Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, exercising, and taking care of our mental health are essential aspects of self-care. But what about taking care of your finances? It turns out they often get overlooked as something that comes and goes with every paycheck, which really shouldn’t be the case, considering these uncertain economic times we live in.
If you find yourself worrying about money or experience anxiety when checking your account’s balance, it’s time to get your finances in order. Continuing to do nothing and worrying will do you no good – your stress levels will skyrocket, your immune system can weaken, sleeping problems might keep you up at night.
So, get yourself a notebook or download a financial aid app and start keeping track of your earnings and spendings to stay realistic about your budget and find your financial balance. Proper planning will also heal you deal with already acquired debt or start to save for the future. And creating goals that bring you inspiration (like getting a better-paying job or saving up for holidays) will help you get and stay motivated.
Read on for more financial self-care practices and find out how you can take control of your finances and live in a healthy money mindset.
Start Each Day With a Positive Attitude
Maintaining a positive attitude will help you stay motivated and bring positivity to the rest of the day, which is a great way to keep stress at bay. You’ll be more motivated to go to work, do your best at your job, and earn a better living. It would be helpful to make a list of the things you want to accomplish in life and start working towards that, but a negative attitude will just slow you down. You can start cultivating a positive attitude by practicing gratitude, getting enough quality rest, surrounding yourself with like-minded people, and introducing more physical activities into your routine, among other things.
Invest in Yourself
This may sound counterintuitive, but the more financially stable we are, the more freedom we can invest in ourselves and our future. If you don’t feel like you can afford to pay for something right now, don’t buy it! Instead, invest in yourself by learning new skills or becoming a more qualified specialist in your industry and, therefore – better paid.
Another way to invest in yourself now is to consider getting income protection insurance (here, you can find the best UK income protection companies). This type of insurance policy will pay you out a monthly benefit if you’re unable to work for any medical reason. It is a very beneficial option to secure yourself financially, especially if you have other people dependent on your income, for example, kids and other family members.
Create a Budget
One of the initial and most critical steps to improving your financial situation is creating a budget. This will probably be the most challenging part of the whole process, but it’s also the most effective one. Think about your income and how much you spend on certain expenses – rent, food, phone bills, utilities, etc. Try to create a realistic budget that takes into account everything you spend money on.
If you find yourself falling short at the end of each month, start cutting down on unnecessary expenses. Also, try to see if there’s a way you can increase your income – ask for a raise at your current job position or look for additional income sources. In addition, before making any purchases, consider your options and make your purchases within your budget.
Pay Off Your Debts and Start Saving
We’re not getting any younger, and life is full of surprises we can’t anticipate – that’s why it’s so important to have an emergency fund that covers at least one or two months of your living costs. This way, if something unexpected happens, you won’t have to borrow money from friends or family members or taking personal loans since you can take care of yourself with your own funds.
However, if you’re already in debt, it’s time to start paying it back. In this case, halting your credit card will help you avoid making impulsive purchases. Tackling the biggest debts first is also recommended.
Saving money is vital if you want to have financial stability in your life. When your debt is paid off, now is the perfect time to start saving money regularly. The easiest way to do that is to set up an automatic transfer from your checking account to your savings account every month. Every little bit counts! However, ensure that your savings goal is realistic and attainable – saving up for your dream house might seem tempting at first but might be too far-fetched one that will only stress you out more.
Spend Less Than You Earn
Make spending less than you actually have a habit, and adjust your budget in a way to help you achieve this goal. You can list the essential things and those that aren’t as urgent (like eating out)and prioritize them accordingly. Having an actual plan that includes your monthly income and expenses will help you save more money without giving up those things that are important for you.
Set aside everything you earned and spent each day and write it in a notebook to get a clear picture of how much money comes in and goes out each month. Where does the money go? Is it spent on food, gas, rent, entertainment? This will allow you to determine categories of your expenses and prevent overspending on unnecessary items.
Create a list of things that bring you inspiration and motivation to reach your financial goals – like getting a promotion at work or saving up for a nice vacation – and place them somewhere where they’ll remind you of them each day. This will help you stay focused on your financial goals instead of getting distracted by impulsive purchases.
With all this information at hand, it becomes easier to understand your spending habits, realize mistakes, and correct them in the future. This way, you will be able to balance your budget better and spend more wisely by buying only important things for you.
Remember: budgeting is not an easy task, but staying positive throughout the process will make it easier to complete it successfully.