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Does your self-care routine include your financial health?

When we think about self-care, a variety of life tips and habits may come to mind—from diet and nutrition to meditation and relaxation. But when it’s time to take care of our own mental and physical health, we don’t always consider the way personal finances relate to our wellness.

Financial health should factor into any good wellness routine. And before you can make the most of your financial path, it’s important to be honest with yourself about how you interact with money and how it impacts your life.

Luckily, we’re here to help show you how taking care of your personal finances can go a long way in your self-care routine.

Checking up on your financial health

Money can be one of the biggest sources of anxiety in our lives. Whether it’s your own finances or your friends or families’ funds, money can shape our personal experiences, affect our relationships and guide our decision making. Both gaining and losing money can trigger stress, so it’s good to check in with yourself and make sure that you’re managing that stress in a healthy way.

First, evaluate your current relationship with your finances by asking yourself a few questions:

  • What are my financial goals, and what am I doing to achieve them?
  • What triggers stress in my financial life, and how can I manage that?
  • What financial obligations do I have, and am I meeting my own expectations?

For each of these questions, you can find a number of helpful guides and information all over the place (First Tech’s educational resources and life stage guides are a great place to start!), but just like any aspect of your mental health, you are the person who knows best how to find your own peace of mind.

Taking care of your financial health

Start by understanding that the right financial answers for you today may not necessarily be the same tomorrow. Your relationship with money is always evolving. The way to keep yourself organized and moving forward is to set clear financial goals, and to write them down. It’s ok to start small!

Your goals should always be based on an honest reflection of where you currently are, and where you’d like to be. We like to refer to making SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound) goals for yourself. Also, make sure you are setting short and long-term benchmarks to keep yourself on track.

Writing your goals down also helps you stay focused. No matter whether you keep a financial journal, a calendar or set reminders in your phone, try to keep a record of your goals and your spending habits to better understand your personal finances.

Keeping yourself on track

After you have made your goals and written them down, you can start putting things in motion and moving towards more financial peace of mind. But your financial journey may not always be linear. There could be complications along the way or shifting goals that you may need to reprioritize. One way to make sure you don’t get lost on your winding path is to bring a friend along, and share your goals with someone else who can help you to stay honest. You don’t have to do this all alone!

Finally, while your eyes stay fixed on your bigger goals down the road, make sure you don’t lose sight of your small victories in the short-term. Maybe you saved a little more than expected this month, or you worked extra hard and brought home some extra income. Celebrate your achievements—even the small ones! Your path to improving your financial health doesn’t have to feel like you are sacrificing happiness now for happiness later. Treat yourself along the way. 

Once you have your financial goals and a better understanding of how you spend, save, earn, and invest your money, you can develop a routine that makes you happy and keeps you working towards bigger, better goals in the future.