The notion of self-care has been making the rounds in lifestyle magazines and across social media networks – and a similar philosophy seems to be making its way into financial planning sessions and personal finance advice now, too. Financial self-care, like general self-care, can mean different things to different people. But the gist is about taking the time to focus on your finances and figure out how your money best fits into your life.
“Just like it’s important for our overall health to tend to our physical, emotional and social needs, our finances need attention and care, too,” says Megan Ford, a financial therapist at the University of Georgia and former president of the Financial Therapy Association, a professional trade group for this emerging field of finance. “Financial self-care is both about behaving with and experiencing money in a more optimal and fulfilling way.”
That doesn’t just mean spending money on what makes you happy today. It means building a financial plan that can help you achieve the life you want. “Financial self-care is a practice that needs to be crafted around principles of balance, sustainability and empowerment,” says Jennifer Navarro-Marroquin, a licensed financial professional and founder of Claiming Prosperity, a financial education and counseling organization in San Francisco. “The practice you create ultimately needs to move you toward your defined money goals while at the same time cultivating an overall good feeling about your money.”