Women and Finance: Financial Self-Care – Not Quite a Bubble Bath but Far More Impactful!

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Possibly Not as Much Fun as a Puppy or a Good Book, But Infinitely More Impactful

Hello Young Ladies, Moms, Wives, Grandmothers, Divorcees, Partners, Widows, Newly Marrieds!  Regardless of your titles (of which you will likely wear many over your lifetime), learning to take care of your own financial well-being is a key component of self-care. 

Self-care, as you know, has many dimensions – physical, emotional, social, spiritual and yes, financial.  While financial self-care may not provide the same immediate gratification as a bubble bath, a puppy, a long talk with a good friend, or a great fiction read, it will provide a foundation for independence that enables continued, uncompromised healthy decisions.

We all maintain “money scripts” from our formative years that color our thinking and decision making.  Our educational system is not geared towards financial education whatsoever (unless you happened to have majored in finance in college).  So where does that leave us?  We enter adulthood with the blessings and burdens from our existing money scripts, coupled with little to no education to navigate this important dimension of our lives.  Note that this reality is not specific to women.

That said, there are a few impactful items that ARE specific to women and finance:

  • Gender pay gaps
  • Longer life spans
  • The cost of caregiving and interrupted work lives
  • Greater financial fallout from divorce
  • Higher health costs
  • A tendency to invest too conservatively

Regardless of your age, stage or title as referenced above, how do you get started or enhance your financial self-care routine?  Note the emphasis on routine – this not a “once ‘n done”. It’s a life-long learning endeavor and commitment to this facet of your self-care.  This is not dissimilar to an exercise program, daily skin care or your spiritual renewal, but rarely thought of in this context.

And there is no looking back. Only looking forward.

Anxiety promotes procrastination – which can become a vortex of a self-fulfilling cycle.  The solution?  Breathe and just start.

Great Places to Start

  • Read/listen to educate yourself. Knowledge is power and we haven’t met anyone yet that was born knowing this stuff!  What to read itself can be an overwhelming decision, so figuring out reputable sources is a must. Learn to separate educational sources from sponsored sources. Here are a few good places to start:
  • Do your own tax return or minimally try to understand it – there are many lessons contained within. Truly an incredible learning opportunity!
  • Monitor your credit score – this is an important asset (we use creditkarma but there are many resources).
  • Start saving – the sooner the better! See the chart below.  Who saved less and had more?  Better to start early, but NEVER too late to start.

We are happy to help answer questions or provide guidance on your path to financial self-care.  One step at a time.