We often consider our physical and mental wellbeing, but there’s something else we need to focus on to be genuinely healthy overall: financial wellness.
Finances can be taboo or uncomfortable to talk about, but it’s also incredibly important, so let’s dig in. Learning to successfully and consistently manage your finances in responsible ways is crucial to overall health. When you don’t control your money well or are in financial trouble, it can lead to stress, anxiety, and fear.
Some of us are left with the burden of debt from college while others merely don’t make enough money. But we don’t need to be investment bankers or rake in six-figure salaries to achieve financial wellness. It’s never too late to develop financially-smart tactics to get into a state of financial wellness.
Suffering from financial stress can cause you to experience the following:
• Resentment: If your debt is a result of your spouse going back to school, losing their job, or even your own anger toward your company for not paying you enough, you may harbor feelings of resentment that tear at you from the inside out.
• Stress: Wondering how you’re going to get by is stressful on its own. Jumping every time an unknown phone number pops up on your phone just adds to it.
• Shame and embarrassment: It doesn’t matter how things have gone astray, the stigma of debt can make us feel isolated.
These feelings are isolating and can wreak havoc on your health and life. There are some steps you can take to make improvements to your situation — and it may take years to revamp your financial situation thoroughly. But knowing you’re taking baby steps in that direction instead of going backward will leave you feeling accomplished, and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel will hopefully lead you through those days.
Stop putting it off
Settle those debts. If needed, find a credit counselor that can help you make a plan and get on track. Make the plan, even if the plan takes years to complete. Just having a plan in place will show you it’s achievable and that alone is an incredible and encouraging feeling.
We get in over our heads when we fling our charge cards around. For the new year, make a fresh start by keeping tabs on what you’re buying and ask yourself before you buy it if it’s 1) necessary and 2) you can afford it. If you can’t, don’t buy it. There is a slew of budgeting apps out there that can help you with this, such as Mint.
Set budget goals to help you get to where you want to be. If you’re paying off a student or car loan, you can set aside a certain amount per month to pay toward it. An app called Digit helps with this.
Cut out excess
Stop spending on things you don’t need — you may want that $5 latte, but you do not NEED it. Even if you cut out that café stop every morning, you’ll save around $100 monthly that you can use to apply to your financial wellness.
Keep your other areas of wellness balanced
Take care of your overall health as you work to repair your financial wellness. It will bring you the balance and strength you need to get you through this.
By exercising good financial habits, you will come out on top in the end. Even doing one thing daily toward your financial wellness can serve to make you feel loads better, so make this a priority going into the New Year and let’s make 2019 different.