My belief is that money management is one of the best things women can do for themselves as a form of self-care. I got to be this way, overall, from being independent and strong-willed as a child, and always being encouraged by my Grandparents to be savvy with money. This set the foundation for me from a young age, to take care of my finances and money as a form of self-care.
The purpose of this post is to share small and discrete ways we can take care of our finances as independent women, apart from our partners and families, taking care of ourselves first and foremost (from a financial standpoint). I've had friends who have come from abusive relationships or partners who are generally frustrated with the state of their joint finances. Below are ways you can take the lead in your financial life and make sure you're taking care of yourself and your money as a form of self-care.
1. Emergency Savings
It is critical to have an emergency savings fund in place. Life changes and sometimes we need to pivot and adapt at the drop of a dime (aka quickly). I recommend a 3-6 month emergency savings that would cover expenses for that specified duration of time. Extreme scenarios here, but if you need to move out unexpectedly to protect yourself from harm, or say an unexpected disaster happens, you have the cushion of 3-6 months of expenses to fall back on and support you; money being the last thing on your mind in a time of emergency.
2. Automated Investment Savings
Automating our investment savings keeps things easy and simple. You will probably need to do some leg work and find out how much of your budget you can allocate to an automated investment strategy but once you have your number in mind, you simply book an appointment with your Investment Advisor at the bank and set up recurring transfers synced with your regular pay (whether that is bi-weekly, weekly, etc). This keeps your money and wealth growing with compound interest with time on your side (generally, the earlier you invest, the better).
3. Fun Money
You may be wondering what "Fun Money" is. In this case, it is money allocated for exactly what it sounds like, "Fun". Again, some work will need to be done on your part to figure out what your "Fun Money" number is by assessing your budget, and seeing what extra money you have left over, if any, that can be allocated as "Fun Money". This money is to help keep you having and making time for fun along the way because without it, life can be bland, dreary and we may risk burning out. I personally allocate $100 a week (or $20 a day) for Fun Money on good weeks. Some weeks I am not able to allocate this much as I have regular expenses to pay for, but most weeks I am able to stick to my cash budget and allocate approx. $20 a day for fun. What money I don't use, can be used on another day or carried over into the following week's Fun Money budget.
Here are 3 methods of saving money for self-care (catered to women but men can use these tips too). The reason I wanted to cater this post to women is so that we, as women, create an awareness and an urgency in saving money for ourselves, independent from our partners or families.
If you have more tips and strategies for saving as a form of self-care, please share in the comments below. We would love to hear from you, signed Filipina Budget Girl.