Challenging times can inspire us to strengthen community ties and support recovery efforts, together. They can also inspire people to evaluate their lives and take better care of themselves — 80 percent of Americans say they intend to incorporate self-care into their daily routines more regularly after COVID-19.

Given the pandemic’s economic impact, it’s not surprising that many people are seeking improved financial health as well. Experts call it financial self-care, and it’s all about behaving with and experiencing money in a healthier, more fulfilling way. Read on for a checklist of habits that will make it easy to bring financial self-care into your daily practice..

Build a budget — and don’t be afraid to stick to it during tough times.

If the current pandemic has taught us anything it’s that unexpected challenges can creep up at any time. Creating and living by an “emergency” version of your budget today can help you save for tomorrow’s uncertainties. Begin by thinking about the little luxuries you can live with — and without. Understanding the difference between your “wants” and “needs” can make drawing that distinction a little easier.

Save  for tomorrow.

Americans are saving more than ever — the U.S. savings rate recently hit a record 33 percent — but are they saving enough? The standard advice to save three- to six-months’ worth of living expenses may not be enough. Some financial experts advise stocking away six to 12 months of expenses. That may sound daunting, but it’s possible. Small habits can add up to big savings.

Set financial goals.

Taking a long-term approach can keep you on track and help manage any stress you’re feeling as a result of shifting economic times. This is particularly true if you are more than five years away from retirement — long-term savings are meant to endure market ups and downs. And while now may not be the time to prioritize quickly paying down debt over building emergency savings, making small changes to improve your credit is an evergreen financial goal.

Your money mindset matters. 

Wanting to achieve better financial health and security is an understandable goal.. But trying to do too much, too quickly can create feelings of stress, anxiety and even depression. A healthier approach to financial self-care involves taking small steps towards meaningful change. Remember, financial health is a marathon — not a sprint..

Tackling your personal finances may seem intimidating — especially when you’re stressed. But like any new habit, working towards improved financial health takes practice. Incorporating these behaviors into your financial routine can put you on the path to financial well-being.

For more information and resources from FirstBank about maintaining your financial health during COVID-19, visit: www.efirstbankblog.com/coronavirus.

This page may contain links to external websites. These links are displayed for your convenience. FirstBank does not manage these sites and assumes no responsibility for the content, links, privacy policy, or security policy.