If you’ve heard the term “self-care” it’s likely you immediately think of face masks and bubble baths. But, self-care is so much more than that. Self-care is all encompassing, and it goes beyond the simple pleasures of treating ourselves to a luxurious bath or skincare routine.
To me, self-care means taking care of my whole self, which includes all of the various dimensions of my existence. Yes, my external appearance is important to me and taking measures to tend to it makes me feel good. But it goes beyond that. My whole self includes my wellbeing, my career, my relationships, my finances, and so much more.
Today, we’re going to chat a bit about financial self-care, and what it means to actually take care of your finances by your own definition of what self-care means to you. We all want to improve our finances because ultimately, it will improve our lives. But let me as you this: If you don’t feel good about your current life, how likely are you to consistently go out and find ways to improve your future life?
Let’s get into what financial self-care really is, and why it’s so important!
What is Financial Self-Care?
Financial self-care is prioritizing the life you want to live now to align with the life you want to live in the future. It’s taking calculated measures to set yourself up financially down the line, without sacrificing the things that bring you joy today. It involves connecting your intentions to the way you spend and use your money, and finding the balance between treating yourself and planning for the future.
Ultimately, we want personal finance to be a pleasant experience! We don’t need to forgo happiness now in the name of future stability; the balance exists. But to find it, you need to take care of your finances in an intentional way.
How can you practice financial self-care?
Finding your own financial self-care practice involves developing habits and specific routines around the way you manage your money. The goal is to make a sustainable change to your routine in the way you manage your money.
While financial self-care will look different for everyone, here are a few ways to start building practical and positive financial habits into your life:
Read about personal finance daily
Find a money tracking tool that makes you excited to look at your finances
Start tracking your expenses as they happen
Pick a day to have a money date and check in on your savings
Start identifying your values and if you are buying things aligned with them
Set financial goals
You have control over the approach you take to your finances. Shaming yourself doesn’t work; think about if you were on a diet. When you chastise or judge yourself for “cheating” on your diet, or eating a food you’ve labeled as “bad,” does it ever lead to your success? Nope. It likely leads to you falling off the wagon or even overindulging in those foods, because you’ve told yourself you can’t have it.
You need to treat money and spending the same way. When you guilt yourself for buying something or shame yourself because you feel behind, you are self-sabotaging. Take a gentle approach and start nurturing your relationship with money and your approach to personal finance.
Personal finance is personal, and it’s a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time and consistency to see progress, and if you’re investing time into it, you might as well make that time pleasant.