Ah, February – the month where love is in the air and, for us single folk, it is the month where we get amazing deals on post-Valentine’s Day chocolates. In February, relationships are celebrated with romantic dinners and roses, however, there is an important relationship that often goes uncelebrated – your relationship with yourself! Self-care is being mindful of your own needs to deal with the stress we encounter in our daily lives! Whereas most people focus on their physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs – self-care should include our financial needs, too!
What does financial self-care mean, then? Financial self-care means that you take the time to focus on your finances in order to create healthier money habits! These healthier habits lead to greater financial health and overall wellbeing. When you first dive into your financial wellness journey, it can be daunting, because, let’s be honest, managing money is not easy! If the concept of financial self-care is new to you, fear not! Feeling confident in your management of money is not impossible but it will take patience and the power to stick with it!
There are so many ways to help maintain your financial well-being, and they’re not all boring and scary! Here are my top tips to help kickstart your financial self-care journey:
When you think of the word “money” – what words pop into your head? If you thought of words, such as “fear,” “debt,” or “confusion,” then it is time to discover where these thoughts are coming from. In a previous blog, I spoke about how I’ve started to mimic my mom’s financial beliefs and behaviors as I’ve aged into adulthood. Essentially, I was already limiting my ability to make money because I had accepted my mom’s thoughts: “I’ve never had money growing up so money doesn’t matter to me now.” Recognizing these connections is a great first step into developing new financial habits.
Alright, this one might be scary! Personally, I avoid looking at my bank account after I know I went crazy shopping over a weekend. However, avoiding my bank account won’t make my expenses go away. For this tip, write down all of the money you have coming in (paycheck, social security, etc.) and then track your spending! Starting with the fixed payments (utilities, mortgage, etc.) and then look at your last bank statement to see where the rest of your money is going. Take a look at your debts and savings, too! Really get the full view of your financial picture to help you see areas for improvement and where to start with a financial spending plan.
I say this with caution because this does not mean to go to the Lamborghini dealership and purchase a car ten times out of your price range – I still think it’s important to cut down on unnecessary spending when possible! However, give yourself some grace. So, you want a Starbucks coffee? Buy the dang coffee. Maybe we don’t buy a coffee every day, but every once in a while is fine! If you restrict yourself too much then the more miserable you’re going to feel towards your finances. You order that Grande Mocha Latte and enjoy it!
“Happiness” also doesn’t just translate to a material item. Happiness could mean buying an experience! Experiences can increase your wellbeing and the wellbeing of others you share them with! We are also less likely to experience buyer’s remorse because an experience doesn’t lose its value over time. They create timeless memories, instead!
With finances, people are always comparing themselves to others. Who has the nicer house? Who is wearing the pricier jewelry or the better brand of clothing? Often, we even compare our income to others and only feel satisfied if our own is relatively higher. This mentality isn’t limited to finances. Humans have a tendency to compare everything to what others have. Let’s say you just bought yourself a brand new car. It isn’t just any car but your dream car! Only, your neighbor just pulled in with the exact same one, except theirs has a sunroof and yours doesn’t. Initially, we may be elated with our purchase but seeing our neighbor’s sunroof – we think theirs is better. Why can’t we just be happy with our car?! Comparing ourselves to others is a never ending cycle of dissatisfaction.
In order to combat this thought-process, set aside some time to reflect upon all of your financial achievements – without comparing to other people. Focus on how you’ve improved or grown without worrying about any blips that occurred along the way. Maybe you got a raise at work or saved an extra $50 each month by using coupons at the grocery store. Whatever it is, acknowledge all that you’ve done – big or small.
As cheesy as it sounds, the best investment we can make in life is to invest in ourselves. While this can include a consistent workout regime, drinking enough water and a fabulous skin care routine, it also means to pay attention to your finances! So, this Valentine’s Day, let’s all make a commitment to show ourselves some love and give the relationship we have with our finances the attention it deserves.
Category: Think Pink: A Millennial Perspective
You just got home from your beach vacation. Instead of unpacking, you spend hours scrolling through photos reminiscing about your time away. But then reality sets in when you realize it is Sunday night and you have to work the next day. Your stomach grumbles but the fridge is empty because you haven't been grocery shopping for 2 weeks.
It is officially summertime, you’ve put in the request for some time off at work and you’re ready for some much needed R&R! You finally start to plan out your vacation getaway, and then… you see that the expenses are adding up quickly. The last thing you want is to arrive at your destination and realize you’re out of money. So how do you plan a vacation without overspending, that also fits your budget?!
