Whether you’re a fan of Valentine’s Day or not, it’s impossible to avoid. (I’m the emoji with the heart eyes all year round so safe to assume, I’m a fan!)
And while traditionally it’s all about love for others, what about self-love, and in particular, self love of the financial variety?
Because, let’s be honest, how often do we betray ourselves, treating ourselves worse than we would others? Demanding more of ourselves than is reasonable, or accepting things that we’d advise our besties not to?
Sometimes it shows up like this:
Saying yes to things we don’t want to do, using up time and subsequently money that we don’t have
Taking on unpaid or low paid work, because we don’t want to hurt someone else’s feelings
Failing to speak up and ask for the pay rises, promotions and remuneration we know we’ve earned and deserve
Ignoring, or deprioritising our financial planning because we’re ‘too busy’ and subsequently storing up problems for later life?
Not treating ‘no’ as a complete sentence.
In isolation, our struggle to prioritise financial self-love is bad enough. However when you consider recent news such as calls to extend the retirement age and potential changes to our basic working rights, along with ongoing gender pay, investment and pension gaps, we’re facing a perfect storm of factors that could cause lasting damage.
With the stakes so high, can we continue to fall short when it comes to our self-love?
I’ve got many thoughts on where some of this stuff comes from and why lots of us find it so difficult to break.
Given the relationship between psychology and money, I recognise it’s not as easy as saying ‘know your worth’ either (though you absolutely should know that this is high!).
Instead, start by making a list of some of the ways you hope to improve financially this year.
Pick one item off the list and set yourself a realistic timeframe for completing it.
For you it might be tracking down your pensions, or setting up a new stocks and shares ISA in the next tax year, just eight weeks away.
Whatever it is just pick one thing, focus on it relentlessly before moving on to the next.
Not all self-love looks the same. But getting your finances in order is certain to smooth the journey for every other way you might show love. Think of it like the oxygen mask on a plane – if you don’t get yours on, you can’t help anyone else. Funny how radical that seems in our minds isn’t it?