Happy Place is a brand-new editorial series dedicated to helping you live your happiest, healthiest life at home. Every week for 4 months, we’re sharing quick, doable, and not-at-all-preachy tips that wellness pros, home decor experts, and Apartment Therapy editors actually use (really!). Sign up now to get 16 weeks of actionable advice in your inbox.
Happy Place is created independently by our editorial team and generously underwritten by Yogi® Tea.
When you think about self care, balancing your check book probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. A bubble bath and a glass of wine? Yes. But reviewing your credits and debits for the week? Not so much.
Vrinda Gupta, founder of Sequin, a card specifically designed to help women build credit, wants to change that.
“Finances tend to have a negative connotation, but I think we need to reframe the narrative and change our mindset,” she says. “How can we do things that are nourishing for our financial health in the same way that we do things that are nourishing for our physical health and mental health?”
Naturally, she has a few ideas. Keep reading (and listen in) to find out how to make financial wellness a form of self-care.
Build Credit in Your Own Name
The most important thing, according to Vrinda, is to make sure you are building credit in your own name. This may seem obvious, but it’s disproportionately a problem for women. “Women recognize the need for credit to achieve our life goals whether that’s starting a business, supporting or family, or buying a house or car,” she says. At the same time, women are more likely to be an authorized user on a parent or partner’s card, or to spend money on non-credit-building tools.
The most straightforward way to start building credit and financial empowerment is to open a traditional credit card — and pay it off in full every month or even every week. (More on that below).
Set a Weekly Date with Your Finances
For Vrinda, Friday night is for her weekly credit ritual. “You can have it any day,” she says, “but I always think of Fridays as wrapping up the week and it’s a nice way to wrap up the week and go into the weekend.”
She makes it feel like a real ritual by stacking her check-in with other acts of self-care. First, she takes a hip-hop class which is all about body positivity, unleashing the feminine, and just having fun. Then, she sits down, maybe pours a glass of wine or lights a candle, and reviews her spending for the week.
It doesn’t have to take very long; it’s just a few moments of looking at your transactions, checking for fraud, and, ideally paying off your credit card balance. “Those micro-actions are really powerful,” she says. And the more you do them, the easier they become.
Make Finances a Part of the Conversation
Talking about finances is often considered taboo, but Vrinda thinks we should be more open about money matters. “I feel like I know all these intimate details in my girlfriend’s lives, but I have no idea how what products they’re using or if they’ve struggled with debt,” she says. Just opening up that conversation and making a safe space to talk about finances is really, really important.”
Ready to find your happy place? Sign up for the newsletter!