Many of us may recognise the importance of self-care when it comes to nurturing our physical and emotional well-being but even if we regularly make healthy lifestyle choices, when we stress or worry about money it can undermine the positive action that we’re taking towards our total well-being.
Money is the leading cause of stress and one of the major causes of divorce and relationship breakdown globally 1. Which means if we prioritise our financial well-being we can improve not only our wealth, but also our health and our relationships!
So how do we create financial well-being?
Our financial health and wellbeing is directly impacted by our thoughts, feelings, actions and behaviours with money. The more connected we are with our money, the more control we have over it and the easier it is for us to reduce stress and take control of creating a happier and wealthier financial future.
Here are 5 simple financial self-care practices that you can take to improve your financial wellbeing:
1. Make it a priority.
“Our lives do not get better by chance, they get better by change” – Jim Rohan
Financial self-care is about taking proper care of ourselves and our money and treating our money as importantly as all other areas of our well-being. So if we’ve been neglecting or ignoring our personal or business finances, procrastinating on getting things sorted or overlooking our spending, saving and debt levels then it’s time we shift our priorities. As the sayings go, what we focus on expands and energy flows where intention goes which means our relationship with money can only improve if we begin to focus on it.
2. Let go of the judgement and comparison.
“The grass is greener where you water it” – Unknown
If we constantly judge or compare our financial situation and progress with others then we’re only going to create more stress and despair in our lives. We’re also likely to foster a scarcity or lack mindset and feelings of inadequacy which all detract from our financial wellbeing.
Instead, if we focus on the abundance already in our lives then we’re more likely to foster a positive attitude and outlook towards our own financial situation and feel more in control of our financial future. From this empowered state, we’re also more likely to take action towards our money goals.
3. Start talking about money.
“Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes” – Maggie Smith
Money is a subject which is typically loaded with emotions as its presence or lack of it in our life can create feelings of fear, guilt, jealousy, greed, excitement, anxiety etc. For most of us, money as a topic of conversation is even more taboo than sex, religion and politics so it’s no wonder most of us have a complex relationship with it.
But if we aren’t comfortable talking about money then we may have more trouble learning to manage it properly or talk to our partners about it, use it in our businesses, our teach our children about it.
Why not start a conversation around money – choose a friend, partner, colleague or family member and start a conversation with them. If you’re struggling financially don’t be afraid to ask for help or to hire a professional to help you commit and stay accountable to your money goals.
4. Learn some quick fixes.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” – Lao Tzu
Managing money well doesn’t have to be complicated. There are many simple ways that we can improve our finances or reduce our money stress. Understanding our money beliefs and habits, working with a money coach, automating our bill payments to ensure we pay bills on time, tracking our budget with a spending app, focussing on spending less than we earn, cutting up credit cards, consolidating debt, seeking lower interest rates, saving for the future and taking out insurance are just some of the little things that can go a long way towards improving our financial wellbeing.
If you’re not sure where to start, you might want to try a money cleanse, or finance challenge to help motivate you to create little but positive changes and more enterprising money habits and behaviours. As the saying goes, you’ve got to start somewhere and whilst the best time to start may have been yesterday, the second best time is today!
5. Introduce mindfulness to your money.
“Wherever you are, be all there” – Jim Elliot
A lot of how we think about and what we do with our money is done on a sub-conscious level or out of habit so by introducing mindfulness to the way we think about and to how we use our money, we can create more awareness of our habits and behaviours with money.
The simplest way to introduce mindfulness to our money is to pause, take a breath and think before we just “act” with our money. Whether it’s spending or paying bills online, if we can learn to connect with our money in a more mindful and conscious way our thoughts and actions with our money begin to add, not subtract from our well-being.
What is important to realise when it comes to financial well-being is that it is just one element of our total wellbeing which requires our attention. When we take regular steps towards improving our financial health in areas that may be causing us stress we can take back control, reduce stress and improve our relationship with money – all of which ultimately leads to greater wealth, health and well-being.
About Your Guest Blogger: Lea Schodel is the founder of The mindful wealth movement, a uniquely feminine program that empowers women to take control of their relationship with money and create financial well-being for themselves and their families. As a financial planner, yoga teacher and writer, Lea is passionate about financial well-being and teaching women about money in a holistic and creative way.