My #1 Tip for Keeping Your Financial Self Care Sustainable

Self-care is important, but if you never actually do it, it’s not that valuable. The key to reaping the rewards from a financial self care routine is making sure it’s something you can actually do on a regular basis. So far this month, we’ve talked about the importance of financial self care. We’ve also touched on why regular “money time” makes a difference. Finally, last week, we focused on three simple steps you can take to infuse financial self care into your work routine. To wrap up this month’s series, let’s focus on how we can make sure you are able to keep that routine going sustainably.

Celebration

Yep, my number one tip for keeping your financial self care routine is celebration. Specifically, celebrating your financial wins. A financial win is any instance where you get a little bit closer to a goal you’ve set for yourself. So even if it’s just saving an extra $5, resisting the urge to spend on something small, paying down your debt just a bit, or making the first appointment with a bookkeeper or coach, these are big steps, and they deserve to be celebrated.

In my series on how to do a mid-year business review, I wrote this passage on celebrating your financial wins:

…[T]ake stock again of all you’ve done this year, including this review process. Chances are, you will find you’ve done quite a bit of work towards your goals, no matter how close you might be to completing them! Take some time to celebrate all the work you’ve done. Treat yourself to an afternoon off, a fun or inspiring event, or whatever you’d like to do to celebrate your achievements so far! Being a self-starting solopreneur is hard work. If you’ve done the work, you deserve to cheer yourself on once in a while.

I whole-heartedly believe this is true, and especially with the challenges this year has faced us with, we definitely need a moment to look at all our accomplishments and congratulate ourselves. Doing this is important to sustaining our financial self care routine, because it encourages to keep moving forward on our goals.

I invite you to find whatever feels like it would be the most meaningful way to celebrate these things. It might be sharing them with other people, like a money buddy or a mentor. It could be rewarding yourself with a purchase or some time off. If you use the Profit First system, it’s time for your quarterly profit distribution! Think about what you’d like to use it for. If you need some help thinking about the most meaningful way to celebrate, check out The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist.

Marking Time and Progress

Over the years, running your business may often feel like a blur. In order to get the fulfillment and satisfaction you want from it, it’s important to take time to mark time and progress. Notice how long you’ve been running your business. Make a practice of keeping track how you’ve grown and progressed as a business owner. Celebrating your financial wins is one excellent way to keep up with that practice.

9 Secrets to Financial Self Care Book CoverMarking time and progress also helps you create a sense of momentum and purpose. This helps you keep coming back to your financial goals. When you notice how your actions are bringing you closer to certain achievements, it gets easier to show up every day and do the work you need to do.

So, celebrate yourself today! If you’d like more thoughts on celebrating your financial wins and other topics in the realm of financial self care, download my free e-Book, 9 Secrets to Financial Self Care

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Angela

Photo by Aaron Burden

3 Simple Tips to Infuse Financial Self Care Into Your Routine

When you first decide you want to put effort and intention into your finances, it can be hard to know where to start. Especially as a business owner, you already wear many hats. You have a lot to do, and whatever you add to your plate needs to be simple. I’ve got you covered. Here are three ideas for infusing some financial self care into your work routine.

Organize Your Passwords

If you want to look at your accounts regularly, organize your passwords for easier access! I am a huge advocate for looking at your numbers on a weekly basis. The more you’re checked in with where you and your business are at financially, the better. Taking some time to do this step will simplify the process of working on your finances, and take away some of the hesitation.

Find a Financial Education Resource You Love

…and then stick with it! Whether it’s a podcast, a book, or a YouTube channel, financial education comes in all formats these days. Find a person or resource who really resonates with you. Then, dive deep into what they have to say, and try to integrate that into your life. If you want some guidance around finding sound financial advice, read my guides on some things to look for and how to steer clear of the not-so-helpful stuff.  You can also check out my favorite educational resources. Here’s a list of some of my faves from other sites, and a list of my best educational blog posts.

List Some Action Items

You know your business and personal finances best. Chances are, there are probably already some to-do list items in the realm of your finances. Try jogging your memory for those and writing them down. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to try creating a money map for yourself. Maybe you want to automate all your bill payments. Identify those action items and write them down somewhere you can revisit them.

