Self-care. As a millennial woman, I am all about it…gimme all the pedicures and fancy bubble baths, please and thank you.

But did you know that taking care of your financial life can be a way to treat yo’self too?

Stress about money is not only super common, it’s also super draining. Feeling burdened by your finances can affect your mental and physical health. Disagreements about money is a leading cause of divorce. I remember when I was afraid to even look at my bank accounts, and my heart rate would jump every time I logged in.

Like any other form of self-care, taking care of your financial wellbeing can prevent a lot of issues. Hear me out: I would also rather binge-watch Netflix than log my spending. But creating a financial self-care routine has had tremendous benefits:

  • Feeling more financially secure
  • Reducing stress and experiencing more joy
  • Having more confidence
  • Being more prepared for emergencies

Ok, so financial self-care isn’t as sexy or Instagrammable as say, that rainbow bath bomb. But, its effects are much more long-lasting.

Plus, it won’t take as long as you imagine. I often finish my budget on the mornings of payday before I even finish my cup of tea.

Here’s what is essential to my financial self-care:


  • A Budget — I used to think a budget was this boring, restrictive thing that would lead me to having a boring, restricted life. Boy, was I super wrong. My budget is a permission slip for my joy. It’s a spending plan and a money map. It’s the tried-and-true, ready to knock it out of the park, game-winning play. It helps me stay focused on what matters most. If you have tried budgeting, and it didn’t stick, it’s likely you are not using the right budget method for your personality and lifestyle. Try a few different methods and see what works best for you.


  • Tracking Expenses  If my budget is the game-winning play, my spending tracker is the coach that dreamed it up. My budget is guided by my spending tracker because I can easily see where my money is coming and going. Everything I do financially is saved in my spending tracker. I can see patterns and trends in my spending. I’m not surprised by annual expenses (hello, Amazon Prime) because it’s already in my spending tracker.


  • Making Room for Joy — I am very intentional about finding room in my budget for the things that make me feel joyful. Even while intensely paying off debt, I didn’t deprive myself of the things that most brought happiness and value to my life.


  • Saving for Retirement — Getting to old age used to give me anxiety. The cold, harsh truth is that social security might not be around for my generation when we retire. Even if it is, it won’t be enough to live on. Right now, I am projected to receive around $1,400 a month if I retire at 67 ($1782 if I wait until 70). That’s not going to be enough. So I make sure I get my full retirement match in my employer-sponsored retirement plan, as well as putting money into a Roth IRA. I’m on track to retire a millionaire. A crazy idea considering only a couple of years ago, I thought I’d never be able to afford to retire.


  • Becoming (and Staying!) Debt Free — Achieving debt freedom was the best self-care gift I could ever give myself. Seriously, it was life-changing. It took major hard work and dedication for 14 months. After I reached this monumental milestone, breathing was easier. I slept better. I felt happier each day.


While I do use credit cards very responsibly now, I am determined to stay out of debt for as long as possible. Some day I’d like to buy or build a forever home, but I know I’ll be ready to tackle that debt too.

What is essential to your financial self-care?