Self-love related to your finances begins with financial literacy and creating good financial practices
I recently had the opportunity to read the book Think and Grow Rich for Women by Sharon Lechter. I previously read the original Think and Grow Rich book written by Napoleon Hill years ago but what resonated with me about the new version is that Sharon Lechter highlighted the areas where women and men think and behave differently. One of the chapters in the book that really spoke to me was the chapter that discusses self-care. We all know the importance of self-care but, as women, we have a tendency to take care of everyone else before we take care of ourselves. In addition, when we think of self-care we typically think of things like the importance of exercise, taking time for yourself, eating healthy, etc. But what you may not realize is that making sure your finances are in order is also a form of self-care.
Here are 5 important ways to practice financial self-care:
- Stop procrastinating on financial decisions
One of the main obstacles to planning effectively for your long-term financial goals is procrastination. We sometimes have a tendency to put off making important financial decisions due to lack of confidence. Typically, the lack of confidence is due to the fear of making a mistake. In this situation, you can easily overcome this obstacle by educating yourself. Enroll in financial classes or workshops.
- Know your finances.
Before you can put a plan in place, you need to organize and understand your expenses, savings, debt, etc. You should know exactly how much is coming in…how much is going out… and how much is left over. Not only is it important to take the time to create these cash management statements so you have a starting point, it is also important to include your spouse or significant other in this process. For various reasons, sometimes we have a tendency of not wanting to talk with our significant other about financial matters. It is important that you both have an understanding of the family finances and be able to set goals as a couple. Either of you should be able to step in and be knowledgeable about everything from the monthly budget to insurance and investments.
- Set clear financial goals
What is your vision? How do you see your financial life 1, 5, 10 years from now? You need to have a destination in mind. As you start thinking about your goals, there are three factors you want to consider: your priorities (values and beliefs), your responsibilities (items that may be part of your monthly cash flow) and your dreams (vision and aspirations).You should go through the process of setting and prioritizing your goals by utilizing all three factors. It is also important that your goals be specific, measurable and realistic.
- Build Wealth
Once you have built your foundation you should focus on building wealth. But what’s involved? Are you building wealth or just saving money? It’s important to understand the difference. Saving is important for building your emergency fund or for short term goals. But what’s involved in building wealth? Building wealth is about making your money work for you. You need to understand the basics of investing, how to make investment decisions and the process of creating an investment plan. In addition, it is also important to build a longevity plan into protecting your wealth.
- Ask for help
If it feels overwhelming, or you need additional guidance, it may benefit you to seek professional help. Consider working with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional. The key is to work with an advisor that your trust and who truly understands you, your goals and your situation. Partnering with a trusted advisor that can provide careful planning, financial education and help you achieve your long term financial goals and live the lifestyle you desire.
Self-love related to your finances begins with financial literacy and creating good financial practices. Putting solid financial practices in place can go a long way towards helping you achieve the life you envision.