We all know the importance of self care. But did you know that there are barriers to self care that affect your wellbeing and finances as well as your mental and physical health too?
Being aware of the common barriers to self care that impact your finances can help you live a better and more financially stable life.
In this article, we reveal simple ways that you can build financial self care into your wellbeing routine! But first, let's go over what the barriers are!
8 barriers to self care that can affect your money
Before you can start taking better care of your financial health, it’s important to figure out which barriers to self care affect you the most.
Some people may experience all of the barriers that we discuss in this article whilst some may only relate to one or two, and that’s ok.
Let’s dive in and start exploring the barriers to self care that may be preventing you from managing your money effectively.
We’ve all done it, right?
Spending money that you don’t have is typically caused by impulse buying. It’s a common barrier to self care that might make you feel better in the short term but damage your financial health in the long term.
Americans typically make 12 impulse purchases each year, which costs an average of $276 per month.
If overspending is an area of your finances that you want to focus on, here are some great ways to help you stop spending money.
- Plan your purchases with a shopping list
- Use cash instead of cards
- Open a savings account that doesn’t allow you to make early withdrawals
- Wait 24 hours before deciding on big purchases
2. Emotional decision making
A bad mood or stressful day at work can lead to bad financial decisions that are made to try and cheer you up.
You may think that retail therapy is harmless, but that rush of satisfaction you feel after buying something on impulse will soon wear off and leave you feeling pretty rubbish.
Add to it the stresses and worries of debt if you’re overspending and you’re in a worse financial place than before.
Instead, look for alternative ways to spend your time as part of your financial self care habit.
This could be things like going for a walk, reading a book, listening to music, or doing something else that you enjoy.
Avoiding spending temptation is the best way to overcome overspending habits. There are plenty of ways that you can avoid shopping that does not involve overspending your hard-earned money.
3. Setting unrealistic goals
When you set up unrealistic goals, you get bored and stressed.
Creating achievable financial goals is key to a successful financial self care routine and good financial health.
Did you know that we are 42% more likely to meet a goal simply by writing it down? Barriers to self care and your finances could be changed just by writing your goals.
Whether you want to lower your student debt, save for a down payment on a property, or top up your emergency fund, taking ten minutes out of your busy weekly routine can focus your mind and motivate you to smash your goals.
Don’t forget to make sure your goals are meaningful and achievable.
4. A lack of social interaction
Social interaction is just as important to your mental health as your financial health. And self care barriers such as not enough conversations with loved ones about money can really affect how you feel about your finances.
Research has proven that talking to people about our finances can improve our financial wellbeing and reduce money worries.
Relationships can also influence what you do with your money.
Let’s say you have one friend who is financially careless and one who is financially successful. It’s possible that the one you spend the most time with will influence your spending decisions.
5. Failing to understand your needs
Knowing and responding to our needs is the key to leading a fulfilling life.
Our basic needs are directly linked to our finances. For example, we need a house for shelter.
So, how do we identify our needs?
Try writing a list of activities that fulfill your physical and personal needs, such as exercising and spending time with friends and family.
If there are any expenses associated with your needs, make a note of this for budgeting purposes (we'll talk about this later!).
6. Putting other people first
As a caregiver or parent, it’s natural to put everyone else’s needs before your own. But it can take its toll on your well-being and your finances.
Whilst putting a dependent’s needs first is non-negotiable, it’s still important to take time for yourself so you can meet your own financial goals.
This could be as simple as treating yourself to that top you’ve wanted for ages or saving hard for that well-earned holiday. The essential thing is that you take the time to meet your own financial needs.
7. Too many commitments
Inspect your schedule and identify barriers to self care and finances that are costing you more than you can afford. There's only so much you can do, time-wise and financially, so don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself to do everything.
It could be regular dinners with your friends or family or a long-forgotten monthly subscription that keeps coming through your mailbox.
Remember that it’s alright to say no to things.
8. Paying too much for things
You may be surprised to learn that in everyday life, people are paying way too much for things. This has a huge impact on your finances and mental well-being.
Things that you’re probably paying too much for include clothes, vacations, cars, food, and subscription services.
It’s a smart idea to know what you’re buying and how much you’re spending so you can put measures in place to free up your cash.
How to practice good financial self care
So now you know what barriers to self care you could be facing, let’s look at how to take care of yourself financially.
You’re probably well aware of how to take care of your physical and mental self care – we’re talking about the good stuff like a hot bath, candle, and chocolates. But financial self care practices can leave you feeling empowered and in control of your future.
Here are some easy ways to practice financial self care today!
Set meaningful, achievable goals
Setting financial goals will give you something to aim for, which is a proven self care technique that allows you to effectively direct and plan your life.
Having a goal will also motivate you to save more or stop overspending in other areas.
Ask yourself the following questions when setting your goals.
- What are your short-term goals? Do you need a new car or want to go on holiday?
- What are your intermediate-term goals? For example, buying a house.
- What are your long-term goals? Think funding your children’s education or a retirement account.
Regularly check your bank balance
You may think that keeping a close eye on your bank balance is stressful. But is it more stressful than not checking your balance?
The benefit of regularly checking is that you can spot any unusual activity or charges that you weren’t expecting. It may also help you feel more in control of your finances.
Factor some time to look through your outgoings as part of your Sunday night self care routine. You may be shocked at how effective and satisfying it is!
Budget smartly to avoid barriers to self care
We're all aware that budgeting is the key to financial success. But what is the best way to plan your spending?
Essentially, you need to know all of your income and expenses. You can either use a simple pen and paper, a spreadsheet or budgeting app, depending on your preferences.
If you find that you have more money going out than coming in, try not to panic. Clever Girl Finance can show you plenty of money saving tips to get your spending back under control.
Only borrow when you can afford to
Many people need to borrow money at some point in their lives. It’s not always a bad thing if you use the right type of credit and can afford the monthly repayments.
Bad debt happens when we want things that we can’t wait to save for.
However, it’s important to consider the consequences of borrowing money – a lower credit score, higher outgoings, and the interest of the loan.
So next time you reach for that credit card, ask yourself if you can actually afford it without borrowing.
Talk about your finances and barriers to self care
By talking through your finances, you can break down one of the most common barriers to self care and make wiser decisions that will improve your financial health.
You can talk to anyone that you have a good relationship with and trust. This might be a close friend, a family member, or even a pet! They will love to hear all about your barriers to self care and how they can help.
The key here is to speak about money worries out loud so you can start to plan how to take back control.
Celebrate your progress
Goals of all sizes should be acknowledged.
Even if you’re trying to save money, the odd treat won’t blow your budget and your self care routine will thank you for it. So buy that fancy coffee from your favorite coffee shop or new top. You deserve it.
Barriers to self care and finances can be overcome using these ideas!
Financial self care leads to long-lasting wellness, regardless of how much money you earn.
Use the tips in this article to create a sustainable financial self care plan to help you reach your self care and financial goals.
Just like any other form of self care – you’ll feel so much better once you do it. Now, run a bath, light some candles and start taking care of yourself and your finances.
Remember, self care isn’t selfish. And there are many great ways to begin practicing self care, like positive affirmations or starting a journaling habit.