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Home » Blog » Financial Self-Care: Why it matters and 8 ideas to start

Financial Self-Care: Why it matters and 8 ideas to start

What comes to mind when you think about self care? Getting a relaxing massage? Curling up on the sofa with a nice book? While all these are important and certainly take care of your emotional and physical well-being, financial self-care is something we should not overlook as well.  

In fact, studies have pointed to financial stress as one of the leading causes of mental health issues among adults worldwide. Financial stress refers to the emotional tension related to money–for instance, from debt, not having enough money to meet your day-to-day expenses, or from growing financial commitments.  Sure, money won’t buy you happiness but good financial health can definitely help alleviate stress in both the short and long term.   

But first, what is financial self care?  

Simply put, financial self care involves developing healthy habits and rituals to set you up for your overall financial well-being. Just like any other form of self-care, these habits look different for everyone. For some, it might involve reframing the way you approach or think about money. For others, it might involve a weekly money check in with your expenses. Regardless of what you choose, the most important thing is consistency.  

By establishing good money management habits, you’ll have more confidence in your future and achieving your goals. Not only will this take pressure off your current financial situation, it’ll also allow you to be more present in your day-to-day life. Needless to say, this can have a huge impact on your mental and physical health.  

Procrastinating on developing good money habits or avoiding some of the current financial issues you face can also result in a “compounding” effect of financial stress that will increase with time.  

Convinced yet? Below, we share some tips for financial self-care and reap the benefits of financial wellness:  

1. Create realistic goals

Before you start thinking about the habits to put in place, you need to set goals to aim for. Of course, these goals should excite you. At the same time, make sure that they are realistic in nature. We suggest breaking goals up into a few categories: short-term (less than a year), medium term (1-2 years), and long-term (> 2 years). Make these goals as SMART as possible – that is, specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely. For example, saving $300 weekly for 6 months to put towards your goal of travelling to Bali next year.  The more defined they are, the more likely you are to take steps to achieve them!  

2. Be honest about where you are  

It can be tough to be brutally honest with yourself and where you’re at financially – but that’s the only way you’ll stay on top of your financial health. After all, how can you know where you’re ahead if you’re not sure where you stand? While it might be tough to look at the damage and how far you have to go, remind yourself that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your money pot! 

#Tip: Thanks to money management apps like Autumn, it’s easier than ever to do a quick money check on the go. With our single view Finance Dashboard, you can get a useful snapshot of your finances across savings, loans, investments, insurance, properties and more.  

3. Track your expenses  

We can’t stress how important it is to find a way to track your expenses, whatever way works for you. Tracking your spending is the first step to staying on top of your money. When you have a complete view of your savings, monthly expenses and breakdown, and other assets, you can see where your money is going and where you can cut back on. Tracking can be done using a simple spreadsheet, a tracking app, or working with a financial coach. It’s been proven time and time again that smarter financial results come from understanding where your money is being spent. Once you know where you stand with your finances, you can then set up a monthly budget to stick to. 

4. Teach yourself  

There’s no excuse not to level up your financial literacy – especially with the numerous resources out there! Find a learning style that works best for you,- whether that’s a podcast, blog, course or even talking to others in similar situations. The best thing is that you can often get expert advice for free or at a minimal cost. The more you know, the more empowered and confident you’ll feel to take charge of your situation.  

#Tip: Can’t commit to a full-time money course or workshop? Why not learn on the go? This month, look out for the launch of Autumn Hub, our in-app financial literacy curriculum ranging from topics across personal finance, investing and much more. Perfect for visual learners or investing rookies, boost your financial confidence through a curated selection of bite-sized articles and short videos. 

Learn with Autumn Academy (Autumn Hub)

5. Make room for treats   

Like other forms of self-care, make sure to reward yourself and enjoy the process! Like many of the points above, find a way that keeps you going and one that motivates you. As you start to feel more stable with your finances, reward your positive financial habits. Maybe treat yourself every time you hit a new financial goal, or have a day once a month where you treat yourself to  something you’ve been eyeing. Remember, you don’t have to be perfect and rewarding yourself can be just for the mere fact that you’re trying your best.   

6. Set up a “fun fund”

Set up a “fun fund” for yourself! A fun fund refers to a fixed stash of money you set aside every month that goes towards treating yourself. This could be on activities you enjoy, restaurants: you might not end up sticking to it! Knowing you have some funds for a self-treat can actually help you stay on top of your budget.  

7. Do regular (money) check-ups 

Just like our physical health, we shouldn’t wait till we are incredibly sick to head to the doctor. After all, prevention is the best medicine. There isn’t a one size (or time) fits all approach. For some, a daily money check-in works best but for others, that might cause a lot of anxiety. We recommend carving out time at least once a week in order to stay up to date with your current spending, savings, and even to highlight any erroneous  issues like a wrong credit card charge or a fraudulent transaction. 

8. Start investing  

The concept of investing can seem complex and stressful especially if you’re new. However, it’s one of the best ways to see solid returns on your money. Thanks to compound earnings, your investment returns can start earning their own returns, allowing your wealth to grow over time.  There are various robo-advisors out there that can help you get started  and you don’t even have to start big! The main things to remember are that every little bit counts and it’s simply a matter of putting money away on a regular basis. Think about it as delayed gratification and a way of investing in your future self.  

8 ideas for financial self care

Get started on your financial self-care 

In a nutshell, practising self-care is not just about taking care of your body and mind – prioritising your financial well-being through healthy habits and easy rituals can help you get your finances in order. Don’t underestimate how much of an impact financial peace can have on the other spheres of your well being – physical, emotional, and mental. We know how steep the learning curve might be when it comes to integrating some of these habits, but trust us, the habits you develop now will pay off in the grand scheme of things. It’s all about creating sustainable habits that WORK FOR YOU, taking it step by step, and knowing that you have everything you need to get started. You got this!  

Also read: You don’t need a lot to start investing, here’s what you need, to get started.

Enjoyed this article? Find more useful tips on money, health and life on the Autumn Blog, and watch this space for more stories.  

Start your financial journey with Autumn, Download Autumn to find out more!

Written by Nicole Friets

The information in this article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice, investment advice, trading advice, or recommendation of any sort offered or endorsed by Autumn.

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