Money Mindfulness: Practicing Financial Self-Care

Full length shot of beautiful, happy young woman sitting on the cozy sofa with hands behind head, looking away, smiling and daydreaming.

The prevalence of self-care messaging reminds us to nurture our physical and mental well-being—with mindfulness practices, exercise routines, and virtual detoxing. But what about financial self-care?

When we cultivate positive money habits and plan for our future we are (quite literally) investing in ourselves. Financial self-care is rooted in self-awareness, discipline, and intentionality. Here are several ways you can practice financial self-care, starting now.

Build a Budget
Building a budget is akin to giving yourself the gift of clarity: it allows you to track expenses, identify potential areas where you can trim spending, and allocate funds to help you achieve financial goals. Rather than seeing budgeting as a restrictive practice, frame it as a tool that grants you freedom to spend where it matters. Connect with your financial institution to see what budgeting tools they offer and check out this interactive budgeting worksheet in the meantime.

Create an Emergency Fund
More than half of Americans fear they wouldn’t be able to cover daily living expenses for a month if they lost their income tomorrow, according to a recent Bankrate survey. Invest in your future peace of mind: set up an automatic, recurring savings deposit with the goal of setting three to six months’ worth of living expenses aside. If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, you can start small by setting aside 2% of your net income and gradually increasing your contribution rate when possible.

Tackle Debt
With recent federal interest rate hikes, borrowing costs have reached historic highs which means even your debt is costing you more money. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you’re not alone. Taking proactive steps towards debt reduction can improve your financial health and significantly reduce your stress. Unsure where to begin? Explore a Debt Management Program, designed to pay off your debt in 3-5 years and deepen your financial resilience.

Plan for Retirement
If your employer offers a 401(k)-retirement plan, take advantage of this benefit (especially if your company matches part or all of your contribution). Don’t have a workplace retirement account? You can still open a Roth IRA—a tax-advantaged retirement savings account. If you find it challenging to save throughout the year, consider setting aside part or all of your tax refund as a way to begin investing without impacting your day-to-day budget.

Get Educated
One of the most empowering aspects of financial self-care is education. Chat with your financial institution about what resources they offer. If you want to explore courses and are worried about costs, take advantage of free financial education online. Whether you’re preparing to buy a home or navigating your auto loan, these sessions offer jargon-free, shame-free guidance to help you reach your financial goals.

This article is shared by our partners at GreenPath Financial Wellness, a trusted national non-profit.

How to Prepare for and Navigate a Recession

Piggy bank floating in the ocean on a life preserver

An economic recession is something that is out of our control. However, we can control how we plan, prepare, and respond. When the worst happens, the following money-saving tips will be lifesaving to have in your back pocket.

1. Maintain a Savings Account for Emergencies
If you haven’t already, now is the time to start saving for a rainy day. Having a backup emergency fund set aside solely for the purpose of helping you get through a financial hardship will be tremendously helpful in the event of an economic recession. If possible, it’s recommended that you have 3 to 6 months’ worth of wages saved up, so that a large, unexpected expense doesn’t result in running up your credit balances without the means to pay it off.

2. Pay Off Your Debts with a Budget
Debt can feel like carrying a heavy burden on your back. That weight will only be intensified in the event of a recession, being that the uncertainty of external factors (like job security and interest rate spikes) could make it harder to pay down your debt. The first step you should take to become debt-free is to establish an accurate budget that will help you manage incoming and outgoing resources.

3. Downsize
If you can feel a recession approaching in the imminent future, it might be time to start thinking about living a more frugal lifestyle (which might not be as difficult as it sounds). Downsizing can be an extremely advantageous strategy, because if you can learn to make do with less now, you’ll increase your savings and start preparing for a time when you’ll need to cut back.

4. Diversify Your Income
The phrase, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” rings true in the event of an economic recession. Uncertainty is high, and it’s better to be safe than sorry. It might be a good idea to investigate additional forms of income (bonus points if they involve activities you enjoy!) Try dog-walking, babysitting, or perhaps think about selling the empty furniture set that’s collecting dust in your spare bedroom. Whatever it may be, having a second or even third income flow will only give you more security when everything else in life isn’t guaranteed.

