Financial self-care is a really important thing. It’s so much simpler to look after yourself when money stress is not haunting the halls of your mind. And I am not talking about being rich or measuring your worth in what you earn. That stuff is worthwhile for some, but it’s hardly the whole ballgame.
I’m talking about real financial self-care. The kind that gives peace of mind. And it goes a little something like this:
· Taking a deposit/commencement fee or asking for upfront payment for small amounts
· Having terms and conditions
· Enforcing the terms and conditions
· Losing the shame attached to chasing money
· Stop normalising being poor as part of freelancing
· Checking negative thoughts about what money means
· Saving for retirement
· Having money for dry spells, sickness, injury and changes in life set aside
· Knowing where you spend your most self-soothe money (and addressing those habits)
· Planning meals ahead of schedule to help reduce the temptation to eat take out
· Double checking yourself when impulse purchases arise re: mood, whether you need it or not etc
· Committing to things like Buy Nothing New Month in October to teach yourself what you can do without
· Adopting the ‘why buy when you can share’ mantra and making use of the sharing economy. Have a membership to a tool library instead of buying your own or using car share. Use a ride share as a vehicle ownership alternatives. Share your unused storage and living space with your community
· Have an accountant. Yes, I know a lot of people do their own BAS and tax. But you are potentially missing out on expert advice on your returns, expenditure, operational costs and more. Plus, you can claim it later.
· Understand cash flow and how to keep it healthy.
You don’t have to be tight-fisted to be able to enact better financial self-care.
You have to have a positive financial attitude.
What does that mean?
Part of financial self-care is reframing your relationship with money and all things financial.
Stop thinking that money is evil or amazing. It’s a tool. Like a hammer is a tool. A hammer can be used for good, like to build houses for the poor. It can also be used by crazed murderers. But neither of these are the hammer’s fault.
Money is the same. It can be used to secure your future and give you one less thing to worry about. Or it can be something we attach shame and blame to. It’s not a success measurement. It’s not who you are or who you don’t want to be.
It’s a tool. An unbelievably versatile tool.
Our money attitude matters. Money is not a demonstration of how amazing we are. It’s not a sign of how much of a sell out we’ve become. When we become realistic, we can start taking advantage of the benefits.
If you develop respect for money, your will in turn develop respect for you as a person worthy of money.
Respect for yourself means-
a) you will charge what you are worth
b) not accept late payments as your destiny
c) assess volunteer opportunities in relation to supporting your wellbeing and future plans.
How do you flip the script on money?
· Take a deep dive into the attitudes towards money you saw growing up as a kid. Were they healthy or unhealthy? Pragmatic or obsessive? Did your family define themselves via their socio-economic status? And if so, what does that mean for you today? Are you rejecting their attitudes or find them deeply ingrained? Are you facing pressure and prejudice as a freelancer about what and how you earn to this day? Look at this relationship and identify notions you may need to challenge when it comes to money
· Consider the dialogue you use when talking through a quote. Are you worried you are too expensive and what the client will think? Have you worked out what it costs you to do business and if not, why not? Are you making enough to stay in business and pay for your future or any issues you encounter? Where are you receiving your pricing information from? Make sure you know what is influencing how and what you quote at a deeper level
· Face your feelings about money. How do you feel when someone mentions what they earn? Do you feel the need to compete or do you feel uncomfortable? When you give advice to people on their business, do you couch it in financial terms, or do you shy away? Have you used phrases like “the satisfaction is enough” to justify low payment or extra free work? Do you measure other people’s success in monetary terms? Are you quick to tell others they should earn more or tell them what you earn to elicit praise? Look at the insecurities you have about your relationship with money. How does it influence your decision-making and your relationship with others?
Making sure that you have a healthy relationship with money is great financial self-care. Give it a whirl- you may surprise yourself! Make yourself accountable. Plan one way to improve your relationship with money in the future.