I am wanting to end September with a post about some financial self-care tips for social workers.
Did you know September is “National Self-Care Month”?
I didn’t until today… LOL.
I know we all remember all those conversations in grad school about how we need to practice self-care, self-care, self-care, self-care.
I mainly remember this being about knowing how to set boundaries at work or making time to engage in hobbies you love to “fill your cup.”
And while I do appreciate those sentiments, we never were encouraged to practice “financial self-care”.
In my program, I don’t remember talking about money whatsoever. We didn’t talk about salaries, negotiating pay, nothin’.
I wanted to share a little bit about financial self-care, why it’s important, and share some ideas if you’d like to start practicing financial self-care in your own life!
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What is financial self-care and why is it important?
Financial self-care is about putting time and energy into learning about your money, and finding ways to reduce the emotional burden money typically has on many people.
Financial self-care is taking action to improve your financial wellness. Many of us are familiar with ways to increase our mental or physical wellness, and there are ways to impact our financial wellness, too!
This could be as simple as reviewing and updating your budget monthly or reading over your employer’s retirement benefits package.
In the American Psychological Association (APA) most recent survey, they found that 65% of Americans report money as a significant stress in their lives. The highest percentage since 2015!
We all know from our education and work experience how stress can negatively impact our health.
With money being a major stressor in our lives, working to increase our financial wellness is key for our mental and physical health.
So, here is a list of some financial self-care ideas!
A list of financial self-care ideas:
- Schedule a time (weekly or monthly) to spend time with your money reviewing your income, spending, budget, bills, etc
- Log in to your student loan servicer and confront that loan balance
- Begin building an emergency fund, or what those at Healthy Rich call a comfort fund
- Write down at least one financial goal you’d like to achieve by the end of the year
- Buy yourself a personal finance book, here are a few I’d recommend: Finance for the People: Getting a Grip on Your Finances by Paco De Leon, Get Good With Money by Tiffany Aliche, aka The Budgetnista, and I Will Teach You To Be Rich: No Guilt. No Excuses. No BS. Just a 6-Week Program That Works by Ramit Sethi
- Automate some or all of your monthly bills
- Automate your savings
- Review your employer-sponsored retirement benefit (and possibly increase your contribution?)
- Cancel recurring subscriptions you aren’t using
- Take that PTO (I know you’ve earned it)
- Open up a high-yield savings account (HYSA), read more about those here: Why I Think We All Need a High-Yield Savings Account (HYSA)
- Set a savings goal for a “treat yo self” event whether it be just take out, a massage or a vacation
- Apply for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program
- Ask for that raise
- Share a money win or struggle with someone you trust
Final thoughts on financial self-care for social workers
I love me a self-care massage, but there is also just something so empowering and rejuvenating about spending time learning about money and implementing those strategies. And then seeing it pay off!
I have found that when I spend some time practicing financial self-care, I enjoy my other self-care activities more.
We deserve to spend some time making our own lives a little less stressful — we are always doing it for others!
Let me know in the comments below what financial self-care activities you like to do!