Nobody WANTS to be stressed out.
(If you do enjoy being stressed out, this article might not be for you… weirdo)
I know I’m not the only one who does not love to focus on my financial situation. Money is complicated, and it isn’t always enjoyable to work on it.
But I totally enjoy self-care. And realizing that financial planning can fit into the same bubble is life changing.
Self-care is defined as the practice of taking an active role in protecting one's own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress, according to Oxford Languages.
This isn’t just taking a bath and mediation; this is taking an active role!
By all means, working with a financial advisor to manage and protect your future is taking an active role in protecting your well-being.
Effective financial planning can reduce stress,
Positive financial behaviors such as a reduction in day- to-day expenses were found to be associated with lower stress levels (as mentioned by Financial Stress and Financial Counseling: Helping College Students, published by the Department of Education!).
But there’s more research! As of 2023, the National Institute of Health found a significantly positive association between financial worries and psychological distress among U.S. adults.
AKA, if you have worries about your finances, you are probably stressed out.
So, let’s revisit the definition of self-care: as the practice of taking an active role in protecting one's own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.
Where financial worries = stress, we can rewrite the definition as follows:
The practice of taking an active role in protecting your own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of financial worries.
Taking care of your finances IS self-care!
Let’s break down three main ways you can include this practice in your daily life:
Creating and maintaining a budget allows you to take control of your financial situation.
This newfound control can significantly reduce financial stress and anxiety, allowing you to focus on other aspects of self-care and overall well-being.
Budgeting helps you set and prioritize financial goals, whether they are short-term or long-term. Achieving these goals provides a sense of accomplishment, contributing to your emotional well-being and overall life satisfaction.
An emergency fund acts as a financial safety net, reducing stress and anxiety that can arise from unexpected expenses. It enables you to maintain emotional well-being by providing a sense of security during challenging times.
Building an emergency fund enhances your financial resilience, which, in turn, positively impacts your mental health. It helps you navigate unexpected financial challenges with confidence, leading to reduced emotional strain and a stronger overall well-being.
This financial security allows you to focus on nurturing your mental and emotional health without the constant worry of financial emergencies.
Whew, even the idea of debt is stressful. Debt management, however, is not!
When you have a clear plan for paying off your debts, you can reduce the anxiety and emotional toll that debt can bring. This reduction in financial stress is essential for maintaining good mental and emotional health as a form of self-care.
As you pay down debt, you reduce the financial obligations that can hang over you for years. This not only boosts your financial well-being but also enhances your mental and emotional stability, allowing you to focus on other self-care practices that promote your overall health and happiness. It allows you to allocate your income to things that truly matter to you, such as savings, investments, or experiences that enhance your overall well-being.
Plus, seeking professional help!
Financial advisors, planners, and experts possess knowledge and experience that can be incredibly valuable in helping you make informed decisions about your finances. They can educate you about various financial strategies, investment options, and tax planning.
By seeking their guidance, you empower yourself with the knowledge needed for making sound financial choices, which is a form of self-care that leads to greater financial security and confidence.
Financial professionals also provide behavioral guidance. They can help you make disciplined financial choices, avoid impulsive spending, and stay on track with your financial plan.
This accountability fosters a sense of self-discipline and responsibility, which is vital for maintaining a healthy relationship with money and promoting self-care.
Self-care is all about actively protecting your own happiness and well-being, especially during challenging times. Financial planning fits this definition perfectly.
The views stated in this letter are not necessarily the opinion of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC. Information is based on sources believed to be reliable; however, their accuracy or completeness cannot be guaranteed.