- Physical health and financial health are both holistic concepts that require dedicated attention from professionals to sustain
- Financial wellness means being satisfied with one’s financial situation and making smart money decisions
- Cultivating a good financial mindset means taking the time to think about how each purchase can benefit the individual in the future
- People who are financially healthy have less stress and enjoy life more, while having the confidence to control their lives
- Measuring financial wellness involves answering questions related to attitudes towards money, control over finances, freedom, and progress towards long-term goals
Being healthy isn't just about avoiding sickness – it's a comprehensive and holistic routine of physical activity, nutrition, and overall well-being.
The same is true regarding financial health: being debt free doesn't necessarily mean you're financially fit.
Just like you need medical professionals to keep your body strong, an experienced financial planner can help strengthen and sustain the wellness of your finances over time. Financial planning, when done right, is an ever-evolving process that needs constant attention.
In fact, the process is very similar for both medical and financial professionals and includes the following:
- Regular check-ups
- Do the work you need to do between appointments
- Contact a professional whenever you have questions, concerns, or a situation that needs immediate attention
Financial health, defined
So what does it mean to be "financially healthy?" It means you're satisfied with your financial situation.
You may not be rich, but you don't lay awake at night worrying about money. You feel pretty good about where you are now and how much you're saving for the future. Sure, you may not have as nice a car or house as your neighbors, but you're comfortable.
You know you're making smart money decisions. Of course, you may indulge yourself occasionally but generally spend wisely.
Most importantly, you have a plan.
How to think about financial wellness
Run your finances like a successful business. To accomplish this, you have to adopt the right mindset.
Think of every dollar you have as your employee. As the CEO, you want to make sure your employees have a purpose and are working hard for you. If they're not pulling their weight, your business could fail. So take a moment to assess their performance—does every dollar have an important job? Is it doing its best work for you?
Easier said than done, right? Try this to start.
Before you buy something, take a moment to think:
- Is it really worth the hours of hard work that went into earning it?
- Will you feel as good about that purchase five years from now as you will five minutes from now?
Sometimes all it takes is a little perspective.
The benefits of financial wellness
Your financial wellness may be only part of who you are, but research has shown that finances are one of the leading causes of stress and can contribute to several physical issues.
People who feel financially healthy reap several benefits, including:
- Feeling less stress
- Are more productive
- Display less absenteeism at work
- Enjoy life more
Most importantly, people who achieve financial wellness are more likely to feel confident that they're in control of their lives.
How to measure financial health
Unlike your credit (FICO) score, which is a single number, your financial wellness isn't a single data point. Instead, it's measured by your answers to questions like these:
- Do I understand my attitudes about money and where those attitudes come from?
- Do my attitudes about money and finances work for me, or do I want to change them?
- Do I feel in control of my finances, or do I feel that my financial situation determines my happiness?
- Do I have the financial freedom to enjoy life today while planning for tomorrow?
- Am I on track to meet my short-term and long-term financial goals?
These questions are only a starting point. But if you answered a resounding “yes,” you could be in good shape.
If you answered “no” to any of them, perhaps it’s time to explore how you can boost your financial fitness with the help of a trained professional.
Click below to get started.