Financial Self-Care: Improving your Relationship with Money
Dealing with money and finances can be… stressful, to say the very least. It can make you stressed, anxious, sad, distraught, happy, empowered, excited, confused, scared, the list can go on. Our relationship with our finances can greatly impact our lives and emotional health. Financial worries can take a toll on us, in fact, according to the 2021 Capital One CreditWise survey, 73% of Americans rank their finances as the most significant source of stress in their life. While financial stress is mostly unavoidable in life, we can learn to improve how we approach it.
When people think of “self-care” they probably think of face masks, baths, comfort food, spending time with a good book or TV show, but it can be more than that. Taking time out of your life to focus on your finances is making the choice to empower yourself and improve your wellbeing. So let’s take a moment to do some “financial yoga” so to speak, and set our intention: to improve our financial mental health. Relax your shoulders, take a deep breath, and let’s dive in:
Do Not Ignore It
We have all been there. We had a fun weekend out with friends or family, and then you have to face checking your bank account. Instead of saying “I’ll just check it later,” and letting the anxiety build up, just check it right away. It’s okay if you spent more than you thought, but it is better to know and deal with it now then save it for later. By taking a good look at your finances and really assessing your current situation, you will be able to move forward instead of just standing still out of fear. And don’t just do it one time, be consistent about paying attention to your accounts. Our Online & Mobile Banking platform has a variety of tools to help you monitor your finances like eStatements, History, transfers and loan payments, categorized transactions, and much more.
Asses your Habits, Good and Bad
You know yourself better than anyone. Take the time to sit down and make a list of all of your bad money habits. Spending too much on take-out, not budgeting, dipping into your savings too often, etc. After that write down all of the ways you are good with money. You are really good at finding deals, you always pay your bills on time, or maybe you are really good at not buying impulsively. Whatever it is, just be very honest with yourself. After that, review your list carefully. Congratulate yourself for the good you do and appreciate that, and think about why you may have some of your bad habits, and what small steps you can start taking to improve them.
Take Time to Learn
Financial education and literacy is a lifelong journey. Maybe you never had the opportunity to learn much about money management, or maybe you have just avoided it out of fear. That is okay! Whatever step you are at in life, there is room to start improving. The fact that you are here right now reading this shows that you are invested in improving your life and finances. If there is something in your financial world that always confuses you or stresses you out, identify it and try to learn more about it. Even just a quick Google search or Wikipedia read will help you feel more comfortable around the subject. If you feel like personal research isn’t helping, we are here to help. Contact someone at your local branch, or schedule an appointment and someone can talk you through it, it’s what we are here for.
Change your Perspective
Changing how you view your money can greatly improve how you feel towards it. It can be easy to constantly strive for more money, bigger budgets, bigger purchases. But constantly striving towards the goal of more money can get exhausting, and it is a goalpost that will constantly be moving, and at the end of the day more money won’t necessarily make every issue disappear. Instead of viewing money as the goal, try viewing money as something that will help you reach your goals. It is a tool in your life, not the ultimate goal.
Set Realistic Goals
When it comes to being successful with money, setting goals is important. However, setting unrealistic goals can set you up for failure and disappointment. It doesn’t feel good to not achieve your goals, and can discourage you from continuing to try. If you are continuously setting goals that are unachievable, it’s going to start to feel impossible to achieve anything. Start by setting small goals that are in-reach, and gradually increase them as you achieve them. Not only will it feel rewarding to achieve your goals, by setting small goals and increasing them over time, you will be able to really see your improvement and track your progress.
Be Kind with Yourself
You are going to make mistakes in life, and the same is true for your financial life. There are going to be times where you overspend, don’t budget well, don’t meet your goals, or earn less than you anticipated. And that is all totally okay, life happens. Spending too much time on focusing on your slip-ups and stressing over them is not worth your time or emotions. The best thing you can do for yourself is acknowledge your mistake, and try to do better next time. Forgive yourself, and move forward.
We know finances can be difficult to think about and deal with. By treating your relationship with money like you would a relationship with a friend or family member, you can start to improve your financial life and actually enjoy it. If you are ready to start setting goals and achieving them, our financial calculators are a great asset.
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