Note that the situation for student loans has changed due to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak and relief efforts from the government, student loan lenders and others. Check out our Student Loan Hero Coronavirus Information Center for additional news and details.
* * *
Money issues can be one of the greatest stressors in life. Unfortunately, high levels of stress can lead to poor money choices, which in turn creates even more anxiety. To break this cycle, it’s important to invest in personal and financial self-care.
Making self-care a priority can improve your well-being, which can help you feel more empowered to manage your finances. Here are some self-care ideas that can make you healthier mentally, emotionally, physically and financially.
Financial self-care ideas for better discipline
First, what is self-care?
“The term self-care describes the actions that an individual might take in order to reach optimal physical and mental health,” according to therapist directory site GoodTherapy.org. They can be small, simple actions that help you maintain your well-being.
This state of well-being will often boost your ability to make positive financial choices.
“Reducing stress may provide someone with more time and energy to concentrate on their finances and not add to the stress,” said money coach Lisa Chastain.
Here then, are seven financial self-care moves to look at:
1. Budget for self-care
2. Carefully time financial decisions
3. Maintain your physical health
4. Ground yourself in the present
5. Set and maintain boundaries
6. Enlist a financial mentor
7. Invest in professional help
Money is a resource, and sometimes it can be used to trade for other resources you lack, like time or energy. Carve out some room in your budget for personal and financial self-care. Use this fund as a guilt-free way to nurture and care for yourself.
Even a small amount can allow you to treat yourself to inexpensive pleasures. If you can afford to, you might budget more to invest in building a skill through cooking classes. Or you can pay to offload a chore that stresses you out, like hiring someone to walk your dog during the day so you don’t have to rush home from work.
You want to time your financial decisions and tasks for times when you’re feeling good instead of running on fumes. People who are stressed typically “lack clarity on what they are creating financially for themselves versus making a decision to ease the stress,” said Chastain. It’s similar to the advice not to grocery shop when you’re hungry.
Check in with yourself before you sit down to work on your finances. Physically, check that you’re fed, hydrated and well-rested. Make sure you feel well emotionally — confident, empowered and encouraged.
Take stock of your mental resources, like willpower and brainpower. If something’s amiss, take a break and address your needs before tackling your money problems.
Sufficient sleep, a healthy diet and regular exercise are cornerstones of a self-care regimen.
“Exercise gives people a great outlet for stress relief, and helps you think clearly,” said Stefan Taylor, founder of mental health site ADHD Boss.
As investing titan Warren Buffett said, “You only get one mind and one body — and it’s got to last a lifetime.” When you care for your body, you lower stress and sharpen your mind — your most valuable financial tool.
“People under stress usually avoid and find ways to numb,” Chastain said. If you tend to vacillate between manic money panic or dead-inside despair, try taking a moment to ground yourself.
Deep breathing is a simple but effective tool to increase oxygen and stay present in the moment, Taylor said. “And, since thinking about the future is a constant source of anxiety, staying mindful or present to the moment can help people make smarter financial decisions,” he added.
An important principle of self-care is creating and enforcing healthy social boundaries. These boundaries help you keep other people’s choices, opinions or lifestyles from influencing your financial choices. And they ensure your well-being, including your financial health, is not sacrificed for others.
Setting these financial boundaries can be hard but important. You might decline to lend money to a family member. Maybe you renegotiate how you split expenses with your significant other, if it’s become a bit one-sided. Or it could be smaller and simpler, like unfollowing a big spender on social media to whom you’re always comparing yourself.
When you’re working on your finances, having a point person to talk things through and brainstorm money solutions can be invaluable. Pick someone who you trust and who has sound financial judgment and ask if they’re willing to be your sounding board for money management.
It can make financial decisions less daunting, lessen the mental load on you and give you some much-needed support.
In addition to getting support from a friend or family member, think about investing in professional help. If your finances are a mess, meeting with a financial planner can help you offload some of your money labor and find clever solutions you might not otherwise know about.
For some people, mental health issues can be the main issue affecting both their well-being and their finances. If you struggle with mood or mental disorders from depression to ADHD, there’s really no substitute for professional help.
By working with a therapist, you can get help with setting goals and making a self-care plan. Therapy also gives you a safe place through feelings of anger, fear and shame. And you can get evaluated for any medications or other therapies.
By implementing self-care ideas, you’ll improve your well-being and lower stress. And soon enough, your efforts at self-care will pay off.
“People who are calm and in charge of their life ultimately make smarter choices with their money,” Chastain said.
Make your mental and emotional health a priority, and you’ll also enhance your financial wellness.
Rebecca Safier contributed to this report.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2020!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|1.89% – 6.66%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.89% – 5.90%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.25% – 6.09%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.99% – 5.34%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.97% – 8.54%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.39% – 6.01%||Undergrad |
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews! |
1 Important Disclosures for Splash Financial.
Splash Financial Disclosures
Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. If approved, your actual rate will be within a range of rates and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, income and other factors. Refinancing or consolidating private and federal student loans may not be the right decision for everyone. Federal loans carry special benefits not available for loans made through Splash Financial, for example, public service loan forgiveness and economic hardship programs, fee waivers and rebates on the principal, which may not be accessible to you after you refinance. The rates displayed may include a 0.25% autopay discount.
The information you provide to us is an inquiry to determine whether we or our lenders can make a loan offer that meets your needs. If we or any of our lending partners has an available loan offer for you, you will be invited to submit a loan application to the lender for its review. We do not guarantee that you will receive any loan offers or that your loan application will be approved. Offers are subject to credit approval and are available only to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rates, which are available to the most qualified borrowers. Participating lenders, rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice.
To check the rates and terms you qualify for, Splash Financial conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, the lender will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.
Splash Financial and our lending partners reserve the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen and meet our lending partner’s underwriting requirements. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. This information is current as of October 1, 2020.
2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
All credit products are subject to credit approval.
Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.
As used throughout these Terms & Conditions, the term “Lender” refers to KeyBank National Association and its affiliates, agents, guaranty insurers, investors, assigns, and successors in interest.
Assumptions: Repayment examples above assume a loan amount of $10,000 with repayment beginning immediately following disbursement. Repayment examples do not include the 0.25% AutoPay Discount.
Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): This term represents the actual cost of financing to the borrower over the life of the loan expressed as a yearly rate.
Interest Rate: A simple annual rate that is applied to an unpaid balance.
Variable Rates: The current index for variable rate loans is derived from the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) and changes in the LIBOR index may cause your monthly payment to increase. Borrowers who take out a term of 5, 7, or 10 years will have a maximum interest rate of 9%, those who take out a 15 or 20-year variable loan will have a maximum interest rate of 10%.
KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
This information is current as of December 1, 2020. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
4 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 2.98% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.49% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 1.99% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.34% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of October 26, 2020, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 10/26/2020. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at [email protected], or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
© 2020 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
5 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised variable APR is only available for loan terms of 5 years and is reserved for applicants with FICO scores of at least 810.
As of 11/13/2020 student loan refinancing rates range from 1.97% to 8.54% Variable APR with AutoPay and 2.95% to 8.77% Fixed APR with AutoPay.