Overcome money worries
Balances money emotions
With practical skills
These three short sentences (written in the style of a haiku poem) get to the essence of what’s important around money. For someone who is rushed or juggling many priorities, they offer at least signposts to a better relationship with money. For those with a bit more time, this blog unpacks each of these issues in a bit more detail.
The concept of financial wellness grew out of and is associated with the broader turn towards wellness in its many forms, including physical fitness, diet, exercise, mental health and (for some) spirituality. In many ways this is long overdue, as money is closely related to a number of these forms of wellness, for example the impact of money worries on anxiety and workplace sick leave. Money can also fund negative lifestyle choices leading to over drinking and over eating. The addition of financial wellbeing to other forms of self-awareness and self-care adds another layer to the holistic approach associated with the wellness movement.
The money emotions element of financial wellness is particularly powerful. Such emotions are shaped by strong external forces, including the home environment and the broader culture and society. In particular the pressure to consume is ever-present. The family environment, social and media mould peoples’ internal money mindset. For some this means hoarding money, for others over-spending to make up for a lack of self-worth and for yet others using money as a form of control within a household.
One gateway to building a more positive relationship with money is through building practical money knowledge and skills. By creating simple money habits people can begin to gain control over their money emotions. For example, recording income and expenditure and tracking money in some detail can explain where money goes when it “always disappears” by the end of the month. Growing confidence around budgeting might then lead to more informed decisions around important life decisions such as mortgages, pensions and insurance.
As individuals better understand their emotional relationship with money their financial vocabulary improves which might, in turn, enable them to engage in easier money discussions with other household members. They might also begin to develop other positive money habits, such as thinking about longer term financial plans and goals. This combination of improved money emotions and money skills can transform lives and strengthen relationships.
If you want to find out more about financial wellness, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org