Getting Started on Financial Wellness

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Many of us spend a fair amount of time taking care of our health in different ways: physically, mentally, spiritually, and more. But perhaps we ought to consider another significant area of our wellness: finances. According to the Financial Health Institute as documented by Ally (2015), three-quarters of Americans report finances as a main cause of stress. Now is the time to dedicate thoughts, energy, and time into ensuring we have financial wellness. With day-to-day bills, college tuition, saving for retirement, and health care costs, knowing how to get started with financial wellness can be difficult.

What is Financial Wellness?

According to Tom Rath and Jim Harter-- the leaders of workplace well-being research for Gallup, financial wellness is defined as “effectively managing your economic life” (Tabb, 2015). Key elements include: understanding spending within your means, preparing for emergencies by having a set amount in savings (usually a minimum of six months of income), being educated on investing tools and opportunities, and devising a plan for your future.

Misconceptions About Financial Wellness

There are many common misconceptions when it comes to our personal finances. We may feel intimidated or wonder where to even begin on this task.

The first thing to understand is that everyone should partake in financial planning. It is not limited to a certain phase of life or economic class. Even if you have debt, it is possible to manage finances and still plan for the future.

Many people believe that the whole idea of building wealth and planning for retirement is too complicated for the average person. Dave Ramsey, author, radio host, and television personality notoriously says, “Personal finance is 80% behavior and only 20% head knowledge.” Successful financial wealth building does not require a great body of knowledge, but rather some knowledge, and more practically, discipline.

There is much to cover to ensure good financial wellness. Future Forward Thinking articles will cover how to assess your current financial situation, formulate a workable and actionable budget, understand different investing opportunities, and plan for retirement including estate planning. Follow along in this series to learn more about building financial wellness.

 

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Written by Brenda Forde, CPA, MBA, Program Chair Undergraduate and Graduate Accounting, Forbes School of Business & Technology™

References

Ally. (2015, January 16). Financial Wellness Programs:  The Link Between Health and Wealth, Retrieved from https://www.ally.com/do-it-right/money/financial-wellness-programs-the-link-between-health-and-wealth/

Tabb, J. (2015, December 15). What is Financial Wellness? Questis. Retrieved from:  https://www.myquestis.com/what-is-financial-wellness/

 

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