It took me twenty-six months for the first big break of my business. Somehow, I managed to go viral and I found myself awash in new clients who were signing up for coaching. My writing side-hustle flourished at the same time. Before I knew it, I was climbing up professional ladders I didn’t know existed and wading into financial waters I had never even dared dream of.

That year, my bank called me in to sit down with a financial advisor. Things were hustling along, he told me, and it was time to start thinking about where I wanted to go next. His name was Hugo, and he had an accent that told me these things like this had been commonplace for him his whole life.

“What have you been thinking in terms of your savings and investments?”

I was navigating uncharted waters. Saving? Investment? The words sent panic running shivers down my limbs. I wanted to crawl out of my skin. To cry and to run away, but I couldn’t. This was a once-in-a-lifetime chance for someone like me. The advisor stared at me over his black-rimmed glasses.

“What do you want to do, Ms. Johnson?” We both knew there was only one choice.

I had to move forward and start allowing my finances to do the work for me, but that was not going to happen without taking a second look at how I cared for my money and managed it over time.

This opened a new chapter for me. For the first time in my life, I wasn’t hustling for tips or plotting every spend until my next paycheck. For the first time in my life, there was money in the bank and options in the future for me. I didn’t want it to end…neither did my new financial advisor.

Enter the age of financial self-care.

What is financial self-care? Why is it so important for women?

Because I had never grown up in an environment with women who were comfortable financially, I had no idea what I was doing when my business finally became the success I knew it could be. I was a ship floating at sea. Do I spend it all? Do I invest? How much more do I put back into my businesses? Then the really big question…how much more do I put back into me?

That’s how I ended up crashing on the shores of financial self-care. I had to learn to take care of my bank accounts and my wallet as much as I took care of my appearance, my clients, my spiritual health.

So what is financial self-care? And why is it so important for women to take care of their finances (as well as their bodies and their minds)?

In the simplest of terms, financial self-care is any act that protects and prioritizes your financial well-being as a part of your overall happiness. We live in a world where money matters, and you certainly need money to take care of all the basic needs that keep you happy and fulfilled in life.

We love to do our masks, go to yoga, get our massages, but taking care of our bodies and our spirits aren’t the only thing that make us happy as people. We have to be financially fulfilled too, able to pay our bills and engage with the world as costly as that might be.

As women, that hasn’t always been the goal. We have been told to set our sights on care — the care of the men in our lives, the care of our children, and our homes. But we haven’t been taught to care for our finances, just as we haven’t been taught to seek our own financial independence.

Money does equal happiness, in a roundabout way, and we as women have to embrace that. This can feel foreign and strange when you’ve spent your life thinking of your womanhood in every sense but the financial. Yet the fact remains. If you want to be happy in this life, you need the financial ability to do that. Take care of your finances and you can take better care of every other aspect of your life.

The best examples of financial self-care you can make your own (right now).

If you’re new to the idea of financial self-care, it can seem like a big ask. It’s uncomfortable, isn’t it? Being a woman who has financial goals? Who looks out for the future, who saves, and creates stability of her own? It doesn’t have to be.

You can build regular financial self-care routines for yourself, and you can start today with simple and direct techniques like:

  • Create a budget (and stick to it)
  • Invest in your self-improvement
  • Build an emergency fund
  • Re-assess your finiancial goals
  • Find alternatives to big spending

As much as you may not like it, taking the time to build a realistic budget is a great way to start your financial self-care routines. This should be something you do regularly. How much money do you have coming in? How much cash is going out? You need to cover your expenses, save, and still aim for something left over to enjoy. How can you make that happen? Sticking to a budget will relieve a lot of stress from your life.

Investing in your self-improvement is a much-needed part of self-care too. It costs money to take care of your body and your spirit, plain and simple.

Does it have to break the bank? No, but any budget you set, any goals you create for yourself — they should include investments that make you better in mind, body, and spirit.

Stopping there wouldn’t be wise. For those who are just getting started on the path to financial freedom, creating an emergency fund should be a part of your self-care routine. You need to have something to work from when life goes wrong because it *will go wrong*. You need a buffer to weather the storm. More importantly, you need to know how big that buffer should be.

Re-assess your financial goals. Know if you’re living within your means and what you desire those means to expand to. If you’re living in a small apartment now, but craving life on the large — there are going to be changes needed to get there. Mark the milestones and plan out the smaller actions needed to reach those financial milestones. Do you need a second job? New skills? A side hustle or a second degree?

Find alternatives to big spending and stop stretching yourself beyond your means. Big credit card bills for unnecessary superficialities? That’s only going to increase your stress, which will block your ability to take bigger actions in the name of your happiness and ultimate fulfillment.

***

For women marching toward the summit of financial independence, self-care is not a luxury — it’s a necessity. This is not just self-care in the traditional sense of bubble baths and treatment masks, but financial self-care. It is a deliberate, resolute practice of crafting budgets that reflect your life’s blueprint, spending within the cozy confines of your means, and exploring ingenious avenues to govern your monetary resources.

Financial self-care is laying the cornerstones for a fortress of financial stability and sovereign independence. Every penny pinched, every informed investment, and every budget balanced writes another line in your success story. And remember, your financial well-being isn’t a solitary trek — it’s a shared voyage with a community of fellow seekers. Lean into this collective wisdom.

Don’t just dream about financial freedom; forge it. With Wealth Wise Women as your ally, the odyssey is not just a possibility but a promise — a promise of a future flourishing in financial autonomy. 🚀 Follow for weekly financial tips, guides, and updates that help you build a financially independent future.

© E.B. Johnson 2024