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Money Mindfulness: Practicing Financial Self-Care

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The prevalence of self-care messaging reminds us to nurture our physical and mental well-being—with mindfulness practices, exercise routines, and virtual detoxing. But what about financial self-care?

When we cultivate positive money habits and plan for our future, we are (quite literally) investing in ourselves. Financial self-care is rooted in self-awareness, discipline, and intentionality. Here are several ways you can practice financial self-care, starting now.

Build a Budget

Building a budget is akin to giving yourself the gift of clarity: it allows you to track expenses, identify potential areas where you can trim spending, and allocate funds to help you achieve financial goals. Rather than seeing budgeting as a restrictive practice, frame it as a tool that grants you the freedom to spend where it matters. At Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union our members have access to Money Compass, a personal finance management tool that allows you to create budgets, set savings goals, and link accounts you may have at other financial institutions. Also, you can check out this interactive budgeting worksheet from our friends at GreenPath Financial Wellness in the meantime.

Create an Emergency Fund

According to a recent Bankrate survey, more than half of Americans fear they wouldn’t be able to cover daily living expenses for a month if they lost their income tomorrow. Invest in your future peace of mind by setting up an automatic, recurring savings deposit to set three to six months’ worth of living expenses aside. If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, you can start small by setting aside 2% of your net income and gradually increase your contribution rate when possible.

Tackle Debt

With recent federal interest rate hikes, borrowing costs have reached historic highs, which means even your debt is costing you more money. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you’re not alone. Taking proactive steps towards debt reduction can improve your financial health and significantly reduce stress. Unsure where to begin? Create a debt management plan by meeting with our financial wellness team; they can help you develop a strategy to help take control of your debt and deepen your financial resilience.

Plan for Retirement

If your employer offers a 401(k)-retirement plan, take advantage of this benefit (especially if your company matches part or all of your contribution). Don’t have a workplace retirement account? You can still open a Roth IRA—a tax-advantaged retirement savings account. If you find it challenging to save throughout the year, consider setting aside part or all of your tax refund to begin investing without impacting your day-to-day budget.

Get Educated

One of the most empowering aspects of financial self-care is education. If you want to explore courses and are worried about costs, take advantage of free financial education online from GreenPath Financial Wellness or schedule an appointment with our financial wellness team. Whether you’re preparing to buy a home or navigating your auto loan, these sessions offer jargon-free, shame-free guidance to help you reach your financial goals.