Money is one of the top leading causes of stress. Without financial security, it can be very difficult to focus on other areas of self care. To get a handle on this stress and practice financial self care you should: pay yo' bills, learn how to conquer debt, budget, and plan for large purchases.
Pay Yo' Bills
A simple way to practice financial self care is to stay on top of paying bills. To do this, I like to keep track on a calendar of when bills need to be paid or when payments will be coming out of my account. This way, nothing is a surprise.
I can’t believe I’m saying this but I like paying bills. NOT because I like giving my money away to pay for the sports channels that we *have* to have but because it feels good to be able to check that small job off my list and feel like I’m staying on top of things.
I guess it makes me feel like I’m doing a good job of adulting.
Debt: The Elephant In the Room
Being in debt can feel like a tremendous weight on your shoulders. Many people put themselves in those situations because, in today’s society, it seems normal to incur debt.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s when I’m going to get on my soapbox and preach about Dave Ramsey.
Seriously. He changed the game for me.
I highly recommend checking out all things Dave Ramsey. We've read two of his books and they've helped us plan for our future and figure out how to pay off debt. He also has a great podcast!
He teaches about the debt snowball and the best way to prioritize paying off debt.
We’ve learned a ton and are almost finished paying off our debt (except for our home and one vehicle) and ready to start the next step which is to save an emergency fund.
For years I tried to budget but didn’t have much success. I was careful with money sometimes and other times, especially when feeling emotional, I would spend needlessly.
About a year ago, we read The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey on a road trip. I know what you're thinking… didn't you have anything better to do on a road trip?
The point is, we were hooked. We talked about all things money the entire trip. It was the first time that we actually stuck to our trip budget. We took out our budget in cash and had cash left over at the end.
My boyfriend and I now stick to our budget and have budget meetings. So romantic… I know.
Except, it kind of is. It’s lovely to be able to discuss our dreams and plans for the future and actually be able to see it happening.
Plan for Big Purchases
We now plan for big purchases ahead of time which is part of our financial self care. It helps reduce stress levels around big purchases since they are planned and you know where the money is coming from. It also allows you to have time to really think through the decision surrounding the big purchase.
Is it something you really need?
For example, we recently decided to do some renovations on our condo over Christmas break. I am not stressed about budgeting for the renovations because we’ve priced it out and discussed extensively how we will be paying for everything.
In the past, this kind of spending would have left me feeling very stressed.
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