Money Mindfulness: Practicing Financial Self-Care

The prevalence of self-care messaging reminds us to nurture our physical and mental well-being—with mindfulness practices, exercise routines, and virtual detoxing. But what about financial self-care? 

When we  cultivate  positive money habits   and  plan for  our  future  we  are  (quite  literally)  investing in  ourselves. Financial  self-care  is rooted in self-awareness, discipline,  and  intentionality.  Here are   several  ways you can practice financial  self-care,  starting  now. 

Build A Budget

Building a budget is akin to giving yourself the gift of clarity: it allows you to track expenses, identify potential areas where you can trim spending allocate funds to help you achieve financial goals. Rather than seeing budgeting as a restrictive practice, frame it as a tool that grants you freedom to spend where it matters. Connect with your financial institution to see what budgeting tools they offer and check out this interactive budgeting worksheet in the meantime. 
Create an Emergency Fund 

More than half of Americans fear they wouldn’t be able to cover daily living expenses for a month if they lost their income tomorrow, according to a recent Bankrate survey. Invest in your future peace of mind: set up an automatic, recurring savings deposit with the goal of setting three to six months’ worth of living expenses aside. If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, you can start small by setting aside 2% of your net income and gradually increasing your contribution rate when possible.  

Tackle Debt 

With  recent  federal  interest rate hikes, borrowing  costs have reached historic highs which means even your debt is costing you more money. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you’re not alone. Taking proactive steps towards debt reduction can improve your financial health and significantly reduce your stress. Unsure where to begin? Explore a Debt Management Program, designed to pay off your debt in 3-5 years and deepen your financial resilience. 

Get Educated  

One of the most empowering aspects of financial self-care is education. Chat with your financial institution about what resources they offer. If you want to explore courses and are worried about institution about what resources they offer. If you want to explore courses and are worried about costs, take advantage of free financial education online. Whether you’re preparing to buy a home or navigating your auto loan, these sessions offer jargon-free, shame-free guidance to help you reach your financial goals. 

Plan for Retirement 

If  your  employer offers a 401(k) retirement plan, take advantage of this benefit (especially if your company matches part or all of your contribution). Don’t have a workplace retirement account?You  can  still  open  a  Roth  IRA a tax-advantaged retirement savings account. If you find it challenging to save throughout the year, consider setting aside part  or  all  of  your  tax refund as a way to begin investing without impacting your day-to-day budget. 

Article provided by GreenPath Financial Wellness

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