How to Practice Financial Self-Care (And Why It Matters)

Financial Self-Care

The terms “self-care” and “financial self-care” have become increasingly prevalent in contemporary discourse. However, despite their widespread use, there’s often a lack of clarity regarding their true meaning.

Contrary to popular belief, self-care isn’t about overindulging or prioritizing instant gratification over longer-term goals. Rather, it’s about finding balance and pursuing activities that support your overall health, happiness, and security.

This is an important distinction, especially in the context of personal financial management. Indeed, true financial self-care means making financial decisions that are in harmony with your priorities, aspirations, and emotional well-being, thereby cultivating a more intentional relationship with your money.

But what does this mean in practice? In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of financial self-care and offer practical strategies for practicing it effectively.

What is Financial Self-Care?

Financial self-care is a concept that focuses on mindfully managing your finances and nurturing your relationship with money. It’s not just about responsible decision-making, however; it’s about making intentional financial choices that reflect your personal values and life goals.

Moreover, financial self-care involves being aware of how financial stress impacts your emotional well-being and taking steps to address these concerns. According to a 2023 Bankrate survey, 52% of U.S. adults said money had a negative impact on their mental health, underscoring the importance of a robust self-care practice.

In many ways, cultivating financial wellness is just as critical as protecting your physical and mental health. By practicing financial self-care, you can feel better about your money and make choices that support a truly rich life.

How to Practice Financial Self-Care

Here are five ways to consistently practice financial self-care, regardless of your financial circumstances and goals:

#1: Schedule Regular Financial Check-ins

Just as you might schedule routine check-ups to assess your physical health, periodic financial check-ins are a key aspect of financial self-care. This involves regularly reviewing your financial progress, prioritizing your goals, and adjusting your financial plan accordingly.

This practice helps ensure you’re on the right track and making informed decisions with respect to your financial needs and ambitions. By taking a big-picture view of your financial life, you can proactively manage your money, adapt to changes, and make meaningful strides toward financial stability and growth.

#2: Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness plays a pivotal role in financial self-care by bringing a heightened level of awareness to every financial choice, large or small. When you practice mindfulness in spending, for instance, you pause and reflect on each purchase, considering how it aligns with your long-term financial goals and personal values.

This introspective process can help you differentiate between impulsive and intentional spending, ensuring your spending habits are congruent with your broader financial objectives. It can also lead to a deeper understanding of your spending triggers, which is crucial for breaking the cycle of emotional spending and financial regret.

Essentially, mindfulness encourages you to weigh the long-term benefits of each financial decision against the immediate satisfaction it may provide. It helps ensure you’re using your financial resources efficiently and effectively, paving the way for a more sustainable and intentional lifestyle.

#3: Learn to Set Financial Boundaries and Say No

Just as personal self-care involves understanding and setting boundaries, financial self-care requires a similar approach. Learning what you’re willing and unwilling to tolerate financially is crucial for maintaining a healthy financial state.

This often means having the courage and discipline to say no to certain expenses and demands on your money when they don’t support your long-term goals. It’s about balancing generosity and self-preservation, aligning your spending with your values, and making conscious choices that contribute to a stable and stress-free financial future.

For many people, setting and respecting financial boundaries is one of the more challenging aspects of financial self-care. However, mastering this skill is vital for financial growth and well-being.

#4: Invest in Education and Self-Improvement

Investing in personal and professional growth is a critical but frequently underestimated component of financial self-care. It’s about recognizing that spending money on your development isn’t just an expense; it’s an investment that can yield substantial long-term benefits, both financially and personally.

Whether it’s learning new technologies, acquiring a certification, or pursuing advanced studies in your field, education can open doors to higher-paying positions, promotions, or entirely new career opportunities. Meanwhile, an investment in self-improvement often pays dividends in terms of personal satisfaction and confidence, which can lead to a more engaged, productive, and fulfilling life.

However, it’s crucial to approach this aspect of financial self-care strategically to ensure it doesn’t adversely affect your overall financial health. By choosing courses, workshops, and other educational resources that align with your goals and offer the best return on investment, you can set yourself up for a more rewarding and financially secure life.

#5: Create a Reward System for Financial Self-Care

Financial self-care also includes rewarding yourself periodically for reaching key financial milestones. For example, you might aim to pay off a certain amount of debt within a year, save a specific amount for a down payment on a house, or reach a target in your retirement savings.

Once you achieve your goal, rewarding yourself with a thoughtful, pre-planned treat can reinforce the positive behavior that got you there. This practice not only acknowledges the hard work and discipline that goes into managing your finances but also keeps you motivated and emotionally invested in your financial journey.

However, it’s important to make sure the reward is in proportion to the milestone you achieve and doesn’t offset your financial progress. By planning these incentives as part of your overall financial strategy, you can avoid impulsive splurges that set you back.

#6: Partner with Benchmark Wealth Management

While self-directed practices are critical for financial well-being, partnering with an experienced financial advisor adds a professional dimension to your financial self-care routine. This partnership can provide you with the guidance, clarity, and confidence to successfully navigate your financial journey, setting the stage for a more secure and fulfilling future.

Of course, it’s important to choose a financial advisor who shares your values and supports your financial objectives. The right advisor should be someone you trust, who listens to your concerns, understands your goals, and proactively positions you for financial success.

At Benchmark Wealth Management, we’re committed to providing our clients with the highest level of personalized service and care. Our goal is to expertly guide you toward your financial goals, removing financial anxiety so that you can focus on enjoying your life on your terms. Please contact us to learn more and see if we may be the right fit for your financial needs.


About Rick

Richard W. Stout III is managing director of Benchmark Wealth Management, LLC, with 25 years of experience in the financial industry. He specializes in financial planning and asset management for individuals, families, and institutions seeking to build and monitor durable and sustainable plans for their financial futures. Rick is a Certified Financial Planner™ professional and holds the Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) designation. He obtained his MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and his BA in Economics and Anthropology from the University of Connecticut. Rick has earned a Master of Science degree in Personal Financial Planning from the College for Financial Planning. He has extensive background experience in lending, credit review and analysis, and real estate and partnership management. Learn more about Rick by connecting with him on LinkedIn.

About Thomas

Thomas J. Britt is managing director of Benchmark Wealth Management, LLC, with 23 years of experience in the financial industry. He specializes in executive financial planning, retirement planning, investing, as well as the management of trusts and endowments. Thomas is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional. He holds the Master Planner Advanced StudiesSM, MPAS®, Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA®), and Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor℠, CRPC® designations. Thomas earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of New Haven, an MBA in financial technology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a Master of Science in Personal Financial Planning from the College for Financial Planning. He is also a proud veteran of the United States Navy Submarine Force. Learn more about Tom by connecting with him on LinkedIn.

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