Next, strategize. How can you get these done? What resources or assistance do you need to do so? Can you divide the tasks into bite-size chunks and work on them piece by piece? Your financial wellbeing is something you can handle – sometimes it just takes some strategy and awareness.

9 Secrets to Financial Self Care Book Cover

I hope you’ve enjoyed these quick tips for financial self care. You might also be interested in downloading my free e-Book, 9 Secrets to Financial Self Care. In this e-Book, I go in-depth into 9 different steps you can take to build a solid financial self care routine for yourself. Try it out by clicking the link above!

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Angela

Image by Siora Photography

A Simple Strategy for Financial Self Care

Humans are creatures of habit. It’s well-known that one of the best ways to incorporate something into your life is to make a habit out of it. So, if you want to engage in some financial TLC for your business or personal finances, make a habit out of it! Last week, we talked about why your finances are the key to self care in your life. This week, let’s talk about how you can bring that financial self care into the center of your life.

It’s Routine

We often hear about how important it is to develop an exercise routine or a bedtime or morning routine. But what about a financial self care routine? Adding in some financial self care every week is key to remembering to revisit your numbers and your spending plan.

In my e-Book 9 Secrets to Financial Self Care, I recommend setting up a weekly period of time for yourself. Ideally, this is a short amount of time so that it doesn’t feel like “too much” and become difficult to continue. I typically recommend starting out by dedicating thirty minutes to an hour every week for financial self care. This time can be used for things like checking in with your spending, setting or checking in on a financial goal for the month, learning about finances, or doing any finance-related admin work.

Make it Fun

I recommend making this time as pleasant for yourself as possible. I love the ideas Bari Tessler presents in the Art of Money Y about making your regular money check-in more pleasant. Dealing with money can bring up a lot off difficult feelings that get in the way of doing this regular check-in. To counter this, doing our best to make this time fun and rewarding is very important.

Try an environmental upgrade, like playing some nice music or lighting a scented candle. You can also try temptation-bundling, which involves doing a pleasurable activity during or directly after doing an activity you need to do (like your weekly financial self care sesh!).

Lastly, try ending the session on a high-note. Stopping for the week while you’re feeling good and enjoying yourself makes it much easier to feel interested in repeating the habit next week.

If you’d like some more ideas about how to make your financial self care habit stick, check out this playlist full of tips on YouTube by MuchelleB.

Buddy Up

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that I am a big proponent of having a money buddy, or better yet, a money team! Having trusted people in your life that you can talk to about money is a huge asset to your own financial self care. Another way to enhance your financial self care routine could be inviting a money buddy to do it along with you. Do you have a friend who’s also a small business owner? Try having a numbers study sesh together! Team up once a month to check in with your numbers and talk about financial goals. You can also try setting up a regular time to check in with your partner about money. Working with another person can make this time fun and sociable.

9 Secrets to Financial Self Care Book Cover

If you enjoyed these ideas about incorporating financial self care into your life, I encourage you to check out my free e-Book, 9 Secrets to Financial Self Care. You can download it for free at this link.

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Angela

Photo by Suryaansh Maithani

Your Finances are the Key to Self Care: Here’s Why

We know that self care is important. We know it’s important to do things like unplug from electronic devices, get exercise, and treat ourselves. But oftentimes the conversation about self care can leave out one important aspect: financial self care.

Financial self care is the foundation of all other self care in your life, so it’s a shame that it gets forgotten! By financial self care, I mean doing the routine maintenance and occasional projects to keep your finances in good order. Things like reviewing your spending plan on a weekly basis and planning for irregular expenses are key to other aspects of your life. When your money is in order, it is so much easier to care for yourself. Your physical, spiritual, and mental health benefit when you are confident in your financial situation.

What are some areas of your life that need more care? Take a moment to really think about this. Perhaps you want to be able to purchase organic food or pay for a medical treatment. Maybe you want the ability to work less and turn down certain engagements. Or maybe you would benefit from seeing a therapist or spiritual worker.

Underlying all of these self care actions is a financial decision. When you engage in a regular financial self care routine, these decisions get easier. When you know whether you’ve met your spending limit for a category, deciding whether or not to spend the money to get that massage is much more simple. Regular financial self care takes that guesswork away and helps you get clear.

