Financial Self-Care: How to Prioritize Your Money and Well-Being

Self-care—when we hear this word, we often think of spa salons. But it can—and should—also mean taking care of our finances, from short, medium, and long-term planning to saving for vacations or treating ourselves to little luxuries. In essence, it’s about enjoying life without financial stress.

Published on 2024-06-11

Like any habit, financial self-care takes practice and refinement. We should also pass this mindset on to our children by teaching them to value and manage money wisely. Read on to find out what financial self-care is and how you can incorporate it into your life.

What Is Financial Self-Care?

If the concept is new to you, don't worry—it's basically about taking care of your money and making choices that suit your budget, which helps reduce stress. On a deeper level, it’s about nurturing one of the most important relationships in your life, which affects everything else: your relationship with money.

Financial self-care means thoughtfully managing your finances and building a healthy connection with money. It’s not just about responsible decision-making; it’s about making financial choices that align with your values and life goals.

Why Financial Self-Care Matters

A 2023 Bankrate survey shows that money is a significant source of stress for most Americans. A notable 52% say it has a negative impact on their mental health, up from 42% in 2022.

Among those who find money stressful, 82% report experiencing anxiety, sleep disturbances, or depression. The main stressors? Inflation (68%), rising interest rates (31%), and job insecurity or unstable income (29%).

Tips for Financial Self-Care

Given this, how can we build better financial habits to reduce stress? Here are some tips to help you get started:

1.Track Your Money:

Keep tabs on your daily income and expenses to understand your spending patterns and identify areas for improvement.

2. Set Financial Goals:

Think about your financial future. Write down both short-term and long-term goals, and keep them visible to stay focused.

3. Celebrate Milestones:

Acknowledge your achievements. Whether it’s paying off a credit card or reaching a savings goal, treat yourself to a small reward to stay motivated.

4. Don't Be Too Hard on Yourself:

If you make a financial mistake, don't dwell on it. Just brush it off and start again. Everyone makes mistakes.

5. Seek Guidance:

You don’t have to navigate your finances alone. Consider talking to a financial advisor or using online resources for advice and support.

6. Review Spending Trends:

Look back at your spending over the last month. You might find some habits you didn't realize you had, giving you a chance to make adjustments.

7. Cancel Unnecessary Subscriptions:

If you have subscriptions you’re not using, cancel them. These small charges can add up over time, costing you money for things you don’t need.

8. Make an Extra Debt Payment:

If possible, try to pay more than the minimum on your debts. This will help you get out of debt faster and save money on interest.

9. Increase Your 401(k) Contribution by 1%:

Don't overthink it—this is about preparing for retirement, and it's crucial to your future.

10. Talk About Money:

Learning about finances can be empowering. It boosts your confidence and helps you make better decisions. Consider reading financial books, listening to podcasts, or following financial experts on social media to broaden your understanding.
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