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Why Financial Stability Is Key to Your Self Care Success

Why Financial Stability Is Key to Your Self Care Success

Making sure you create financial stability for your life is an important part of your self-care journey. It does more than just enable you to pay your bills and buy things you want.


It nurtures you by alleviating many of your most common worries - and allows you to have peace of mind - which is an important part of self-care. Not only will you be investing in your current mental health, but you’ll have funds for any physical needs and be prepared for a happy and healthy future, too.


Financial Stability Can Lessen Stress and Gives You Freedom


When you don’t have the money you need or want, it creates stress. The stress might cause you to experience issues like trouble sleeping at night because you lie in bed with knots in your stomach.


You might feel anxious thinking about your finances. Or you might not think about them at all to avoid getting upset. When you have financial problems, it causes the kind of stress that can be damaging to your health.


You may try to cope by starting behaviors that aren’t good for your body, such as stress eating. Not having enough money means you won’t have the money to practice good self-care.


You might start to skip preventative care, which creates a bigger problem because eventually, all of the issues you neglected taking care of become emergencies. When you take the steps you need to in order to create financial stability, you gain your freedom from worry and future problems.


Because right now, if you’re currently not financially stable, then your money situation determines what you can and cannot do. For example, if your extended family members all want to go on vacation together, you might miss out because you wouldn’t have the means for air fare, hotel accommodations and even food while you’re away.


You might want to take some time off work and have a stay-cation, but you can’t if it means you won’t get vacation pay, because you’re living paycheck to paycheck. If you want to move or buy a new car or a new home, you might not be able to if your money isn’t in order.


Sometimes people have to put off milestones they’d like to do such as go to college, get married or move out of the family home. Taking care of your finances is taking care of yourself.


It gives you the freedom to make choices based on what you’d like to do rather than what you can afford to do. The number one reason most people don’t have financial freedom is because they’re deep in debt.


How to Get Out of Debt


Getting out of debt is how you get free from stress as well as gain the freedom to do what you want to do in life. The first thing you need to do is not gain any new debt. Debt is like a snowball rolling down a hill.


At first, it’s small and manageable - but the next thing you know, it’s an avalanche cascading down and all around you while you try to survive. Avoid new debt by understanding the ways that you can free yourself from the debt cycle.


Know where you truly stand. If you haven’t already, sit down and identify exactly how much debt you owe as well as the interest rate. You have to set aside money to protect yourself from debt.


Doing this creates a barrier against getting further in the hole. This means you need an emergency fund. Plan to have six months’ worth of your monthly income in savings. If you can’t do that, aim for three. Even one is better than none.


You might be someone who doesn’t have a spare $500 lying around to create this fund with - much less six month’s salary. That’s okay. Start where you are. If all you have is $50 to start with, then put that money into a savings account and leave it there for emergencies.


This way, when something crops up - and it always will - you don’t have to go into debt to take care of that emergency. Add to it a little at a time each payday. Start by creating a budget.


Money leaves your grasp and you may not know where it’s going. It might surprise you to discover that you spent hundreds in a month on things that you didn’t really even need.


A budget is not a hand-smacking tool that tells you not to spend anything. It’s a resource that gives you control as well as a clear picture of where your money is going. It can also help you have more stability with your finances.


You can budget weekly, monthly and yearly expenses. For example, if you know your $500 car tax payment is due in the latter part of the year and you’re at the start of the year, then you know you need to set a little aside every month in preparation.


A budget can guide you so that you’re not spending more than you make. It can also show you if your expenses are greater than the money you’re bringing in. When you make your budget, always put your needs first.


This includes food, shelter, clothing, heat, and anything you need physically - such as doctor visits, medication, dental work, etc. Once you have your needs budgeted, then you can include your wants.


Don’t make a budget so strict that it eliminates room for anything you want. That’s a recipe for failure. Learn to cut expenses where you can. By shopping around, you can save hundreds every month by switching cell phone or cable TV services.


