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Sure, you’ve come across buzzwords like work-life balance, self-care Sundays, and positive affirmations. However, have you ever encountered the concept of “financial wellness”? It’s time to take a break from your face masks and meditation pillows. There’s a distinct form of self-care that has the potential to revolutionize your life. According to a survey by Bank of America, more than half of companies now provide financial wellness programs, and prominent institutions like UCLA have introduced financial wellness initiatives for their students.
While these programs might seem exclusive to corporate America or confined to Wall Street professionals and bankers, financial wellness is a concept that transcends these boundaries. On this week’s episode of The Everygirl Podcast, we had the privilege of discussing financial wellness with Monique White, a personal finance expert, to gain valuable insights into how anyone can incorporate financial wellness into their self-care routine. Read on to discover the significance of this well-being factor and be sure to tune in to this week’s podcast episode for more.
What is Financial Wellness?
In essence, financial wellness is precisely what it sounds like: a state of healthy finances. It involves feeling equipped to handle any financial crisis, managing debt, understanding your income and expenses, and maintaining a stress-free financial situation, regardless of your income level. However, financial well-being extends beyond having “enough” money and knowing how to manage it. Unlike financial literacy, financial wellness acknowledges that money is not the final destination; it is a tool we use to lead our happiest, healthiest lives. Monique aptly noted in The Everygirl Podcast, “When it comes to money, there’s a lot to unpack. We have to make sure everything is working together so that we can be financially secure and feel confident.”
Money essentially serves as a system of exchange, representing the time, energy, passion, and experiences we invest in our lives. How we manage, invest, and spend our money not only shapes our future finances but also sends a subconscious message about the value of our life’s energy.
Why is Financial Wellness Important?
If you’ve been compartmentalizing your bubble baths and superfood lattes away from concerns like tax season and your individual retirement account (IRA), it’s time to reevaluate your perspective. Consider your well-being as a pie chart, with slices dedicated to nutrition, fitness, stress relief, strong relationships, fulfilling work, and finance. Financial wellness is a vital component of your well-being because it profoundly influences our lives.
Financial stress is one of the most common stressors, and chronic stress, as many of us know, can have adverse effects on our health and well-being. Financial anxiety doesn’t merely impact your bank balance and spending habits; it can seep into various aspects of your life, affecting big purchases, healthcare decisions, and relationships.
Beyond alleviating the stress associated with poor financial wellness, understanding and practicing good financial wellness provides a valuable tool for enhancing our lives. It involves using your money to create happiness, build a home, support a family, and gain enriching experiences. It also encompasses spending on your health, including necessary healthcare, gym memberships, or wellness practices like acupuncture.
The ultimate goal is not just to accumulate wealth; it’s about spending that wealth wisely throughout your life to maximize your well-being and happiness. This doesn’t mean reckless spending but rather ensuring that, at the end of your life, you can look back on decades filled with experiences, memories, and happiness resulting from how you used your money. The beauty of financial wellness is that it can be integrated into your self-care routine, regardless of your income or financial situation.
Tips to Enhance Financial Wellness:
Budget Based on Joy:
Align your spending with what truly brings you joy. Focus on investments and purchases that enhance your happiness rather than mindless spending.
A lack of financial education can lead to stress. Take the initiative to learn about various financial aspects, such as different account types, debt management, and your financial capabilities. Consider financial literacy programs offered by your employer, university, or online courses.
Invest in Yourself:
Money can be an investment. Spend your money on experiences, services, or products that contribute to your well-being. Investing in something often increases your commitment to maintaining that healthy habit.
Regularly Monitor Your Finances:
Make it a habit to review your credit card statements, checking accounts, and other financial records regularly. This practice can reduce stress by identifying issues promptly and providing better control over your finances.
Maintain Open Communication:
Talk about money with your peers and build a support system. Discussing budgeting, fair compensation, or financial issues with friends can provide valuable insights and support for your financial wellness journey.
Prioritize saving by automating the process. Set up automatic transfers to your savings account with each paycheck. This helps you achieve both short-term goals and long-term financial security.
Spend for Happiness:
Rearrange your budget to accommodate spending that genuinely makes you happier. Whether it’s a spa day, a time-saving service, or simply switching from expensive daily coffee runs to more affordable alternatives, ensure that your spending aligns with your well-being.
Financial wellness goes beyond managing money; it’s a tool for enhancing your overall quality of life, regardless of your income. Prioritize your financial well-being and integrate it into your self-care routine to achieve a happier, healthier life.