Spring is finally upon us! While most people are thinking about spring cleaning their homes, it is equally as important to think about cleaning your finances. Yes, just like that one crinkled shirt hidden in the depths of your closet that you promise “you will wear one day” – your finances need some reevaluating, too! So, where do we even start? Here are a few tips and tricks to start spring cleaning your finances:
Before we start, I already know what you’re thinking, “Olivia, you’re not good at saving money. Is this going to be a huge flop like the ’No Spend November‘ challenge?” And my answer: potentially. I always do my best to be transparent when it comes to money… and I am a work in progress! I cannot guarantee this spending plan is going to be my “a-ha moment” where I get my life and finances together, but it is worth a shot!
Ah, February – the month where love is in the air and, for us single folk, it is the month where we get amazing deals on post-Valentine’s Day chocolates. In February, relationships are celebrated with romantic dinners and roses, however, there is an important relationship that often goes uncelebrated – your relationship with yourself!
When you’re 25 years old, retirement seems so far away. Even though I have at least 40 more years in the work force (sigh) I still know that one day I am going to be burnt out from working 5 days a week- I already am! Eventually, I’ll need to stop working as hard as I am now to enjoy some relaxation except I can’t get to that point if I run out of money prematurely.
When my mom was growing up, my grandparents would pull off the clown car illusion of stuffing every neighborhood kid into their car to go get an ice cream cone every Friday night. There were days when my grandparents had only a couple dollars in their pockets, yet, they never turned anyone down.
The painful truth for most people my age- we have no clue how to file taxes. And what do you do when you have no clue how to do something? Ask your parents!
When I was 10 years old, I envisioned that by age 23 I would be an “adult.” I’d be married and living in a colonial home that I’d raise my family in. Fast forward 16 years. At 26 years old, I am not married, I still live at home with my parents and I couldn’t imagine having kids of my own right now. It seems laughable now but how did my 10 year old vision change so drastically over the years?
Is anyone else confused at how it is already 2022?! Growing up, I always felt that the years were so much longer. However, the older I get the more I realize how quickly each day goes by. I began my career at the credit union when I was young and fresh out of college. Now, I am in my late 20’s and my back pops when I bend over!
Hi my name is Olivia and I am a total clothes horse. I buy for a mixture of reasons, including being a spin instructor so always “needing” new workout sets or severely overestimating the amount of times I go outside my house. In reality, I wear the same t-shirt and sweatpants every day (yay for working from home!). Essentially, I have spent so much on clothes that my bedroom has started to look like a TJ Maxx popup shop.
At one point in my post-grad career, I had to temporarily switch to an Income-Sensitive Repayment Plan. This option stipulated that the loan payments were going to be based on my annual income. I was only on this plan for about one year but I was paying almost $200 less than what my regular payments were supposed to be.
When I was young, I was gifted the coolest plastic safe. It was deep grey with a bright purple handle that you would spin to open and it had clinking sound effects whenever you opened the safe and deposited money. Since this was before I had a savings account, I threw all of my money in there until it would all fall out when I opened the safe.
According to a survey from CreditCards.com, “47% of Americans are carrying credit card debt.” This statistic would make my grandfather furious if he heard it. He would often say to me, “Vivi, the world started to go downhill once they introduced plastic money!” Following my grandfather’s testament to the downfall of society, he would then tell me the story of how he used to always leave a wad of cash in his work locker for emergencies.
If you’ve been a regular reader of the ThinkPink blog series, you should be well-versed on the importance of a budget. When it comes to saving money and having a plan, a budget is one of the best ways to take control of your finances and reach your financial goals. However, I’ve found that following through with a plan can be cumbersome and while there may be momentum in the beginning, eventually it fizzles out before a goal is even reached. Why is that?
For some readers, the No Spend Challenge could be done with ease and that is awesome! For me, a No Spend Challenge is difficult. It is especially hard when participating during the month of November. Let’s cue the smallest violin here, again. For starters, every store is now fully stocked with their transitional fall into winter pieces, which is arguably the best season for creating outfits.
When you graduate from college, one of the first things that you start to save toward is getting your own place. You just lived on your own for 4 years and had that taste of “freedom.” You could go about as you pleased without having to tell your parents where you were going at 11:00 pm. And if your diet consisted of late-night pizza and mozzarella sticks then so be it. College is essentially a 4-year long sleepover with your closest friends but then one day it ends and before you know it you are back in your bedroom at home.
Since starting this blog in 2020, we've covered a wide range of topics. It has been fun doing deep dives into the world of personal finance. All this big thinking, though, can cause us to gloss over basic financial principles.