Why financial education is an important form of self-care

Yesterday was Blue Monday. Falling on the third Monday in January, it is theoretically the most depressing day of the year. Supposedly it’s caused by the combination of bad weather, long nights and the post-holiday blues (think Christmas debt and failed New Year’s resolutions). It might be silly and hard to validate but, regardless, the ladies of FundCalibre enjoyed a virtual at-home spa evening to lighten the mood. Nothing says indulgent self-care like a bottle of Prosecco in your bathroom, on your computer, applying endless skincare samples.

I joke, but it was a lovely evening. A bit different perhaps, but it fit in nicely with my word of the year, by creating more me time. It got me thinking though: self-care doesn’t just have to be physical like skincare, healthy food and long walks, etc. A very important form of self-care is learning how to master your finances. Financial security and knowledge will last you longer than a face mask anyway.

‘Self-care is giving the world the best of you, instead of what’s left of you.’ — Katie Reed, mental health advocate and speaker

Money and our mental health

Self-care is a broad term and different for everyone. What might be self-care for me, might not give you the same vibe. Ultimately, it should be a time when you reconnect and take care of yourself – whether that’s stress management or relaxation. However you manifest self-care in your life, we can all agree it’s important for our physical and mental health. Just as you look after your body and mind, you need to look after your finances. And, with finances being such a trigger for many millennials, managing this relationship (even if stressful) is self-care.

Read more about overcoming financial anxiety

How to practice financial self-care

Get involved and be active.

When it comes to improving the quality of your life, making more money is only part of the equation. You have to learn how to manage it or else the problems you are dealing with currently, will just continue. So, if you’re not already, get active with your finances. Go through them and tidy them up, make a budget and check in regularly with your partner about money issues.

Be intentional with spending.

There’s a scene in Friends where Rachel’s sister tells Joey “a moment on the lips, forever on the hips” and while she’s talking about eating, it can apply to your money too. That £4 takeaway coffee from Starbucks or weekly takeaway pizza when you have a fridge of food all adds up. You can spend it in a moment or save it for forever – by investing. Now I’m not saying that cutting out coffees and brunches is going to make you a millionaire, but whether you’re paying off debt or starting an investment portfolio, every little helps.

Remember when I saved £300 a year by cutting down on Starbucks?

Focus on getting debt free before looking to larger money goals.

Having to pay someone else part of your income each month will not only keep you from achieving financial freedom, but it will be a continual nag in the back of your mind. [Note, I’m not talking about mortgages here, but things like credit card debt, personal bank loans, car payments, etc.] Paying off your debt and living within your means allows you to then take that money and reallocate to things like investing and building your wealth over the long term.

Make time to further your financial education.

Ask questions, educate yourself about not only your personal finances but seek out general financial knowledge. Understand things like what your credit score means, how interest rates work on your credit cards and, if you’re ready to invest, read our introduction to investing guide. More of a visual learner? Check out our millennial videos on YouTube, covering topics like ‘which ISA is best for you’, ‘what is value investing’ and ‘what is recession’.

10 common money questions millennials are too afraid to ask

The bottom line is that money silently affects so many aspects of our lives that we are unaware of its power on our mood. Sometimes, improving your financial situation might be the only form of self-care you really need. It will give you a sense of clarity and a good financial education will start you on a road to more choices. Financial education will always last longer than a bottle of wine.

This article is provided for information only. The views of the author and any people quoted are their own and do not constitute financial advice. The content is not intended to be a personal recommendation to buy or sell any fund or trust, or to adopt a particular investment strategy. However, the knowledge that professional analysts have analysed a fund or trust in depth before assigning them a rating can be a valuable additional filter for anyone looking to make their own decisions. Past performance is not a reliable guide to future returns. Market and exchange-rate movements may cause the value of investments to go down as well as up. Yields will fluctuate and so income from investments is variable and not guaranteed. You may not get back the amount originally invested. Tax treatment depends of your individual circumstances and may be subject to change in the future. If you are unsure about the suitability of any investment you should seek professional advice. Whilst FundCalibre provides product information, guidance and fund research we cannot know which of these products or funds, if any, are suitable for your particular circumstances and must leave that judgement to you. Before you make any investment decision, make sure you’re comfortable and fully understand the risks. Further information can be found on Elite Rated funds by simply clicking on the name highlighted in the article.