4 Simple Steps to Financial Wellness
Financial worries keeping you up at night? What if you could put your money woes to bed and sleep soundly knowing you’re on the right track to financial wellness? You can! By implementing a few healthy financial habits, you’ll change the way you see and spend money. And maybe even change your future.
We believe that these 4 key money principles will help you stress less about cash and experience the “more” that money truly has to offer. There’s a healthy habit to get you started too.
It’s a stark thought, but remember that you came into this world with nothing, and ultimately, you’ll leave the same way. So whatever you have in this life is a gift to you, for now. That doesn’t mean you should blow all your money living your “best life.” But rather means that you can approach your finances, resources, relationships and health as if you’re the steward of a borrowed farm. Do your best to look after what you’ve been given – tend to it, grow it and respect it – but don’t hold it too tightly. Be a good custodian of your resources so that you, and the generations that follow you, will be set up for success.
Here’s the habit you can put into practice to build stewardship into your life:
Spend less than you earn.
Take a good look at your salary, build a strong budget, and make sure that the expenses don’t overtake the income. It’s hard, but start small and slowly build up your emergency savings, school funds and investment portfolio.
When you chase the status quo you’ll always end up last. Choose to find satisfaction in what you have, and what you’ve already achieved. Yes, have your goals, and stick to the path to get them. But don’t get caught up in comparison and the more-more-more race that easily sucks us in. When you choose contentment, it’s a lot easier to say no to unnecessary spending.
Here’s the habit you can put into practice to build contentment into your life:
Do all you can to live within your means, and steer clear of pathways into debt you don’t need. As always, the good debt of a mortgage for an appreciating asset (like a house) is nothing to avoid. But always aim to evade bad debt (like credit card debt). You’ll sleep better knowing you’re not hounded by repayments you can’t afford.
The way we see money and its purpose, our worldview, is crucial to creating a healthy relationship with our finances. There are a lot of emotions that come with budgeting, spending and generally handling your money. So make sure you understand your motivators, values and purpose, so that your financial management and goals can align and carry you forward.
Here’s the habit you can put into practice for greater financial wellness:
Every dollar has a purpose
Set up your long term financial goals – write them down, speak them out and plan for them. These may look like an education fund for your kids, or an emergency fund or retirement fund. Whatever they are, if you’ve got the big picture you can plot the path to get there. Think small, incremental steps. That way, when you’re stashing that cash instead of spending it, you’ll remember that every dollar has a purpose. The amount doesn’t matter, as long as each dollar you put away, or spend, or give to others has a purpose that aligns with your worldview on money and your purpose in this life.
Our last principle is all about others. Giving (and living) generously ties into stewardship because we don’t really own anything. We’re merely holding onto it for a period of time. And so giving generously allows money to continuously flow in and out of your life. And it enables you to give to others that may need it more at that point in time – nothing better than helping others, right?
Here’s the habit you can put into practice to build generosity into your life:
Begin creating room in your budget (and daily life) to make sure that you have time and money for things that may creep up. Practically speaking, this may be not overscheduling yourself. Or for example, if you plan a trip and have a budget of $2 000, aim to only spend $1 800. Keep that 200 bucks as margin in case something unexpected happens. There may come a time where that little extra surplus allows you to meet someone else’s need. Margin gives you breathing room, reduces stress and allows for spontaneous memories and generous gifts.
Which habit will you start with? Whatever you choose, we know that as you implement these consistently, like brushing your teeth, they’ll become second nature and open up a world of financial wellness like never before.