Yes, Financial Care Is Self-Care: How To Make It Part Of Your Routine
Self-care can mean a lot of different things, and there's not a single best way to take care of yourself. However, one area that is often overlooked in this conversation is financial care—instead, we focus on beauty, nutrition, exercise, and so on.
However, financial care should be a core part of your self-care routine, as it undoubtedly impacts your overall mental and physical well-being. We know that any part of finances can be intimidating (even when it's related to self-care), so we asked experts for the simplest way to start—here's what they said.
How financial care is a core part of self-care.
When you picture self-care, you may envision putting on a face mask, going to a yoga class, or booking a therapy session, all of which require money in your pocket—hence, why financial care plays a big role in your overall well-being.
It's fair to say that most people face financial anxiety at one point or another, so incorporating financial self-care into your routine can help alleviate those nerves and bring you some peace of mind.
Not only that, but it can help you create a financial space to allocate money toward your wellness goals, favorite activities, and must-have products. Not sure how to get started? We've got you covered.
Simple financial care practices to try.
Looking under the rug of your financial life will help you tend to your sense of self-efficacy, which psychologist Chloe Carmichael, Ph.D., describes as knowing that you can do what you say you want to do—thus increasing your self-esteem. Think of it like caring for your future self, in the present.
Financial care can be easy to incorporate into your life, and there are tons of different ways to practice it. The best way to start? Try out a few different methods and see which ones resonate with you. Here are a few ideas:
Don't count pennies like calories.
While some people may find monitoring the general intake of calories helpful with weight management, counting every single calorie can oftentimes cause more anxiety than it's worth, and the same goes for finances.
"You can be hypervigilant by checking the numbers too much," financial therapist Bari Tessler tells mbg. In essence, "It's like overwatering your garden—you can do too much."
This doesn't mean you should ignore your financial state until it's too late, but do cut yourself some slack and trust that with intentional planning and management skills, you'll be able to achieve your goals without obsessing.
Go on money dates.
One way to ensure you're keeping track of spending without checking every dollar is to have designated "Money dates," as Tessler calls them. A money date is simply a designated time when you tune into your finances—run through bank statements, pay your bills, divvy up your paychecks, etc.
You can opt for a few minutes a day, 20 minutes every two days, twice a month, or another time that works for you. Whenever you decide to do so, Tessler recommends adding ambience to your date to make it more enjoyable and ease financial jitters.
"On my money date, I'm also lighting my candles, I'm getting out the dark chocolate, and I'm setting intentions," she notes.
Do your best to block out this time on your calendar so you're not rushed to finish your money date in haste—because the only thing scarier than working with finances is doing so with a ticking clock in the back of your mind.
Start a financial diary.
It's difficult to be in control of your money if you can't clearly see where you're spending it. The fix? Create a financial diary—not only where you track your spending habits but also where you can write about your emotional reaction to it. This can help you digest your feelings about certain financial burdens.
"I have a very basic spreadsheet I use to allocate cash and have a system that I do on the first and the 15th of every month," business coach and author Kelly Trach tells mbg. Here you can add a column or section in your diary designated to discuss how you feel about your purchase—was it necessary? Did it bring you joy? Or, do you regret spending money on it?
Don't get down on yourself if you've allocated funds to something that didn't result in a reward—everyone does it from time to time. Just take note and know that next time, you'll go in having learned what investments are worth it for you.
Create a financial vision board.
Vision boards don't just have to be for New Year's resolutions or big event aesthetics—you can make a money vision board as well. This could be virtual via Pinterest or on paper; either way, keep it by your bedside and look at it every evening before you fall asleep or when you're feeling uninspired with your finances.
Add photos to your board that mimic things you enjoy spending money on—be it events with friends, long dinners, healthy foods, clothing, home décor, travel, etc. This will help you visualize what you truly want to prioritize.
Find self-soothing habits.
When financial anxiety arises, you'll need some tools to help you calm down. This could be anything from breathwork to stretching and even meditation. You can call upon these habits before checking your bank account, prior to making a large purchase, or whenever financial anxiety pops into your mind.
Talk to your therapist.
If you feel that financial stress is infiltrating your everyday life and you need more support, don't be afraid to bring up this topic with your therapist (if you have access to one). We know that therapy can be a great self-care tool in general, but many people don't take the time to explore the topic of financial anxiety with this kind of guidance
They won't be able to give you financial advice, but they can help you navigate any burdens you're feeling. What's more, therapists can help you plan healthy conversations about money with your partner, friends, or family.
It's important to view your financial needs as a part of your self-care routine, as they directly impact your health and well-being. If the concept of money management makes you nervous, try to add a few financial self-care rituals to your everyday life to help you feel more in control of your life and your spending. If you want to learn more about what causes financial anxiety in the first place, give this story a read.
Hannah Frye is the Assistant Beauty & Health Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism and a minor in women’s, gender, and queer studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Hannah has written across lifestyle sections including skin care, women’s health, mental health, sustainability, social media trends, and more. She previously interned for Almost 30, a top-rated health and wellness podcast. In her current role, Hannah reports on the latest beauty trends and innovations, women’s health research, brain health news, and plenty more.