You can achieve financial wellness with this simple financial checklist.
The idea that we all require self-care for wellness is a concept that’s gaining popularity. Self-care is a focus on the self and keeping track of your wellness physically, emotionally and mentally. We argue that taking care of your personal finances is part of self-care as well.
Your finances can have a huge impact on your mental health. It’s also the number one issue couples fight about, and the second leading cause of divorce, behind infidelity. By taking care of your finances, and maintaining good financial health, you can avoid a lot of turmoil and struggles.
Your financial well-being revolves around these key areas:
- Ability to cover recurring bills
- A plan for unexpected expenses
- The freedom to choose what you spend your money on
- Pursuing long-term goals
Many things can stand in your way of financial well-being. To be successful you may need to adjust your attitude towards money, decision-making process and certain behaviors.
Below is a weekly self-care financial checklist to help you pursue financial wellness now.
First Day: Take a financial inventory.
The first step of your financial checklist is to take an inventory of your finances. Answer these questions to determine where your money is coming from and going:
- How much money do you earn each month?
- How much of that money is consistent month to month?
- How do you allocate money towards bills?
- What are your monthly bills?
- Do you have any quarterly or annual expenses?
- Are you overspending on any budget category?
- How much of your income is going towards paying down debt?
- Are you including savings in your budget?
Keep track of debt. Make sure you know exactly what you owe and who to, including interest. Determine what percentage of your income is going towards debt.
Second Day: Get back on track.
While most bills are constant month-to-month, there will be some months where you spend more than others. It might be your child’s birthday, the holiday season or you might have had an unexpected health issue or car accident. You won’t be able to stick to your budget all of the time, and that’s okay. Don’t give up. Make sure to review your budget and make changes to adjust for overspending the month before to get back on track.
Third Day: Plan to eliminate debt.
Having debt makes it difficult to achieve financial wellness. Some debt is normal; as long as, it’s manageable. When debt becomes overwhelming it can impact your health. If you have money left over in your budget after expenses are covered, pay off high-interest debts first. The sooner you eliminate high-interest debt, the more you will save.
Fourth Day: Create an emergency fund.
An emergency fund is an important part of your financial checklist. You don’t want to have to dip into your savings or go into debt when emergencies occur. Financial experts recommend having six month’s worth of expenses saved. The amount you should have for emergencies depends on your expenses and how much room you have in your budget to save.
Fifth Day: Put away money for retirement.
Including retirement in your financial checklist is a great way to ensure your financial future. There are many ways to save for retirement. You can put money into your 401(k) through your employer or invest in an individual retirement account (IRA).
Sixth Day: Check your credit score.
Your credit score determines your interest rate and access to credit. The better your score the better loan rates your secure and the higher your loan and credit limits will be. Add checking your credit score to your financial checklist, so that you can monitor and act if there are any issues.
Seventh Day: Plan for financial goals.
Last, but not least, set financial goals for yourself. Ask yourself what you would like to achieve. Whether it’s taking a vacation, going on a retreat, buying a home or saving a certain amount for retirement, having financial goals is an important part of self-care.
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This post is not intended to be a solicitation for a loan. BrighterPays provides these blogs for entertainment and informational purposes only. Remember to consider all your financial options before making any decisions related to credit.