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Self-care has been an overarching theme of 2020. Taking time for self-care can be difficult as you juggle the responsibilities of being a parent, spouse, employee, and possibly a part-time teacher. The definition of self-care is unique to each individual. With 2021 on the horizon, consider adding this new definition of the term to your list of New Year’s resolutions.

Self-Care and Money

At its core, self-care is meant to be a restorative act – something that provides clarity, restores energy, and promotes peace of mind. Your first thought of self-care may include taking a walk, visiting a local spa, or binge watching your favorite show. But have you considered that working on your relationship with money could offer the same benefits as your walk in a nature preserve? Developing a healthy relationship with money can lead to these benefits and more.

Where to Start

Like any relationship, there is a discovery and “getting to know you” phase. Creating a stronger relationship with your money has a similar starting place, reviewing past events and learning from them. Practically speaking, this phase can include reviewing your credit card and banking statements to piece together the story of your money. What purpose is your money serving and does the present state of your relationship align with your values and goals?

Clarity

This first step to look more closely at the story between you and your money is gathering awareness and clarity on the current state of the relationship. Depending on what is uncovered during this stage, you may experience emotions ranging from shock to re-assurance. As with any relationship, you’ll want to be sure that your values and priorities are aligned. Because we’re talking about your relationship with money, that includes an alignment between spending and values.

Take a few minutes to write your top five values and compare them with your top five areas of spending. Some examples of your values might include family, friends, security, financial freedom, or faith, just to name a few.

Top Five Values:

  1. __________________________________
  2. __________________________________
  3. __________________________________
  4. __________________________________
  5. __________________________________

Top Five Areas of Spending:

  1. __________________________________
  2. __________________________________
  3. __________________________________
  4. __________________________________
  5. __________________________________

Are you happy with the alignment?

Restored Energy

After the “getting to know you” phase in a relationship, bonding continues by sharing a common value or goal. Look at the lists above. Are your values and spending in alignment? If not, the future of your relationship with money could be in jeopardy. To put the relationship on the right track, it’s important to take time to think of ways to better align your spending with your values. Perhaps a top value on your list is financial freedom but savings isn’t a large percentage of your discretionary spending. This could be an area of misalignment to explore and correct. Much like having proper alignment on a car, the benefit of having money alignment is restored energy and the ability to keep moving forward.

Peace of Mind

Your financial life can often bring stress and anxiety. Tackling your personal finances and examining your spending habits in the coming year can help avoid much of that stress. Improving your finances might even provide calm and peace of mind in knowing that your spending and your values are aligned.

How’s that for a new take on self-care? While it’s important to include the more traditional aspects like moving your body and taking breaks as needed, don’t neglect an improved relationship with your money in 2021. Healthy relationships of all kinds can lead to clarity and restored energy if you work at them.

Maureen D. Wright Maureen D. Wright Financial Advisor

Maureen has been involved in the financial services industry since 2013. She graduated summa cum laude from Illinois State University.

About Savant Wealth Management

Savant Wealth Management is a leading independent, nationally recognized, fee-only firm serving clients for over 30 years with more than $7 billion in assets under management. As a trusted advisor, Savant Wealth Management offers investment management, financial planning, retirement plan and family office services to financially established individuals and institutions. Savant also offers corporate accounting, tax preparation, payroll and consulting through its affiliate, Savant Tax & Consulting.

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