In our fast-paced lives, it’s easy to forget to leave some time in your schedule for self-care. As we get more caught up in the hustle and bustle of our jobs and other responsibilities, we can neglect our own needs in the process.
Self-care is essential for your mental health and can reduce stress so finding the money to dedicate to some ‘you time’ is well worth it. This can be easier said than done, especially during a cost-of-living crisis. However, with the right budgeting techniques in place, you’ll be on your way to comfortably afford a rejuvenating self-care routine.
Keep track of your income
Monitoring your income and keeping track of your spending habits is the first step in establishing a budget and helping you stick to it. Gather your receipts, bank statements and household bills to identify what expenditures are necessary and where you can make some cutbacks.
How much do you receive each month and where is each portion of it going? After paying the essential bills for your home, insurance and utilities, knowing where your money is going is key to managing it.
Monitor spending and redirect
You can get a more accurate picture of your spending when you track it regularly. If you are spending too much on certain activities, you can redirect part of these expenses towards self-care activities or your savings to help out in case of future emergencies.
You don’t need to be spending an arm and a leg on an expensive massage chair or yoga retreat abroad. Self-care can be as little as buying the ingredients for your favourite meal or going for a workout, so it doesn’t need to use up a large chunk of your paycheck and leave you out of pocket for other responsibilities.
Having realistic and achievable goals can not only improve your mental health and well-being but it can provide you with helpful financial direction. If you have long-term goals with hefty price tags attached such as buying a house or a new car, you should start thinking about your credit score.
When you’re in a better financial position for these goals, it will allow you to survey how much money you can allocate to self-care and other pursuits.
Staying motivated in the self-care journey is important but it is important to remember that self-care isn’t about spending money. Many self-care ideas don’t, including going for a walk in nature, taking a bubble bath or inviting friends around to play a board game.
Though life can get overwhelming, and it can be difficult to see yourself finding the time or money to spend on a little ‘you time’, putting some productive steps in place can help you feel more in control of your financial situation.