Some cell phone companies offer new subscribers better rates. And you can often find your favorite shows on services other than cable TV for a fraction of the amount you currently pay.


After you’ve created your budget, focus on building your savings instead of paying more than the monthly minimum on your debt obligations. Once your savings account is funded, begin to pay off your debt using a snowball effect.


Start with the smallest bill and pay as much as you can until it’s gone. Then take the monthly payment for that erased debt and apply it to the next lowest debt until it, too is paid off.


How to Improve Your Credit


Make sure you’re not hung up on associating your worth with your credit score. If you have a low credit score, that’s not an indication of your self-worth. Credit is a tool. Used wrongly, it can be destructive. Used wisely, it can build a better life for you.


If you’re late paying your bills, catch them up – even if that means doing extra work. On time bill payment is one of the best ways to improve your credit. It shows creditors that you can keep your obligations up to date.


For those who have credit cards, the amount of debt you carry on that card compared to your credit limit matters. If you have a $5,000 credit limit and you have that nearly maxed out, that hurts your credit.


If you have more than one credit card, that can also hurt your credit. Keep your balances at 30% or less if you have to carry one at all. Some people think that once they pay off a credit card, the next step should be to close down that account.


But if you do that, it actually hurts your credit. By leaving it open and unused, it boosts your credit score. Check your credit score often. You can easily do this online through a free credit service.


This will allow you to see your score and your reported payment history as well as your debt balances. If you notice something that’s not right, then deal with it immediately. An example of this might be a debt that’s not yours, one you paid off, but it still shows as unpaid, or a past bad debt that’s been accidentally put back on your credit.


When debt is due to fall off your credit report, some businesses will apply a new date to the debt so they can keep it on your report – this is known as re-aging it. This is illegal. Though you should make every effort to pay your debts, sometimes life gets in the way and your credit gets dinged.


If this has happened to you, you can always rebuild. You can do this by getting a secured credit card. Don’t use it for frivolous things. Instead, use it to pay for something such as your utilities.


Then take the money that you have from your paycheck that you would have used to pay your utilities and pay the credit card off. Remember that credit isn’t a bad thing. Out of control credit is.


How to Build Your Savings


Deposit money straight from your paycheck to your savings. If you’re self-employed, make your savings the first thing you pay. This is known as paying yourself first. If you get monetary gifts, put that straight into your savings account.


Go through your house and take everything that you no longer use and if there’s a market for it, sell it. You can sell online in community forums, at flea markets, at yard sales or through ads.


If there’s a consignment store in your area, that might be a great opportunity as well. Look at every spending category in your budget and see if there’s a way to cut out some of the expenses.


For example, check your car insurance premiums and your homeowner’s premiums if you own a house. See if there’s a way to lower that cost. Take a little bit off your grocery budget.


Decide to have a no-spend week and eat from leftovers or items from your pantry. Look at areas where you might be wasting money. If you’re tossing out leftovers from the refrigerator or you have stale items in your pantry, that’s a waste of money that you can prevent by cutting back on what you’re buying and using that food before it gets spoiled.


Set Aside Cash for Fun Now, Not Someday


You already know that you need to plan for retirement. But you should also enjoy life right now. The worst budgets in the world are the ones that don’t leave any wiggle room. Those make you miserable and that’s not the goal of self-care.


You might see stories where someone didn’t eat out for years, never took a vacation, didn’t buy stuff for themselves or others, never did anything fun - but instead, they poured all their effort into paying off debt and saving up money.


Life is journey that’s supposed to be enjoyed along the way. You can still create financial stability without having to cut out everything that’s fun. If you spend money on yourself, that’s not a bad thing - even if you’re in debt.


In fact, it’s a god thing if you do it mindfully. So set aside a little bit each week to do something that you enjoy. If you absolutely don’t have any money to enjoy life, then find a way to earn it.


This might be taking some money that you make from a side job to treat yourself with.


By choosing to enjoy your life, you’ll be fully present and focused on what makes you happy right now rather than what’s going to happen someday. This leads to a happier, more relaxed individual ready to take on the world!

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