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I have my ‘reverse warrior’ and ‘tree’ poses sorted. My bank balance? Not so much.

Financial planning
12 February 2020
I have my ‘reverse warrior’ and ‘tree’ poses sorted. My bank balance? Not so much.

We’d never suggest going without your daily power poses. Hey, namaste!

But with the Australian Psychological Society rating financial issues as our country’s top cause of stress, leading to health issues from insomnia to anxiety and depression, you’d be amazed at the effect of adding a little financial self-care to your routine.

If you’re looking for some motivation to get started, here are four financial self-care steps that can help you feel good today.

1. Question your limiting beliefs

We’ve all experienced that money-related stomach knot at some point. Whether it’s that upcoming electricity bill or credit card debt on our minds, many of us see money as a source of stress, rather than abundance and freedom.

Fortunately, it’s possible that the simple act of changing the way we view money can help us change our financial situation. 

According to financial psychologist Dr. Bradley Klontz,# many of the core beliefs we have about money can lead to poor financial behaviours like overspending and avoiding budgets.

For example, subconsciously we might believe that wealth is only for people who are greedy or very intelligent. If we don’t believe we’re truly deserving of wealth, we’re less likely to take the steps necessary to accumulate it. In some cases, says Dr Klontz, we might even unknowingly self-sabotage our finances, for example by overspending or accumulating late payment fees.

So, how do we overcome our limiting financial beliefs? Think about your earliest money-related memories and how they shaped your thoughts about money. Can you challenge these? Once you acknowledge what might be holding you back financially, it can be easier to look at your situation objectively. Then, you can come up with a plan to change it with a few tweaks to your routine.

2. Create a consistent practice

Like with any self-care practice, the more consistent you are with your financial habits, the more effective they become.

Once you’ve pushed aside the limiting beliefs, it’s time to set a plan for your finances. What changes can you make to your current spending and saving habits that will help you reach your goals?

While there might be some big changes you can make, your routine doesn’t necessarily need to change dramatically to make a difference.

It’s also a good idea to think about what’s realistic and achievable, and what can be automated so that you don’t need to constantly make decisions about your money. You might set up direct debits to pay your bills, pay a little extra off your mortgage each month, or pack lunch from home and add the savings to your super.

As long as you practice these habits consistently, we reckon you might see a gradual improvement in your financial and overall wellbeing.  

3. Do something for future you

How would you feel if the money you saved under your new routine began earning an income for future you?

Well, that is exactly the potential of compound interest.

Say you invested $1,000 (or added it to your super account to be invested for you). If that money grew by 5% in a year, you’d earn an $50 in interest, giving you $1,050 total.*

Even if you didn’t add any more money, it would be still possible for your investment to grow. Another year’s return of 5% would take your total to $1,102.50.

Compound interest is the extra $52.50 you earned in this second year.

So, it’s possible that after 50 years of 5% returns per annum, your $1,000 investment could be worth more than $10,000.*

Interested in earning more for future you? The good news is that even a small amount, left to grow, can turn into a large amount for you in your future years. And if you added an extra super contribution to your monthly financial routine? Check out our Spare change calculator to see what kind of difference that could make. Future you might thank you later.

4. Ask an expert for help 

We all make decisions every day that will shape the lifestyle we’ll have in the future. Seems like a lot of pressure, right?

Fortunately, when it comes to decisions about financial self-care, you don’t have to fly solo.

If you’re after advice on a financial plan, or you’ve been feeling stressed or overwhelmed about money, seeking advice from your super fund could be a good place to start.

At CareSuper, for example, our advice model aligns with our profit-for-member philosophy, meaning our planners receive no incentives to sell you any advice.^ They’re there to help you understand your choices and support you with whatever you decide. 

Visit our website to learn more about financial planning today.

#The Wealthy – A Financial Psychology Profile – Consulting Psychology Journal, 2015.

*Of course, returns do vary and can be positive or negative. Over the long term, any negative returns would slow down the growth of your investment. These examples show how compounding works with returns and time to build your balance, and don’t consider the impact of any fees, taxes or insurance premiums.

^Financial advice obtained over the phone, or through MemberOnline, is provided by Mercer Financial Advice (Australia) Pty Ltd (MFAAPL) ABN 76 153 168 293, Australian Financial Services Licence #411766.

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