Financial wellness is often the forgotten wellness pillar, yet it is crucial to being happy and healthy in life. By focusing on being more financially well, we are able to positively impact our mental and physical health, as well as our loved ones around us. Just like with fitness, being more financially well involves making simple changes to your money habits that you incorporate into everyday life. Here our 5 steps you can take to better your financial wellbeing.
- Know Your Numbers
We need to know where we are as a baseline. Take a piece of paper or open your notes section of your phone and write down your key financial numbers. Start off with the big four:
- Assets, such as your owned property, savings accounts, pensions
Knowing these numbers brings comfort and acceptance - even if the numbers aren’t where you want them to be right now. We have a starting point!
- Follow a simple strategy
Now you know what the numbers are, you need a plan with what to do with them. For example, by growing the gap between income and expenses i.e. spending less than you make, you can put the difference (in The Financielle Playbook we call it the “Excess”) to your goals. This immediately improves your financial wellbeing as you have more room to breathe each month and to make progress on the things that are important to you.
The way we do this? A budget. As flexible or as restrictive as you wish - personal finance is 90% personal, 10% finance, so you get to choose the pace and progress of your money journey.
Start a budget today and see if you can grow your Excess, then watch the impact this has on your mental wellbeing (never mind your bank balance!)
- Set some goals
Financial wellbeing goals are not the usual numerical targets such as “Become a millionaire by 40”. Instead, they tend to be linked to things that make us feel better, such as having a 6 month emergency fund saved, becoming debt free or being on track for retirement. You need to set a goal to know where you are going, but it needn’t be an overwhelming financial goal.
- Check your security
An important wrap around to the simple financial strategy above is to make sure you have the right security to support you during your financial wellness journey. Ensuring you have the right lower level insurances, such as home or car insurance, all the way up to making sure you have adequate life insurance cover to look after your loved ones after you are gone - a cornerstone of financial wellbeing is making sure you are protected. Take the time to do a policy audit - a couple of hours can lead to a lifetime of reassurance and satisfaction.
- Practice daily gratitude
When we focus on the things that make us happy, it’s not usually material things. It could be being with friends, cooking a beautiful meal or it could be going for a walk in the sunshine. It doesn’t actually take that much money to make us demonstrably happier and this can be reinforced by us being proactively grateful on a daily basis for the things we have and the things that bring us joy.
By ensuring we are financially well, it means we can focus on the more important things in life, like protecting our loved ones.
Laura Pomfret - Co-founder - Financielle