Self-care is a popular buzzword, and it's an important one. It refers to the deliberate choice of thoughts and actions that are good for your mental and physical wellbeing. Financial self-care means practicing this with money matters to reduce your stress and increase your optimism. It's about making concrete plans, setting goals, and consistently practicing a mindset of possibility - that moves you into place of calm empowerment where you can achieve financial well-being.
Everybody wants to feel more financially secure but knowing where to start can seem vague and unattainable, especially when feeling anxious.
Here are four simple financial self-care practices to consider as you move toward building helpful money skills and cultivating the financial future you wish for:
Reframe negative thoughts
Before you start making active changes to your finances, it's a good idea to think about how you really feel about money. Even if it's hard - and it might be - take a minute to identify negative thinking patterns. Grab a pen and paper to get started.
Divide your paper into two columns and label them Before and After. In the Before column, list one thing that makes you anxious about money. For example, "I will never have enough money no matter how hard I work". Circle the negative words (like 'never' 'work hard' and 'enough'). Now rewrite the sentence in the After column using positive terms: "If I start today and work hard, I will have enough for the future". Negative thoughts keep you stuck and prevent you from finding creative solutions. This exercise can help shift your thinking.
Know your numbers
You won't get ahead if you don't know where you're at. Check account balances for everything money-related at least once per week. Track spending like it's a challenge. The reward is clear-headed courage with a 'no fear' view of your finances.
Skip the shame. Double the possibility.
Financial self-care is largely about what we can do now to improve our future. How can you do that without falling back into your stressful - and often shame-inducing - old patterns with money? Try picturing yourself at 60, 70 or 80 years old. Look at that version of you and say, 'I've got this. I'm going to take care of you." This puts you in a future mindset that shifts shame to possibility.
No one understands the situation at any stage of your money journey better than a financial advisor. They'll support you as you learn about financial possibilities, help you set goals and budgets and encourage you to stay focused on the long-term health of your financial life. They're also skilled cheerleaders who will support all your wins along the way and get you back on track when life happens.
Financial stress isn't good for you. It rarely solves the money problems you're experiencing and can creep up to negatively impact other areas of your well-being. Try some of these financial self-care practices today.