The self-care movement has boomed in recent years, with not only society's approval but its active encouragement to practice self-care. Self-care is essentially something that a person does regularly or often that helps them personally live and sustain a healthy life.
It could be setting aside alone time to read a book or go for a walk, run a bath with candles or taking a digital detox. All these acts of self-care help to contribute to a happier environment for all - if you look after yourself, put your own oxygen mask on before that of others - you are stronger and better placed to then positively contribute to your family, friends and wider community.
Focussing on your finances is a form of self-care, even if you are someone who can get particularly stressed about numbers. Here are 10 ways you can practice self-care when it comes to finances:
1. Know Your Numbers
This is one of the crucial steps that we talk about in The Financielle Playbook and that is knowing your numbers - the key numbers that help give us actionable steps to take forward and gain control of our finances. So a simple 4 number exercise:
- what is your household income?
- what are your household outgoings?
- what are your assets?
- what are your debts?
The top two figures, income minus outgoings, give you your Excess which is your power money - your money to hit your goals with. The second two, assets minus liabilities, give you your networth figure - so what you own, less what you owe.
2. Do a fresh Budget every single month
Every income "pay day", whether that be from a job, from universal credit, or from other side-hustle forms of income, is an opportunity to start a fresh with a budget. Do a fresh one every month, take the learnings from last month then wipe the slate clean and start a fresh.
3. Set aside a set amount every month to invest in you
This could be a Audible account, a gym membership or class, a training course, a facial mask set, a nail appointment - pick something that literally has your name next to it and include it as part of the budget - no matter how small the cost. Remind yourself that you are using your finances to invest in you.
4. Save SOMETHING
Even if it is the change from your pockets at the end of the day - save something and start to make it a habit. The confidence that comes from starting to build up a jar, then a pot, then later a full blown savings account will contribute massively to your financial wellness.
5. Pick a goal and visually work towards it
Take the goal that you are working towards right now (and if you don't have one yet - pick one) and make it visible to you and perhaps to others if you wish, whether on the wall, on your phone wallpaper or on a vision board. Get your goal front of mind to remind yourself constantly of your "why". Colouring-in charts are a great way to visibly track money goal progress; if you are paying off debt, it may be a debt-free chart. If you are saving for an emergency fund or for a house deposit, it may be a savings chart.
It can also help having an accountability partner - or even a co-goal owner, to help you achieve whatever goal you set.
These are 5 simple ways to use money and your finances to contribute to your self-care, and to grow your financial wellness.