Financial Self-Care

Self-care can be defined as taking an active role in protecting one’s health and happiness. That also can apply to your own financial accounts. Have you ever thought how to care for your bank account as the same way that you care for yourself? There is not a significant difference, it just takes time and effort. Just try these four exercises to get you started.

Staying Organized

For starters, staying organized should be the top priority when it comes to financial self-care. It not only helps you out when it comes to paying for things, but it also keeps your mind at ease when bills are due. Staying organized does not have to be much of a process. Simply using a monthly checklist or a calendar can be beneficial. You would want to use these to outline and keep track of spending and bills. This will help you prepare in advance just in case something unpleasant or unexpected comes along that needs more of your attention. It also helps you keep track of your variable monthly bills. These are the bills that can change from month to month. For example, in the winter your electrical bill can be about $200 a month but when summer comes around and you are using more electricity to fire the AC’s, your bill is going to go up. Tracking those bills can help you be prepared in case of an increase.

Another habit that could be beneficial to your financial self-care is having your bills in the same place. This simply means that if you get your bills in the mail, keep them in one spot on your desk or counter. It would be easier to find something if you keep it all in the same place. That being said, it would also help if you paid your bills out of the same account. This practice will help you find any missing payments or double payments. You will know exactly what account your bills are coming out of.

Creating a Budget

This could be a dreadful process, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Identifying your income, planning your expenses, and moving whatever is left over to your savings is a terrific way to start. Budgeting does not have to be an all-day thing to plan, as long as you know you’re not spending more than you are bringing in, you are already halfway there.

Sometimes it helps that you have more than one account. For instance, you should have at least a checking and savings account. Savings should not be used for everyday spending. You should also have an emergency fund account. This account can be separate from your everyday operating account and should be reserved for emergencies only.

Developing Relationships with your Financial Institution

It is useful to have a relationship with your financial institution. This does not mean you have to go to the bank every day to conduct transactions, but you should get comfortable with the nearest branch. There will be a day where you will have to visit a branch for something so you might as well know at least one person there to help you.

Understanding Basic Banking Terms

Lastly, you want to make sure you understand basic banking terms and products. This will help you identify any financial needs that you may have. For example, if you want something that can earn more interest than your regular share account, you can talk to someone about investments or a simple Certificate of Deposit (CD). Once you find your financial needs, go into your local branch and sit with someone. They will help you find what you need and want.

Life happens, and things can change. It is okay to adjust your plans and budget as time goes on. Some financial planning can be unpredictable, and self-care must change to adapt to your current life. If you just take your financial responsibilities month by month you can adapt quicker if something changes. Just remember your bank account and habits needs just as much self-care as you might need. Do not neglect your banking.

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