It’s the phrase of the moment – I’m making time for “self-care”, and there’s no doubt an important message exists at its core – women need to be better at taking care of themselves!
Whether it’s jumping in the shower on your own without little hands and feet interrupting your 5 minutes of water-pressure bliss, or grabbing a coffee in between meetings on your own, OR taking an interest in your recent superannuation statement, self-care can mean anything if it’s something you’re doing for yourself. Yourself only.
For me, I take my financial-self-care pretty darn seriously, and you only have to take one quick scroll through Fearless Female Traders to see it goes beyond the basic budget hacks and money tips. I’m talking about my future. My OCD-commitment to making my money work for me, not the other way around.
Did you know that women over 55 are the fastest growing demographic of homeless groups in Australia. Women. That’s because we are programmed to spend the majority of our life worrying about other people’s self-care, that we tend to neglect our own. And this is true of our financial self-care too.
With 60 year old Australian women the lowest income earners in our country, we need to be better at encouraging our fellow females – our girlfriends, our colleagues, our partners, our peers at including some financial self-care into their other self-care priorities.
If you’re like me and don’t want to be a slave to an employer for the rest of your life or worse, end up living out of your car at 65, here are my hacks at making financial self-care a daily habit:
Create a simple budget that isn’t an over-the-top excel spreadsheet but puts in some easy financial boundaries that actually set you up for success. My blog, “My Top 10 Budgeting Secrets” takes you through it in 5 minutes.
Set up an interest-earning account that has the option to use “round-ups” – the easiest and quickest way to save extra money without having to break a sweat. You will be amazed (and equally shocked) at how much this adds up to in your first month. If you continue to use this same account for your emergency fund, not only will you build up a stash of money that helps lower the blood pressure when you are made redundant (like this person right here), but you’re also taking advantage of compounding interest too. Anything to make your money work while you sleep, I’m all about that.
Create a meal plan. I know, sounds boring and not exactly like an enjoyable self-care activity but like making your bed, sometimes you just have to do it to feel like you have achieved something, no matter how small it is! Oh, and there’s that thing on overspending… research shows that those who plan their meals and grocery shop spend 37% LESS than those who don’t. So yeah. There’s that! [And for the average income earner of $55K per year who spends $60 per week on groceries, that’s an extra $1,150 per year in your pocket … or investing account!
Check in with your money mindfulness – the weeks I spend putting myself down for overspending or not being “where I think I should be financially”, I ALWAYS spend more. Perhaps it’s self-destruction, or perhaps it’s my old debt brain working against me, who knows! Your relationship with money can be tricky at times, and like other anxieties in life, it has a habit of compounding stress when we don’t check in with it or use some simple mindfulness tools to manage it better. We’re all doing our best, don’t forget that.
Get off Instagram. There, I said it. A whopping 77% of people who click on a sponsored Instagram post or product, end up converting to a sale. And shamefully I find myself with these things in a cart and have no idea how I got there. It’s like an Instagram-shopping-black out! Sometimes keeping off the gram isn’t just good for your mental health, but it can be even better for your back pocket too.
Fearless Female Traders