When you personally evaluate what self-care means to you, what comes to mind?
There could be a mini shopping trip involved, a trip to your favorite pampering spot or grabbing something to eat from a favorite restaurant. For others, it could be taking a nice bath, journaling, or spending some much-needed, uninterrupted alone time.
Whether you fall anywhere on this spectrum (or elsewhere), what’s most important to note here is this: spending money isn’t always (and shouldn’t) be a requirement for taking care of yourself.
I am by no means suggesting for you to withhold nice self-gestures you feel are well deserved. However, I do think it’s important to try to change how we view self-care.
The word ‘self-care’ is flaunted everywhere on various outlets and marketing campaigns. Typically, it steers many to believe money has to be involved in order to enjoy and appreciate alone time. According to Lexico, self-care can be defined as, “the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.”
Let’s fast forward – it’s Sunday morning. You’ve wrapped up a successful workweek and finished running all your errands. You’ve carved out some time to exercise in a few days and the family has what they need to jumpstart another week. Everything seems to be in order physically and maybe mentally – but what about financially?
We must normalize the conversation and begin to enable healthy practices regarding money. I know what you’re thinking, “self-care is supposed to be relaxing and not stressful.” But guess what’s more stressful? Trying to make decisions with the money you don’t have.
To avoid additional stress, here are a few quick and easy ways to ease your mind and wallet.
Review Your Purchases From The Previous Week
It’s time to pull back the curtain! Open up your credit card statements online or print them to see how well you did with adhering to your budget. Are you on track for the month or this pay period? If so, great! If not, that’s okay too. Developing the healthy habit of reviewing purchases can reveal pitfalls, impulsive spending or unnecessary purchases that could’ve easily gone unrecognized.
This exercise isn’t meant to negatively expose you – it’s to show you where your money goes and being able to let purchases tell the story. Incorporating this into your weekly downtime can alleviate any hasty decisions when things come up during the workweek.
Set A Weekly Savings Goal
Many people believe you have to get rid of something in order to save. While that can be the case in some instances, it doesn’t always have to.
Since you’ve already reviewed your purchases from last week, take it a step further and challenge yourself. This number doesn’t have to be astronomical and no number is too minor. Even if it’s saving an additional $50 dollars this upcoming week, it can be done.
While it’s $50 today, it could very well be $500 or $5,000 in the latter months. Saving money to better position yourself, your family or your business doesn’t have to feel like a burden. You can effectively save with consistent practices and discipline.
Search For Discounts On Upcoming Purchases
Think about any large purchases that may arise within the year and do some online surfing.
Are you planning to purchase a car, refurbish your home or plan your next getaway? Bookmark those tabs or create a working document to help you keep track of your findings to refer back to them at a later date. Shopping around early without the immediate need to come to a decision decreases the stress and worry that’s often associated with hefty purchases.
The more you know, the less anxious you feel when it’s time to sign on the dotted line. Remember, preparation is key.
Keep Your Important Documents Organized And Updated
During emergencies, the last thing on your mind is trying to find any financial documentation.
Having physical documents in a lockbox or folder is fine, but also have digital copies on hand. Designate your partner, children and/or family member(s) the responsibility of knowing how to readily access this information.
Develop A Healthy Money Mindset
Often times, how money was used or abused in our childhood influences our view of money during adolescence, which can follow us into our adulthood. No matter what the ideals were then, you have the power to change them now!
Money isn’t and should never be a taboo subject. The exchange of currency for products and/or services is the basis of how our economy thrives. So, we all deserve not to be held captive by any previous mistakes we’ve had related to money.
While it may seem odd in the beginning, reciting healthy statements has the power to internally change the way you truly feel about money, wealth and overall abundance.
It’s recommended for us to make a trip to the doctor once a year for preventative care. The suggested dentist visits twice a year guarantee our teeth are still in good shape. Our cars best thrive when routine maintenance is done to ensure optimal performance and our finances don’t have to be an exception to this rule. The more you tend to yourself holistically, the outcome will always result in a better you.
Even if an hour is all you can spare to knock out the tips listed above, that dedicated time weekly can save you hours of stress and fatigue in the long run about your finances. You owe yourself, your family and your legacy a better financial future.
Have other tips to incorporate financial health into your self-care routine? Share them in the comments!