Financial self-care is the practice of developing habits that set you up for financial success, allowing you to reach your goals and find financial freedom, on your terms. Creating a budget and sticking to it, managing debt, contributing to your savings each month are all ways to practice financial self-care.
Why It Matters
When other aspects of self-care are neglected, stress increases. If you neglect your physical health, your immune system weakens and you catch a cold. When mental health is neglected, you can experience sleep disturbances and mood changes. Your financial self-care is no different. Overspending results in overwhelm and stress. Ignoring financial issues can result in anxiety, shame and guilt and overall life dissatisfaction. When your finances are in order, stress is lowered and a healthy sense of security is experienced.
By creating and pursuing financial goals, you can regain control and create a well-rounded and balanced life.
Address The Issues
If you’ve been ignoring financial issues or hiding money woes from your loved ones, it’s time to have an honest conversation about the budget and your financial health. It’s also time to get real with yourself and be honest about the issues at play that are contributing to your financial dis-ease. Take the judgement out of the equation and look at the facts only. You will struggle to change when shame and guilt are dominating your thoughts.
Set financial goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based. Set benchmark dates to reassess your goals and complete a financial check-up.
By incentivizing your goals and setting your sights on a reward, you will be more apt to stick with the plan and hit your benchmarks.
Find A Buddy
Having a financial accountability buddy can help you reach your goals and push you outside of your comfort zone. If secrecy was an issue in your financial stress, having a buddy will keep you honest and open about your habits.
As you build new financial habits, keep track of your spending and saving daily. Use an app, use a notebook and pencil, use an excel spreadsheet. Use what will work best for you. If you’re an impulsive spender, use your tracking method to also track your emotions before and after spending so you can become more aware of your habits and mitigate spending sprees by addressing the issues before they bubble up.
Deal With Debt Now
Begin addressing debts as soon as possible. Depending on the type of debt, your credit score can take a major hit as the debts and interest rates accrue. Start with your smallest debts and use the debt snowball method to wipe out your debt within in the next year or 3.
Start practicing financial self-care and eliminate the biggest stressor you face. Take care of yourself and be kind to yourself as you learn new habits.