Money Self-Care Mini Series

Click here to listen to this post on my podcast, Living to Become.

Welcome back to the Living to Become podcast!

In this post, I will be continuing my mini-series on self-care and how you can practice that with your money. Now depending on your relationship with money this topic could have you jumping up and down, clapping your hands with excitement OR it could have you running for the hills. If you’re the latter, trust me and stick around.

This is gonna be good!

I have learned that there are 4 types of people when it comes to money. There are

the Spenders

the Savers

the Avoiders

and

the Guilty

I think it’s important to understand what type of person you are when it comes to money before I jump into the ways that you can practice self-care in your financial world. Building an awareness of your relationship to money first is going to bring that to the front of your mind so that you can achieve success in all the good self-care money things.

So say you’re a spender, like me, you can have that awareness always at the forefront of your thoughts and when presented with a spending opportunity (like when I go to Target) you can be ready to make a clearer choice and maybe lean more towards saving.

And if you are a chronic saver that keeps putting off the vacation of your dreams for just the “perfect” time and for when you have even more money in the bank account, maybe you can use that new-found awareness to live your life and take the vacation.

And before I start to talk about each of these money personalities, let me just say that no matter which spending personality you fall under, don’t be too hard on yourself.

They ALL have their positive intentions, but they also ALL have some negatives. There is also a good chance that you might feel like you fall under more than one category, but most likely you have a dominant one.

O.K. so let’s talk about the spenders.

There are actually different types of spenders, but for the sake of time, I will just kind of lump them all together.

Do you guys watch the show Parks and Rec?

I know it’s not everyone’s fav, but I LOVE it!

I feel like there is a character for each one of our spending personalities, so let’s call our spenders …

Tom.

The Tom’s love all things flashy. Who cares if you have a closet full of shoes? You, as Tom would say, TREAT YO’ Self and buy another pair because you know that you deserve it, whether you can afford it or not.

You never met a credit card offer you didn’t like and when you buy something new, you feel a rush of endorphins that have you flying high for about 1.5 seconds, and then you want something newer.

If you are a thoughtful spender, you often show up with the perfect gift or are oftentimes offering to pay for your friend’s meal when you go out to eat, again even if you can’t really afford it.

For me, as a diagnosed spender, my biggest thing is saying, “well, it was such a good deal” or “I got it in the dollar spot at Target” even though the dollar spot isn’t really a dollar and I maybe got like several things from the dollar spot and $100 later I’m left scratching my head thinking “what in the heck just happened?” Please tell me that you spenders out there can relate.

Knowing that you are a spender is a good thing. Don’t criticize. Acknowledge and adjust. For sure there will definitely be TREAT YO’ SELF moments, but with proper money self-care, which I will talk about in a minute, you can create new habits to put yourself in a better financial state.

Now let’s talk about the Savers.

Let’s call our Savers …

Ron.

The Ron’s of the world hoard money as a way to create security. No matter how much money Ron has, he always worries that all it would take is one natural disaster to make him poor. If you find yourself relating to Ron, you might find that you sneak popcorn into the movies and then save the money you would have spent on the theater popcorn for a rainy day.

You also might find that spending money makes you feel uncomfortable. You rarely use a credit card and are often looked at as being “cheap.” And as a saver, you either find conservative investments a good place to put your dollars to watch them grow OR you might find it risky in case they don’t pan out.

As a saver, you might avoid fun life experiences in an effort to keep that money in the bank. Now if you relate to a saver or Ron, there is a good chance that you find yourself a lot less stressed financially than say the Tom’s of the world, but there is also a chance that you are not taking the opportunity to live life a little and miss out on some pretty awesome living moments. We’ll talk about this too in a bit.

Let’s move on to our Avoiders.

In my world the name of our avoiders is …

April.

April’s are not comfortable talking about money, mostly because of her lack of interest or she feels like there are more important issues. If you’re an April, you might not even know how much is in your bank account, and the word retirement savings might as well be a 4 letter word because you feel like you will never be that old and it’s too far away to even worry about it.

I know that my Ron’s out there are probably squirming in their seats just to even hear about this way of living, but you’ve got this I promise.

If you are an April, you get super uncomfortable talking or even thinking about money. You might even let your bills stack up because the thought of opening them up makes you cringe.

Or if you’re the real April from Parks and Rec, you don’t open them and go a step further by storing them in your freezer. In your avoider world, the less you know about your money situation, the better.

But don’t worry, if you find yourself as an April and you want to make a change, there is hope. Even in the show, April went from an avoider to a money master… well at least from what the show portrayed.

Lastly, let’s talk about our Guilty’s.

The best comparison I could think of for this trait was …

Gary, Jerry, Larry.

In the show, no one actually calls him by his real name. Anyhow, I picked him, not necessarily because he checks off all of the Guilty boxes, but because he just always stays in the same place and is constantly apologizing for what’s going on, even if it isn’t really the reality.

Guilty’s never ask for a raise because money makes you feel greedy. When you do make more, you can’t wait to get rid of it so you donate it or give it to your friends that are struggling.

Some Guilty’s feel like money is the root of all evil and that by giving in you will be seduced by its power. For my Gary, Jerry, Larry peeps out there, take this moment to remind yourself that money isn’t ALL bad. It allows you to have a roof over your head, food to eat, puts clothes on your back, takes care of medical expenses, prepares you for retirement, and the more you have the more you can contribute to the world around you.

