“Saving money helps to support you. I believe it is therefore a form of self-care” -Laura McDonnell Money Coach
I couldn’t tell you why this particular quote on Instagram grabbed my attention but for some reason this concept has fascinated me since I saw it! In a world where #selfcare is filled with images of overpriced teas, bubble baths drowning in $200 scented oils, and sleeping the day away in the name of self-love and self-care, the idea that this concept could be applied to bettering your financial situation and building a solid foundation for the rest of your life absolutely captivated me.
The dictionary definition of self-care is:
the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.
“expressing oneself is an essential form of self-care”
Following this definition, one can see that saving money truly should be at the forefront of self -care. Having extra money contributes to a sense of wellness and security. You can feel confident knowing that when, god forbid, a life altering emergency takes place you will not be one of the 4 in 10 Americans who cannot handle a $1000 emergency expense. You can breathe a little easier during stressful periods that would devastate those who had not prepared.
The 4 principles of self-care are:
- An emphasis on flourishing, rather than merely surviving
- The notion of intentionality. This principle focuses on the importance of making self-care a routine part of one’s personal and professional life.
- An awareness of reciprocity in the care of self and others—the kindness you show others should be the kindness you show yourself.
- The benefit of integrating self-care into daily practices, rather than adding it to existing obligations.
How can these be applied to your financial situation?
- You want to flourish rather than survive. You ensure you spend within your means and do not live paycheck to paycheck. You know the difference between wants vs needs and try to eliminate wants and impulse buys so you have more than enough to fully cover your needs.
- The notion of intentionality. You set goals and work towards them. Maybe this means you have a goal of saving 20% of each paycheck in a retirement fund. Maybe it means you want to save $1,400 by December in order to go on the cruise you have always wanted. Whatever your individual case may be, you want to set clear and precise financial goals so you have a direction to follow.
- An awareness of reciprocity in the care of self and others. I view this as being aware that your financial situation and how you manage your money has a broader effect than just your life. What may start as a small savings Jar could end up paying for your child’s tuition one day. Or you may find that a loved one needs help financially and you can reach out a hand. Perhaps, in that same scenario the family member does not need money but they could use the gift of time. Having the ability to take a few days off work to stay with them while they recover is a situation that may leave some financially destitute due to a smaller paycheck that week. An awareness and control of your own financial situation benefits you and others around you.
- The benefit of integrating self-care into daily practices. You could review your finances daily, or this could be something even more simple like checking your budget weekly, setting up PennyProfit Jars so you know you are automatically saving after each transaction, or diverting a portion of your paycheck into a retirement fund or investment fund each cycle.
Adopting all or some of these principles of self-care into your money habits can be truly life changing. You can watch your savings grow and feel confident that you have the control and are in the power to change your own life. Rather than spending money needlessly on popular self-care items like food, accessories, or alcohol, you can save that money and invest in your future self’s needs. That being said, I do want to mention there is nothing wrong with the occasional treat yourself moment either. I actually have a Jar dedicated to fun, impulse buys myself. I only send 5% of my splits there because I know it’s not the most effective use of my money, however, I do think it’s fair and fun to relax a little now and then! Self-care is all about learning what leads you personally to happiness, lowered stress levels, and well-being and that can look different for everyone.
Let us know how you view the connection between money and self-care by leaving a comment or reaching out on social media platforms. I’d love to continue this conversation because I truly feel the connection is so interesting!