Have you ever avoided opening your bank account, delayed paying bills, or kept constantly taking out your credit card? Don’t worry – you’re not alone: procrastinating with finances is a common habit among adults.
Despite our hesitancy to face our finances, financial wellness is an integral part of our holistic health. Financial health, according to the scientific definition, refers to one’s ability to manage expenses, prepare for and recover from financial shocks, and to maintain minimal debt, while still being in a position to build wealth. Maintaining a healthy balance in all areas of our lives is important, because when we neglect one part of our overall wellness, other parts struggle as well.
But on the flip side, when we take care of our financial wellness, other areas of our lives also improve, such as our mental and even physical health. Yes, you read that right! Financial stress can impact our physical and mental health negatively, whereas financial safety and wellness acts in favor of improving our holistic health. Remember: increased financial wellness correlates with better health outcomes.
A Look at Financial Wellness
So what does it mean to be financially well? According to research, there are subjective and objective factors. The subjective aspects rely on self-assessment, such as how satisfied we feel towards our finances, financial attitudes, and behaviors. Objective factors refer to our financial situation, such as debt, income, non-income sources of money, and savings.
Simply put, financial security means having enough money to sustain our lifestyle. It means we feel secure in our finances, in what we can and cannot afford. Although this feeling of security remains the same in most cases, the financial behavior to achieve wellness and security can vary a lot from person to person.
Financial Management and Health
For some, simply thinking about finances can bring up feelings of concern. For example, how can our minds be at ease when we’re worried about paying rent? How can we enjoy our vacation if we feel guilty about spending the money? In other cases, the thought might be seen in a positive way i.e. people who experience less economic stress reported fewer illnesses and needed fewer sick leave days from work!
Even though it might not be the most exciting task in the world, and maybe even a little intimidating, looking at the reality of your financial situation and tackling it head-on calls for your financial capability. This requires using your knowledge and skills to act, manage your finances, aim for financial wellness and potentially improve your health and wellbeing.
If this feels overwhelming or impossible to achieve, don’t panic – that’s natural! Like in other areas of our lives, working with our finances takes practice and time. Try facing this process as something factual or logical, like a puzzle. Remove any negative emotions about economic status. Feeling ashamed, or guilty to a lower extent, about our finances increases our stress, decreases our health, and makes handling our finances more difficult.
It can be even more challenging to face hardships if we channel negativity, what will help, however, is considering them as a great motive to take the first step toward optimizing our holistic wellbeing.Handling our finances is a life-long process: when we make small, positive adjustments over time, we can continue to move towards our goals with ease!