Why is budgeting a form of self care?

It’s the blueprints of the relationship to yourself.

There’s an incredible movement happening in the world. People want to take care of themselves! The fitness industry is a multi billion dollar entity, with no pulse of slowing down.

Just go into any grocery store and you’ll see the change. Where there once was skittles and twix, now sits protein bars. Magazines on fashion now replaced with strong looking women who share their ‘secrets to happy and healthy lives.’

But there’s something that remains the same despite the different products and different values being pushed.

Can you guess what it is?


The Global Wellness Institute completed a study in 2017 that proclaimed the global wellness economy is worth $4.2 trillion. That’s 4x the amount of credit card debt that Americans are in.

This is truly incredible. People are paying TRILLIONS of dollars to feel better about themselves. We’re throwing money at improving our minds, bodies and spirits but unfortunately our elliptical is facing the wrong direction.

At 22 years old, I was wealthier than I had ever been. I was loving life, partying 5x a week and eating at all the nicest places. Attending my first Exhale workout class was like walking into a sanctuary after years roaming the desert. It was clean, beautiful and smelled like cedar and lemon.

I was wearing a big t-shirt and sweatpants. The room was filled with mirrors and as I dispassionately watched myself awkwardly attempt to contort my body, I looked at the women moving gracefully around me. Strong, lean and wearing beautifully fitted workout attire.

My friend who took me to class was wearing the most gorgeous leggings I had ever seen. I said “I need those pants, where did you get them.” Her response: “lululemon, they’re the best.” I was sold.

I walked into lululemon on 66 st and Broadway, with every intention to spend. I dropped over $400 on 2 leggings, a zip up and a headband because “I might wear it when I run.” (I hate running) Also purchasing a yoga mat and a towel. I was ready to start my new life as a fitness person!

As fate would have it, I would end up working at lululemon in New Zealand and I would see the same thing over and over again. People coming in after their first workout class, wanting to fit the part.

When we are children we play dress up. Sometimes we are princes and princesses, sometimes we are witches and action figures. We personify who we wish to be and with a change of a hat, shoes and shirt, there we are. We do the same things as adults. We put on slacks for business events, dresses for weddings and $98 leggings for barre class. “Fake it, till you make it.” And we certainly are faking it.

We are faking it SO hard that 78% of American’s live paycheck to paycheck, those same American’s most likely cannot afford a $500 emergency bill. That means that most of this “stuff” that’s suppose to help us feel good about ourselves is actually helping us rack up more debt. Why is debt bad? Because it’s like taking chains and choosing to place them on your own wrist. When you are in debt you feel like a slave and a prisoner. No celery juice or supplement can take that feeling away. Trust me, I know.

I felt like a prisoner for years. Running away from my debt, pretending it wasn’t there, hoping it would go away. But it didn’t. By the time I left lululemon, my whole wardrobe was worth thousands. I had the best looking clothes on the world and yet as soon as I’d close my eyes to sleep, I’d see the debt monsters coming out to get me.

It took years of hard work and dedication to pay off my debt. Every month felt like both a small victory and torture. Every payment showed me the lack of care I felt for myself. Every dollar I paid back was a reminder that I didn’t believe I deserved to live, let alone thrive. But eventually the clouds parted and my heart could finally see the life I deserved to live. With shovels and concrete I paved the way to my own freedom.

You can look at the numbers and see we are in a crisis, or you can tune in and listen to you inner wisdom. Why do you feel you need things? Why do you want to spend your money? Self care is the art of knowing how to take care of yourself. No face mask is going to help your future children afford college, no activated charcoal is going to set you up for retirement. It is the choices you make today that shape your future. Just as the decisions of my past hung over my head until I was finally ready to deal with them. The only thing left is to figure out who do you want to be and how will you make that happen?

Your relationship with money is a direct lens into your relationship with yourself. Take a pause, take a look within; what do you see?

AJ is a Financial Freedom Coach and the founder of Beyond The Green Coaching. https://www.beyondthegreencoaching.com/