Similar to the blog I posted regarding mental health, I feel that it’s necessary to start this post with a disclaimer; I am not a financial planner nor an expert on money management. What I do have is plenty of life experience. I’ve made some terrific – and some poor – financial decisions. All of them I’ve learned from.
All that said, I’m going to start out with a simple premise. If you are constantly worrying about money, it’s extremely difficult to enjoy life, much less attain wellness. Here’s the rub though. I’ve observed that people that could be considered “well-off” – or even wealthy – worry about money more than people in what would be considered the middle class.
The moral of the story? Being mentally OK with where you are financially goes a long way towards achieving happiness (not to mention, avoiding high blood pressure, poor sleep, and other health problems that come with stress).
Certainly, if it is a priority, you should strive to improve your financial situation. Figure out your specific goals, map out a plan, & timeline in which to attain them and stick to that plan.
That said, worrying constantly about money serves no purpose. So many people I know fall into this abyss of constant financial stress. People in every tax bracket. If you have this stubborn worry about money in the back of your mind, exercises on Allwell’s “Mindfulness” tab can assist with stress relief.
Now for some practical financial tips:
Use online banking if you haven’t switched already. This tip is geared towards older readers who haven’t made the leap from paper checks – like my own parents, until recently. They’ve found it so much easier online to send & receive money, see their balances, pay bills, and even enjoy reward offers most banks offer.
If you’ve taken an income hit recently, make an honest budget of what and where you spend. Then prioritize. See what expenses you don’t mind cutting out for good, and maybe a few that you’ll indulge in when times are better.
Along those lines, if you have unexpected revenue come in such as a work bonus, an IRS tax refund, or a work Christmas bonus (which we know from large corporations are often received in late February/early March), SAVE this money! Well, OK – treat yourself to something nice if you will, but save the rest.
This is a tough, but perhaps necessary one if you’re behind in your mortgage or credit cards and having trouble keeping up your monthly payments. Rather than default, contact the lender.
Finally, if you haven’t recently, run your credit report. I use Experian to keep track of all 3 of my scores (for $19.99, a good value). If there’s a knock against you, it gives you the contact info of the debt holder or collector. If you can afford to make an offer to pay it down, or pay it off in installments for a full release, that will look terrific in future credit reports. One tip: be sure to get the release in writing!
– Johnny Premier, COO of Allwell