September 26, 2019
September is Self-Care Awareness Month. Self-care is first and foremost, taking care of yourself. Sounds pretty self-explanatory! It’s described as ‘Keeping yourself the focus of your own life.’ Some may think they don’t have time for self-care or that self-care sounds too selfish when they have a family to tend to or a demanding job. But what many people fail to realize is that when you focus on yourself first, it then allows you to tackle all of life’s other demands without distraction.
So what more does self-care entail? It certainly isn’t all about facials and massages (although those don’t hurt). Self-care is everything that makes your life smoother, more seamless, more relaxed, more whole— and we thoroughly believe that financial-care is a critical component in practicing self-care.
We’ll explore how the two are interrelated and how you can implement financial self-care into your life. This will, in turn, make your whole life a bit less hectic and allow you to focus on what really matters.
Just like we care for our minds with meditation or our bodies with exercise, we must care for our finances with plans and goals.
When you have a clear snapshot of your finances, you are less likely to stress over it and let it rule certain aspects of your life. Remember, you are the master of your money! Below are 4 ways to practice financial self-care and kick-ass while doing so.
The first step is admitting there may be an issue. Phew, doesn’t that feel better already? Is your issue with spending too much, is it that you don’t make enough, or is it that maybe you and your spouse still haven’t discussed how you’ll save for retirement together?
Having open money conversations with family or friends can feel good, and you might even be surprised that others are dealing with the same issues.
Setting goals for the short-term as well as the long-term is key to conquering your finances.
If you know you want to buy a house in 3 years and need about $30K to do so, devise a plan to save the money. If there’s a sound plan in place, why would you have anything to stress about?! Nothing is more rewarding than hitting mini-goals and getting that much closer to a larger goal along the way.
We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but a whopping 62% of people say money is a source of stress! In order to not be part of that 62%, determine what stresses you out the most about money.
Maybe it’s planning for your kid to go to college that stresses you out. Now that you’ve determined your financial stressor, you can devise a plan. You may learn that by investing just $150 a month for 10 years will bring you to almost $30K (assuming 9%)! That’s not too shabby for a college fund. Aren’t you feeling less stressed already?
It’s okay to be a little selfish on occasion. If tangible items or indulgent things make you happy, then add that into the plan or reward yourself on occasion (<– key phrase there). For example, if you are a major foodie and you just paid your car off early by making extra payments, then sure, treat yourself to a nice meal out at that new restaurant you’ve been eyeballing. Life is all about balance.
In addition to the stuff you want, budget for what makes you feel great. If donating to your favorite charity or taking a trip to an orphanage with this charity brings you fulfillment, make sure you budget property so you can continue to do the things you love.
Financial self-care looks different for everyone, yet there is one common theme: it’s an ongoing process that doesn’t happen overnight. The practice includes better money habits, being more mindful of purchases, goal-setting, and careful planning. Once all those things are in place, you have less unknown in your life and more time to enjoy it.