6. Invest in yourself and your community
Financial health also means investing in your personal well-being and that of your community, too. “Financial health and wellness also includes financial self-awareness and really knowing your values and aligning your spending to those purchases or experiences so they are more meaningful,” Stevens says.
Whether it’s attending a weekly yoga class to benefit your long-term health, or making a charitable donation to a cause you’re passionate about, you’ll be reaping rewards long past the swipe of your card.
Goal: Sometimes you have to give to receive.
7. Reward yourself – if you’ve earned it
“People rationalize [their spending] by saying, ‘I work hard, I deserve this,’ even when they can’t afford it,” says Mary Beth Storjohann, certified financial planner, founder of Workable Wealth and author of Work Your Wealth: 9 Steps to Making Smarter Choices with Your Money. “But that only continues the cycle.”
The problem escalates when those “rewards” extend to bigger-ticket items, such as the latest designer bag or rare vintage sneakers, that can plunge you further into debt. Plan for well-earned rewards and avoid impulse buys by building a reward system into your budget. Create savings milestones and timelines for when you want to reward yourself.
How do you know when to treat yourself? When you’ve demonstrated financially responsible behavior. And remember: don’t spend more than what you’ve set aside. It’ll make your “treat” that much more worth the wait.
Goal: Be flexible, but responsible, with your budget.
You’ll quickly see how the small financial moves you make every day can bring you closer to the bigger goals that matter most.