Financial self care involves engaging in a process of setting financial goals and working out what you actually want to spend your money on. When you’ve got this worked out, it makes it much easier to decide what to spend money on in order to take care of yourself. This process can illuminate what you really need and want. Therefore, it can deeply assist your overall journey of self care.

9 Secrets to Financial Self Care Book Cover

I created a full e-Book on the concept of financial self care, which you can download by clicking here. This e-Book goes into depth on many different strategies to infuse your days with financial self care and build a solid routine for yourself. If you are interested in exploring how financial self care can support your life, I recommend giving it a read!

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Angela

The One Indispensable Spending Guideline: Needs Vs. Wants

One spending guideline that is indispensable is identifying your needs versus your wants. Difficulty understanding this can result in either over-spending or over-saving. Ultimately, it can reflect a lack of clarity around our values around money. If you feel stumped by this concept, or aren’t sure how your spending behavior measures up, don’t worry! We’re going to parse out the details right here:

Needs vs. Wants

Many of us are familiar with differentiating between needs and wants. It’s a skill we cultivate throughout our lifetimes. Although we sometimes run into pitfalls, we are ultimately making thousands of decisions a day – it’s important to have a little compassion for ourselves when we’re thinking about our financial decision making.

So, what makes a need, a need and a want, a want? Basic necessities you need to take care of yourself and live with a certain degree of comfort are needs. Nutritious food, sound housing, quality clothes and shoes, and things like electricity, car insurance, etc. definitely fall into the need category. We also have needs related to caring for ourselves. This is where things can get tricky – many people have difficulty differentiating between needs and wants here. When considering a purchase, it can be helpful to try and identify the underlying need. For example, if you want to spend money on a day-long spa retreat, but what you really want is some quiet time to yourself, there are likely other ways you could meet that need. Especially if it’s a matter of staying in your budget or not, sussing out the need underlying the want can be very helpful.

Over-spender, or Over-saver?

You may have some idea of whether you fit into either category. If you’re not sure what over-saving is, I recommend reading my article about it – it could be enlightening. When it comes to identifying needs vs. wants, over-spenders and over-savers tend to behave differently. Over-spenders frequently feel every purchase is filling a need, while over-savers tend to see every potential purchase as a want. In both cases, these spending habits can cause problems. Over-spenders can find themselves without important savings accounts or in debt, while over-savers can hold off on essential purchases like medical expenses. Both behaviors result in a deficit of self-care. To really take care of ourselves financially, we need to find a midpoint, where we have our needs met, and a few of our wants too. Someone who has really good thinking about this is Vicki Robin, who speaks poetically about finding your “enough” in Your Money or Your Life. You can read my book review here.

I hope these thoughts will help you examine your own spending behaviors. If you’re interested in a little more self care, check out my Facebook page for Financial Self Care Fridays, all month at 8am PST via FB Live. I’m providing prompts and accountability to help you develop a financial self care habit. I hope you’ll join me!

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Angela

Image by: Artem Beliaikin

Integrate Your Creativity and Business Sense

Integrate Your Creative and Business Sides: At Peace With Money

I enjoy busting the myth that artists can’t be business people, and vice versa! I truly don’t think the two ways of being are mutually exclusive. However, I do agree that integrating the two takes some effort. That’s why, in this month of habits, I want to talk about how we can establish habits that address both our business and creative needs.

The most important thing solopreneurs can do to serve their business on a financial level is to look at your numbers once a week. Using these numbers to assess business success, needs, and changes to be made is just good business practice. This should be a regular habit, but it doesn’t need to be devoid of creative energy.

Instead of separating your business-owner side from your creative side, let the two aspects inform each other.  Think of ways to engage your creative side while looking at numbers. Try putting on music, or get the wiggles out beforehand by dancing. If you’re a visual person, record or track your finances using a bullet journal full of doodles, color-coding, and stickers.  Create a fun visual chart to map your progress that you can color in as you save, pay off debt, or work towards a business goal. 

Looking at your numbers regularly doesn’t have to be bland or austere. It’s your business, you decide how you do things! Keep your creative and business sides equally engaged. I believe that’s key to the life of a creative solopreneur. I hope this gives you a little inspiration to start a weekly numbers habit, and infuse your business finances with creative spark! If you need some guidance around this or are interested in chatting with me, look at my Services page and book a call!

Angela

The Creative Exchange