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The art of practicing financial self-care

Health & Science - By Derrick Oluoch | August 26th 2020 at 01:35:11 GMT +0300
Prioritizing your finances helps you develop a healthy money mindset (Shutterstock)

Self-care entails any activity undertaken deliberately to take care of one’s own mental, emotional and physical health. In other words, self-care is simply taking time out to prioritize the things that add value and benefit your wellbeing.

The most common aspects of self-care are eating healthy, maintaining good sleep, exercising regularly, being in healthy relationships as well as having quality medical care.

Interestingly, there is one important aspect that is often overlooked – one’s relationship with money.

Having a good financial self-care has profound effect on one’s overall wellbeing. When you practice financial self-care:

  • You are conscious of your spending and you don’t get into unnecessary debt, you intentionally drift clear of heightened anxiety and you are likely to feel more satisfied with your personal life.
  • You prioritize your finances and you develop a healthy money mindset.
  • You create and pursue money goals that matter to you, you feel empowered to create a balanced life that is fulfilling.
If you are conscious of your spending, you don’t get into unnecessary debt and you drift clear of any heightened anxiety (Shutterstock)

How to care for yourself

According to stress.org, money is a leading cause of stress in the world. The research opines that people are constantly worried about their money, and whether it is enough. Money has the ability to alter our emotions and decision making. This makes financial self-care integral in our overall wellbeing.

Practicing financial self-care means you get intentional about how you are spending your money. Financial self-care helps you keep track of your spending as well as setting your financial goals and helping you track your progress towards achieving them.

Practicing financial self-care also helps you save and invest more as you trim your expenses, clear your debts and resultantly accumulate some wealth over time.

So, how exactly do you care for yourself in as far as handling finances is concerned?

  • Pamper your body

Considering the perks of practicing financial self-care, it goes without saying that a majority of your financial concerns will be readily dealt with. However, you still need to look at yourself somewhere in the midst of all that’s going down.

The last thing you want is your body giving up on you. So, as you plan your budget, factor in treats for yourself. At the end of the day, self-care entails more than just finances. Slot in and set aside some money in your budget for that long overdue massage, or for that sleek Prada handbag you’ve been dying to add to your collection.

  • Be deliberate in your spending

Other than pampering yourself, you need to take charge of your financial decisions and wherever possible, plan ahead. You want to go on holiday in December, you can start making arrangements now and take advantage of the lower off-peak rates.

  • Evaluate your shopping culture

You also need to relook your shopping culture. Instead of going for the designer items in high-end boutiques, you can consider thrifting.

You are likely to add a couple more zeros to your bank account by simply scaling down on your fashion shopping. While you can treat yourself to expensive items ones in a while, it is prudent that the purchases be intentional and not impulsive.

To help you with this, you can always have and stick to a shopping list.

Come up with a robust shopping list that contains everything you are planning on buying then stick to it when you go for the actual shopping. Having a list will help you avoid impulse buying or overspending on items that you would otherwise not spend so much on.

  • Avoid debt

To ensure that you yield from your efforts in practicing financial self-care, you have to steer clear of debts. When you are constantly offsetting debts, you end up with little or no money to save leave alone to spend on yourself or bail yourself out of financial emergencies.

You are likely to feel more at ease and peaceful when you don’t have to worry about that debt that overdue. To be able to achieve financial freedom, you need to limit your debts, especially the bad debts – the debts that worsen your financial situation, especially those with high interest rates when used on expenses/things that are losing value.

Financial self-care helps you keep track of your spending (Shutterstock)

Practicing financial self-care

There are several ways to tackling a financial situation. However, not all are likely to work for every individual. As thus, it is prudent that one opts for what best suits their situation. Here are some of the ways you can take charge of your finances and enhance your overall financial wellbeing:

  • Creating a budget

A budget helps you know where your money is going. Put simply, having a say on where your money goes allows you to create more money.

  • Tracking your spending and knowing your spending weaknesses

Tracking your money helps you note where you are ‘losing’ money. If you can identify the areas where you are unnecessarily spending, you can adjust your habits and put more focus on the areas that actually need more spending, such as saving.

Also, knowing your spending weakness allows you to put safeguards and preventive measures in place to help you eliminate any temptations.

  • Factoring in self-pampering in your financial plan

If you don’t factor in a little fun in your budget, then you risk over compensating when you finally get the strong urge to appreciate yourself.

Once you have your finances steady, you should consider rewarding your positive financial moves by slotting in some occasional treats in your budget.

  • Saving!

Save whatever you can even if it’s only the change you are left with after making purchases.

Knowing that you have a stash of cash somewhere that you can dig into when faced with a financial emergency gives you a peace of mind and you will be able to feel more relaxed and confident about facing your financial challenges.

  • Considering proper insurance

Getting insured is one and being properly insured in another. Other than simply investing in life insurance, you need to regularly revisit your insurance situation to note and take advantage of any offers and discounts and make your coverage as cost effective as possible.

There are instances when getting more coverage actually costs less when compared to the smaller plans. To be on the ‘good’ side, always engage your agent and find out what new offers they have.

  • Prioritizing settling debts

This does not mean you shouldn’t have a debt at any one time. However, whenever you have one, you need to consider paying it off as quickly as possible.

When you pay your loans and debts early, you get a break that allows you to recollect your thoughts and plan for your next financial goal.

Being able to pay off a debt early may require sacrifice but you need to remind yourself that the outcome will sure be with it.

If you implement a solid financial self-care plan, you gain a sense of independence and confidence (Shutterstock)

Benefits of financial self-care

Like proper self-care, financial self-care can have positive impact in various aspects of one’s life, including:

  • Creating opportunities

Having a good financial self-care plan entails having some savings. With savings, you don’t have to depend on every penny you receive every month end to carter for your living expenses. As thus, you end up financially flexible.

This kind of flexibility allows you to take advantage of opportunities. For instance, opting for a job that you would enjoy more but requires you to take a pay cut.

  • Gaining confidence

We don’t like to beg, borrow or depend on others particularly for financial reasons.

If you invest time in coming up with and implementing a solid financial self-care plan, you end up gaining a sense of independence and confidence - the kind of confidence you cannot have when you are still depending on others to meet your basic needs.

  • Better relationships

Having full control of your finances makes you relaxed and your relationship stands to benefit the most.

When you come up with a financial self-care plan that works perfectly for your unique relationship, you are likely to steer clear of any money arguments and enjoy your relationship without clouding yourself with worries.

  • Improved risk tolerance

You are likely to get stressed if you are faced with an emergency and you don’t have the financial capability of sorting it out, other than sinking into debt.

When you have some savings set aside – as a result of proper financial self-care – you feel more confident and bold enough to take on emergencies and inconveniences without worrying yourself.

  • Allows generosity

Having a good financial self-care plan ensures all your financial concerns are taken care of. This allows you to look around and see if you can be of help to those around you.

You can readily take advantage of any flexibility in your budget to treat and do something for others. The best part is that being able to help others cultivates a deep kind of gratitude within you, only adding to you wellbeing.

You need to remember that every financial situation is unique and what worked for someone else might not necessarily work for you. All in all, before making any major financial decisions, always consult your financial planner/advisor.


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