11/30/2020: Financial Self Care
There’s never a bad time to take control of your finances and determine a path for success. There also is never a goal too small to make a difference. Each little alteration to your budget can have a lasting impact on your financial health.
What is financial self-care?
Think of your finances like your heart or your brain. Each of these needs special care to stay healthy. When it comes to money, you can start the self-care process by looking at your accounts, identifying problem areas, and imagining the ideal financial scenario for your life.
Here are seven easy financial tips from the financial professionals at Denmark State Bank to get you started on your economic journey.
- Start talking. Voicing your thoughts out loud makes them more real than just kicking them around in your head. This is especially true if you consult your spouse, significant other, or an advisor because other people can hold you accountable for your actions.
- Set goals. Find realistic milestones you can attain each week or each month. Then write down your goals so they become tangible. Writing your goals on a notecard or a piece of paper on the fridge can remind you of what you need to accomplish. You can also track your progress on a written document and celebrate your successes.
- Monitor your accounts. Many people reach for their phone as soon as they wake up in the morning. Try committing to checking your bank accounts just like you check your social media apps. Checking your accounts daily will help you keep tabs on your saving and spending better make your purchases and savings stand out much more than if you estimate in your head or spend money carelessly each day.
- Establish a realistic budget. You don’t need to save every penny you earn. Thinking like that will likely burn you out mentally because you aren’t allowing yourself to enjoy even small purchases. So, include some fun money in your budget, but keep it disciplined by keeping track of all your bills, an emergency fund, and an amount you’d like to contribute to general savings.
- Borrow wisely. Don’t spend what you don’t have, but if you must, utilize credit cards that reward you for your purchases. Anytime you use your credit card or rack up a large amount of debt, establish a payment plan within your budget that includes more than just the minimum payment. You’ll get out of debt faster, pay less interest, and have that “reward” money from the credit card company to use when you’re done.
- Track your money. Before technology, people would “balance their checkbook” to keep track of every transaction. Now, you have real-time access to your account activity online. Visualizing how you spend and save can help you identify your strengths as well as areas for potential improvement.
- Motivate yourself. Read, listen, reach out for help. There is plenty of materials that can put you in the right mindset to become financially healthy. You might also try setting up a system that rewards you every time you achieve a goal. Those little dopamine rushes will create a powerful connection in your brain and will reinforce your behavior.
As you work to overcome your own financial obstacles, keep these keys in mind:
- Put your money to work by helping it grow through investments or interest in your savings accounts.
- Limit frivolous purchases, especially if they put you in a financial hole afterward.
- Maintain an emergency fund.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Reach out to family, friends, and experts for advice.
- Sacrifice now and thrive later. Reducing your spending, getting a second job or downsizing your living space can help you get ahead and on the road to financial freedom in the future.
Don’t wait until the new year. Commit to starting today and begin 2021 on a solid financial foundation.