So now that we’ve covered our different money personalities, who are you?

Are you a Tom, Ron, April, or a Gary, Jerry, Larry?

Like I said earlier, it’s important to really take a minute to understand what your relationship to money is. This will help you to build that awareness in order to achieve success with my upcoming self-care ideas focused on money.

And believe it or not, financial self-care has a direct effect on your overall well-being and happiness. I know there’s the saying that money can’t buy happiness but I kind of have to disagree.

In my relationship as a spender, I have come to the realization that THINGS can’t buy happiness.

It’s not the money’s fault. It’s mine. When you choose to ignore money issues this usually contributes to more anxiety, shame, guilt, personal and relationship stress.

This additional stress can weaken your immune system causing you to get sick more often. You could have trouble sleeping and your mood and relationships may suffer. This all contributes to poorer physical, emotional, and mental health.

On the flip side, when you take time to prioritize your finances you are creating a healthy money mindset. Just having the knowledge that you are taking care you and your loved one’s future creates a HUGE improvement on your mood and outlook on life. By creating realistic goals and sticking with them puts you back in control and empowers you to create a well-rounded, confident, and fulfilling life.

So let’s start talking about how we can do some money self-care, shall we?

First,

Start talking.

If you are a classic avoider, this is going to be a challenge. And if you’re not an avoider, this is still a good place to start. Studies have shown that 70% of people don’t talk about financial issues and a quarter admitted to hiding debt from their partner. Hiding things and avoidance aren’t going to fix anything. All it will do is leave you feeling alone and ashamed. This is not healthy. So throw the guilt in the garbage and find someone supportive to talk to about it. By bringing your money challenges out into the light of day, you will be able to face them head-on and make a real change.

Second, Create a goal that excites you.

Find some time to sit down and write down your top 2 short and 2 long-term goals. Make sure you describe these goals in great detail.

What will achieving this look like, feel like, even go as far as smells and tastes like? Involve all the senses.

Say out loud your goals as if you’ve already achieved them.

If your goal is to have $100,000 in savings in the next 5 years, then say “I have $100,000 in my savings account”

Post this goal on your bathroom mirror, in your car, on your laptop, so that you see it ALL THE TIME.

Once you’ve done that write out the steps you will need to achieve that goal. Include your target dollar amount, deadlines, milestone’s to reach along the way.

But whatever your goals are make sure that they are infused with so much excitement and anticipation that it feels like it will bubble over inside of you. This will help keep you dedicated to your mission.

Third, Keep a Budget & Stick with it

For all you spenders out there, YES, you have to have a budget! Sit down and look at what all your expenses are and see what’s leftover. This is where you will decide what goes into saving, investing, and spending. There are plenty of apps out there to help you do this or you can look into the Dave Ramsey envelope system. Find what works for you and then stick with it. Track your spending and you might just find that you are hemorrhaging money (thank you Target dollar spot) and then adjust your habits to match your budget. You might also check your home, auto, and liability policies. By reviewing these you might find that you’re eligible for some savings and you might even check with other companies to see if they can offer you a better rate, freeing up some room in your budget.

Fourth, Make Room in Your Budget for Fun

This is the one that will make the chronic savers want to run and hide. But once you are in a place where you’ve reached a good financial foothold, go and have a little fun! This is essential for us spenders to not feel complete deprivation, so have a reasonable “TREAT YO’ SELF” moment, just make sure it still stays within your budget. And for you savers, live a little. Go to the movies and splurge on the massage chair experience, treat yo’self to a couple of scoops of Cold Stone ice cream even though you realize the grocery store brand is like $10 dollars cheaper (this may be a slight exaggeration). Just remember to not go crazy, and I’m talking to all my money personality types here, and you’ll be just fine.

Fifth, Tackle Your Debt

This might mean that you have to slash your spending for a while. I know… yuck! And you might even need to take on side jobs or work extra hours at work to speed up this process… extra yuck! But paying down debt is the fastest way to financial self-care. You’ll feel less stressed, less weighed down, and will feel financially free! Such an amazing feeling!

And Sixth, SAVE!

This kind of ties in with budgeting, but I think it’s important to point out. Save for a rainy day, save for an emergency, save for retirement, save, save, save. Now I may have a financial advisor for a husband, but it doesn’t take a financial guru to realize the importance of saving. Even if all you can save is the quarters or pennies you get back as change from the dollar store, save them.

Start small and then grow from there.

Now that I’ve talked about the different ways we can implement financial self-care, let me remind you that if this is an area in which you struggle…give yourself some grace and compassion. I pretty much say this about every area of life, but you’re going to make mistakes. And as with any other area of your life, there’s a good chance you might have some missteps. If you find yourself losing your footing or completely falling over, pick yourself back up, brush yourself off and then keep moving forward.

Don’t give up!

When you have these slip-ups, take a moment to evaluate what you’ve done right up to that point. Then decide on what will be your next step in the direction towards your goal. If you keep moving forward, that self-care financial you will be right in front of you before you know it.

Make sure to check out my next post on self-care in your love and relationships. Oh my!! It’s going to be EPIC!!

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