Budgeting is one of the key building blocks to financial wellness and ultimately financial freedom. My Budget Like a Boss Bespoke Budgeting Program is one of my signature offerings. I know budgeting works. I am living proof. Today though, I want to talk about one area of budgeting: Self-Care. What is self-care? Let’s talk about it.
Tchiki Davis Ph.D. says in her December 2018 Psychology Today article that self-care is taking, “good care of your body, mind, and soul every day, not just when you get sick.” https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/click-here-happiness/201812/self-care-12-ways-take-better-care-yourself I think that is a really good definition of self-care. One of the keys is budgeting in your self-care when you are well, which will help keep you well. When self-care is not practiced and you end up sick, it not only affects your body, mind, and spirt, it also affects your wallet.
A budget is choice and freedom not restriction and fear. Sometimes people get this confused and think a budget is going to make their life smaller. I know a budget to be the opposite. A monthly budget allows you to plan your incoming and outgoing monies- to get organized. This organization gives you space to create the life you want. If your financial situation is not where it needs to be – then a budget shows you that. A monthly budget helps you face the truth of the relationship you are having with your money. So, Step 1: Create a monthly budget.
Now, let’s get real. If you choose not to budget and instead just earn money, spend money and either “kind of” or “have no idea” what you do with your money- you are doing yourself a disservice. It is your money- don’t you want it to be accountable to you? You are in charge, not the money. So, having a chaotic relationship or no relationship with your money causes stress. We all know money issues are one of the biggest stressors. Stress is not self-care. Step 2: Face your relationship with money. If it is chaotic admit that truth to yourself. Then begin to change it.
Can spending less, actually “buy” you more? Yes, it can. If you are living above your means, the math will not work and when the math does not work, usually debt begins to accumulate. Debt, especially credit card debt, is not something that anyone I know considers a plus in their life. Debt management is a blog post on its own. This post has more to do with living within or below your means to make space for self-care.
I am talking about cutting away spending that does not serve you. Sometimes it is as simple as I can not afford that new…(insert your own item), so I will not buy it. Just that, the choice of financial responsibility over instant gratification is you choosing you instead of the physical item. We get mixed up here sometimes- thinking the new item will bring us happiness- it will not.
I like nice things, so I am not saying do not buy nice things, I am saying do not buy the thing if you know you can not afford it. Do this a few times and you will begin to experience how empowering it is. Even say it, I choose me not the … Step 3: Learn to experience the freedom of not buying something you can not afford.
There are many ways to practice self-care that cost nothing.
Positive self-talk. I am worthy. Not the false I am worthy because I own a fancy car, expensive clothes, or a large house, but the I am worthy simply because I am worthy. There is a big difference in those two ways of saying I am worthy. One is intrinsic and one is extrinsic. The intrinsic one happens to cost nothing and it is the essence of the statement, I am worthy.
Get outside in nature. When you take the time to witness creation, growth, and resiliency in action it can be transformational.
Meditate. Game changer. Remember it is a practice.
Be kind. Kindness is a superpower we all have but sometimes forget to use. In kindness is quiet strength. Kindness does not mean not drawing boundaries. You still respect your boundaries and the boundaries of others but you act in kindness. It is powerful.
Exercise. I have a previous blog post on health is wealth. Regular exercise is part of good health. Our bodies were meant to move. You choose what works for you. Regular exercise helps balance the body, mind, and soul.
Spend time and communicate with the people you love. Put the phones down. Look at each other. Actively and compassionately listen to one another. Be there for each other. We do not have to go it alone.
I could go on and on with my no money needed self-care tips because there are so many in my life that I practice. I feel rich without spending a dime. Use these tips as a starting point, then add and create your own. The possibilities are limitless.
Step 4: Practice self-care free of monetary charge.
I want to circle back. Commit to creating a monthly budget. It is not difficult. It is a mindset shift, some preparation time in the beginning, and then fairly minimal maintenance time. Your benefit- freedom from the chaos, the uncertainty, the not knowing, and the inability to plan for your future. In being financially responsible there is freedom. That freedom is part of self-care.
I am an expert at budgeting. Why, because I practice. Having and working a budget means I also get to reap the rewards. This includes budgeting in regular self-care that has a monetary price tag. I get that manicure/pedicure, take that trip, or get that massage. All self-care yes. All within my means, yes. I know this because I budget. So figure out your budget, work your budget, and discern what self-care is important to you- then create space for it in your budget and in your life.
Sincerely and with gratitude,
Susan, The MoneyMaestra