How do you afford self care?
Money is not easily come by and it can feel like there are ever increasing demands on your income. So what we choose to spend it on is a big deal. In this article we are thinking about how we make those choices and maybe challenge how we prioritise our budget so we can afford self care.
The feedback from our Midlife Survey* research showed us that for:
81% of respondents price was the main factor influencing their selection of a service provider.
41% of respondents found hidden costs a challenge
“Price is what you pay; value is what you get.” Warren Buffett’s (via Benjamin Graham)
The relationship between price and value is a very personal one. Value is in the eye of the beholder and by that I mean, just because you think something is worth having, someone else may not. A few of my friends love spending large sums of money on handbags and I think they are crazy! But then if I buy a new iphone I justify the cost to myself and others, because I want it. So when we think about spending money on our wellbeing or self care, are we seeing the value? Although we may need it, do we want it enough to allocate the time, effort and money required?
Self care can mean something different to everyone and the great news is that not all of them cost money e.g. time on your own to soak in a hot bath with candles and maybe some music or a walk in a beautiful woodland cost almost nothing. Whereas other wellbeing services can appear out of reach because we perceive them to be ‘too expensive’ e.g. gym membership, a personal trainer, life coach or therapy.
Why is it then when we are allocating our hard earned cash we can easily rationalise £50 on a night out but not on a therapy session? Is it that we understand the value of the night out i.e.instant gratification from being with our friends and maybe a few drinks (this may be part of your self care) ? But when we think about coaching, therapy, a trainer… we realise its not a quick fix. It requires effort, commitment as well as turning up. As a result do we consciously or subconsciously devalue it?
How do I know what is right for me?
Many people have said to us that they can feel overwhelmed by all the options available. This can leave them feeling like they should be doing everything but end up doing nothing, which can make them feel bad.
Here at The Midlife Hub we believe everyone’s needs are different and so by using our Midlife Map to think about what you want, need and why. It will help you to get started and identify the value you are looking for and plan your own approach to your self care. Its a good idea to try a few different things to see what works and what doesn’t but you absolutely don’t have to do them all at once!
In our ‘LEARN’ section we have mini guides to many of the services which may help you to understand what they are and their benefits. Once you have a plan of what you want to try, its then time to sit and consider your budget whilst keeping your idea of value in mind.
Our ‘FIND’ directory of approved members helps you to discover what is available virtually or in your area and because we have included an indication of price on the profile pages you can easily get an idea of how much it may cost. Some services are tailored to each individual and so prices are not shown. In these circumstances we would encourage you to call or email the service provider to have an initial chat.
There are some things to keep in mind:
Higher cost doesn’t always mean value – picking the right options for you is what counts
Online services can be less expensive than face to face
There are many free services so its important to consider the difference between the free option and the privately paid for options
Experience and quality can cost more BUT just because someone charges less doesn’t mean they may not be the perfect fit for you
Our Navigators are here to help. If you want some ideas or help finding what you are looking for, go ahead and book a free appointment with the team via the ‘Plan’ page.
Our experience tells us that identifying what you need and what works for you is what is important. A pick ‘n’ mix of free, low cost and specialised options may give you open up more opportunities than you could have ever imagined.
How do you afford self care?
*The Midlife Survey. March 2020. A poll of 80 people aged 35 – 55 yrs.