It’s never too late to start planning and preparing for an economic downturn – you’ll be thanking yourself in the long run. If you need further assistance or advice, visit our Retirement and Investment Resource Center to schedule a no-obligation meeting with our experienced Financial Professional, Wendy Cundari.*

*Wendy Cundari is a registered representative with, and securities and advisory services are offered through LPL Financial (LPL), a registered investment advisor and broker-dealer (member FINRA/SIPC). Insurance products are offered through LPL or its licensed affiliates. Wheelhouse Credit Union and Wheelhouse Investment Services are not registered as a broker-dealer or investment advisor. Registered representatives of LPL offer products and services using Wheelhouse Investment Services, and may also be employees of Wheelhouse Credit Union. These products and services are being offered through LPL or its affiliates, which are separate entities from, and not affiliates of, Wheelhouse Credit Union or Wheelhouse Investment Services.

Securities and insurance products offered through LPL or its affiliates are:
Not Insured by NCUA or Any Government Agency
Not Credit Union Guaranteed
Not Credit Union Deposits or Obligations
May Lose Value

The LPL Financial registered representatives associated with this website may discuss and/or transact business only with residents of the states in which they are properly registered or licensed. No offers may be made or accepted from any resident of any other state.

Fun and Free Things to do in San Diego

Mission Beach Boardwalk

1. Beaches
San Diego’s beaches are continuously ranked among the best in the nation and are always completely free to enjoy. Build a sandcastle, catch some waves, or just take a nap in the sun – summer days were meant to be spent at the beach.

2. La Jolla Cove
This tucked-away stretch of sand nestled under La Jolla’s rocky cliffs is¬¬¬ the ideal spot for a beach day. After you take a swim in the idyllic cove and explore the sea caves, head over to the Children’s Pool and say hello to the famous herd of sea lions basking and barking in the sun.

3. San Diego Symphony Rehearsals at Rady Shell at Jacobs Park
The San Diego Symphony regularly has rehearsals at the new and beautiful Rady Shell at Jacobs Park and, lucky for you, they are open to the public and free for anyone to enjoy! Take in the stunning scenery of one of San Diego’s most beautiful concert venues while listening to the classical notes of the full orchestra. See a schedule of upcoming rehearsals at theshell.org or google “San Diego Symphony Open Rehearsal Schedule.”

4. Museum of Contemporary Art – La Jolla
Are you a fan of the arts? The Museum of Contemporary Art just opened a stunning new location in La Jolla, and admission is “on the house” on select days out of the month! Visit the museum and walk through the exhibits for free on the second Sunday and third Tuesday of each month.

5. Organ Concerts at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion
The perfect Sunday includes a stroll around beautiful Balboa Park, maybe a picnic under a shady tree, and a free concert at the historic Spreckels Organ Pavilion. Every Sunday at 2 p.m., all are welcome to gather and enjoy an hour-long organ performance. Don’t forget to bring blankets, seat cushions, shade hats and sun umbrellas to make your concert experience the best it can be. Music-loving pets are welcome, too!

6. Mission Beach Boardwalk
The Mission Beach Boardwalk is the place to be every weekend, especially if you like to skateboard, bike, rollerblade, or even just walk with amazing ocean views right in front of you. Cruise down the nearly two-mile stretch of oceanfront boardwalk, pick up a game of sand volleyball at the open courts on the south end of Mission Beach, and then end your day with a stroll around Belmont Park – the perfect recipe for a flawless San Diego-esque day.

7. Self-Guided Tours of the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center
Got an athlete in the family? Take a trip to San Diego’s Southbay and enjoy a free self-guided tour of the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center, a U.S. Olympic and Paralympic training site. Stroll down the mile-long Olympic Path any day of the week between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., and observe the center’s beautiful venues and activities, including a BMX track and archery range. You might even see rowers training out on Otay Lake!

8. Mountain Hikes
Although it’s known for its beaches, San Diego offers a collection of great mountain hikes that will take you to high peaks and stunning views. If you’re looking for a workout, try Potato Chip Rock or Iron Mountain. Moderate strolls more your thing? Take a walk around picturesque Calavera Lake or try the Los Penasquitos Canyon Trail, a flat hike that leads to a beautiful waterfall.

9. Bird Watching
San Diego has more species of birds than any other place in the continental United States! More than 500 species either call our city home year-round or stop by on their migration path in the fall or spring. You’re bound to find some luck bird watching at one of our region’s many wetland reserves, including the Tijuana Estuary, Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, and the Famosa Slough in Point Loma.

10. Balboa Park Resident Free Days
Beautiful Balboa Park museums offer free general admission on a rotating basis each month to San Diego County residents, and to active military personnel and their dependents. Every Tuesday you can visit a different museum, like the Fleet Science Center and the Japanese Friendship Garden, for free! See the full list of select museums and Resident Free Days at balboapark.org or google “Balboa Park Resident Free Days.”

See the full list of fun and free activities to do in San Diego here.

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