though retirement can feel like a long way off, with this approach, you might feel more inspired to save regardless of how far you may be from retirement. To discover if there is an opportunity to increase your retirement savings, take another look at your budget. Even contributing 1% more in monthly savings can have a significant impact in the long term.
Financial self-care is just as essential as more conventional self-care practices. You may lessen your financial stress and get closer to your short- and long-term goals when you make financial self-care a high priority.
Financial wellness is a lifelong journey. It doesn’t happen quickly. As with other forms of self-care like working out, eating healthily, or writing, taking care of your finances will become simpler and more rewarding the more you do it.