Whether we like it or not, money (or the lack of money) can rule our sense of well-being, and how “under control” the world feels to us. If we are worried about money, it impacts our overall view of the world and can cloud our feelings so that this worry takes over a larger portion of our thinking than it should. Thoughts about money are important, however, they should not take center stage in our day-to-day life. The goal is to keep money thoughts in their proper place or perspective.
With the recency of Self-Care Awareness Month in September and Mental Illness Awareness Week October 3-9, we felt compelled to share a few insights that we have realized through decades of helping our advisory clients navigate psychological behaviors around money.
We often see anxiety from a lack of understanding of the information and where things stand. And it is usually avoidance around the subject that exacerbates fear and worry. If you look at your financial situation straight on and do a few basic calculations, this can be hugely empowering and make the situation as a whole less overwhelming.
There are significant benefits to taking stock of your financial situation – looking at money coming in versus the money going out – and designing a plan to adjust accordingly. The best self-care act you can take is to get a grasp on your financial situation, take responsibility for it, and formulate a plan to either start taking steps toward better financial health or breathe a sigh of relief because you’re in a good place.
Incorporating Money Management into Your Self-Care Routine
Here are a few ways money management can be worked into your self-care routine to achieve a healthy and well-balanced perspective of money in your life:
1. Routine Check-ins
For routine monthly expenses, it helps to take stock of where you stand regularly (at least twice a month). For investment planning, you should be checking in twice a year. And for an overall look at your net worth (includes retirement planning, high-level budgeting, and how much you have after all debts are paid off), plan on once a year.
2. Giving to Charities
Giving what you can to charities that align with your values, of course, benefits those in need. But it can also allow you to think beyond yourself and your immediate situation and therefore foster self-worth.
3. Sustainable, Responsible, and Impact (SRI) Investing
With SRI, your investments are aligned with your values, empowering you to become a changemaker by putting your money where your heart is. And by investing in what matters to you through positive impact companies, you can rest easy knowing you’re doing good while also responsibly building your wealth for a brighter future.
Like any self-care endeavor, the intent is to start small. Try to change your mindset about money for a month, then 90 days, then six months, and then a year. Before you know it, you’ll be the master of your finances and have more hope for the future.