5 Ways Self Care Can Actually Save You Money


"Self care" has become a buzzword. It has become associated with spa days and luxurious vacations, and critics say that it's more of an exercise in self-indulgence. (See also: When Self-Care Actually Harms Your Budget)

However, true self care doesn't actually have to have anything to do with spending lots of money. In fact, truly caring for yourself, giving yourself what you need, and making your own well-being a priority, will save you money in the long run. Here are a few ways that can work. (See also: Treat Yourself With These 7 Free Self-Care Routines)

1. Exercise

Taking care of your body is important. In fact, it's one of the most important things you can do for your health. And as your body produces endorphins during exercise, it helps your mental health, as well. If you want to run a lower risk of shelling out money at the doctor's office, make daily exercise part of your routine.

But wait! Don't gym memberships cost money? Luckily, you don't need a pricey gym membership to get physically fit. Just a quality pair of sneakers, comfy clothes, and an open trail on which to run or walk every day can help protect your ticker. (See also: These At-Home Exercises Will Give You a Gym-Quality Workout for Free)

2. Rest

Another basic tenet of real self care is rest. This means getting enough sleep at night, but it also means taking days off when needed. Just taking a mental health day will give your body and mind a chance to relax and reset, rather than be on all the time. You will also be more productive when you return to work with a fresh mind after a day off. You'll have more energy to tackle additional tasks outside of work, and to work on your side gigs to bring in extra income. (See also: 5 Easy Things Science Says You Should Do for Your Body Every Day)

Sleep can save you money, too. You'll make better decisions (financial and otherwise) when you are well-rested. And according to a study by Harvard University, sleeping eight hours or more each night lowers your risk of expensive chronic health problems that can push you straight into debt.

3. Healthy eating

What you eat and how you eat it can save you money, too. For many people, part of self care involves eating healthier by planning meals, grocery shopping for fresh ingredients, and then cooking and eating at home.

Obviously, you will spend less on your food when you prepare it yourself. You will avoid pricey takeout meals that probably aren't as healthy, you'll improve your cooking skills, and you're taking care of your body, which, again, will help lower your risk of contracting any obesity-caused illnesses.

4. Setting goals

When we aren't caring for ourselves in the most basic sense, it can be harder to focus on our financial goals. Being focused and vigilant in one area of our lives can easily trickle into others. So when we're eating right, getting enough rest, and taking care of our bodies, we become more inclined to keep that positive momentum going. We plan ahead. We want to safeguard our future in every sense, including planning for retirement, paying off debt, and making smarter financial choices.

5. Creating boundaries

Maintaining personal boundaries is a huge part of self care, and it can also save us money. Because boundaries help us define what is and is not part of who we are, solid ones help us prevent poor spending decisions like competitive spending with friends, feeling pressured to lend others money, etc. If we value our financial health, then, boundaries will help us spend when we need to but not so much or so often that it negatively impacts our financial future. (See also: 9 Simple Acts of Self-Care for the Sandwich Generation)

Investing in self care doesn't have to be frivolous or luxurious; it often means changing our daily habits so that we are prioritizing our best interests.

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