We often think of self-care in the fields of health, nutrition, fitness, emotional, spiritual, and mental health but not often do we relate the idea of self-care to our personal financial lives. Perhaps, it’s time for that to change. Instead of neglecting and ignoring our financial lives, we should be caring for it and nurturing it. When we begin to take a more active role in our financial lives we experience benefits that are far reaching, from decreasing stress to improving communication with loved ones.
Financial self-care focuses on changing the way you relate to money, reframing and rethinking how you interact with your money. The goal is to help you better align your finances with your personal values, hopes and dreams. Just like with any other field, when you exercise self-care you are becoming more mindful. You are taking control of where you are today and making conscious choices and decisions to help you reach your goals.
The first obstacle many of us have to overcome in exercising financial self-care, is to overcome the money disconnect. Many of us distance ourselves from our financial decisions, often feeling that we have little say or control over our financial situations. By acknowledging the financial component of your life, you can begin to understand it and take action to nurture it.
As you increase your awareness of the role money has in your life you will gain greater insight into how it impacts your personal, emotional, psychological, and physical well-being. (And yes, how you handle your money does impact all of that.) The more connected you become with your money, the more thoughtful and intentional you will be in managing it in a way that creates greater financial well-being, which in turn will impact all other areas of your life.
Just like any other type of self-care, financial self-care is a practice. Meaning you can’t just do one exercise and master your financial life. It’s a continual process of learning and adjusting. It’s being in-tune with your behavior, learning habits and triggers so that you can redefine your relationship with money.
The first step you can take in practicing financial self-care is making a commitment to yourself to get started. Ask yourself what needs to change to better take care of yourself financially? Then determine what steps you can take to do things differently. It always helps at this stage to have someone who can help you in the process, someone to encourage you and help you stay on track. So find a friend that can help. You may even consider consulting with a financial planner/coach who can help provide you with the right tools.
Your financial life may not be where you want it to be right now. That’s ok. Make the investment in yourself to start exercising financial self-care. I’d be lying if I told you it wouldn’t require time, commitment and a little bit of work to start caring for this area of your life, but the benefits are well worth it.