MONEY – it’s a word that strikes fear in the hearts of many however it doesn’t have to be that way.
Even worse than the word money is the word BUDGET. It’s like the swear word of money. This one word sends people into a state of financial overwhelm unlike anything else that I’ve seen.
So when people talk about wellness, I find it ironic that financial wellness is often overlooked. Financial stress and overwhelm runs like a virus in your mind subconsciously impacting how you show up at your job and in your life, and many people carry this stress and overwhelm like an unwelcome sack of financial waste on their back. When people don’t feel financially well, it only adds to the mental, emotional, and physical wellness challenges that they may already be experiencing.
What do you think all of that is doing to your mind, body, and soul?
The world that I live in and see every day includes people paralyzed with financial fear, embarrassment and guilt. All of these people were never taught how to properly manage their money, yet they feel they’re the only ones who didn’t get the “money memo” despite the fact that at least 70% of people are living paycheck to paycheck (including people who earn really good money and would consider themselves to be successful).
I’m here to start a revolution and share the good news that personal finance can be taught and it can be friendly and fun while being an empowering part of the overall wellness in your life.
Financial wellness isn’t just about having a savings and spending plan (this is my preferred phrase to describe a budget!), getting out of debt, or saving money, it’s also about aligning how you use your money with what matters and what’s important to you. When you use your money in a way that’s aligned with what matters to you, you’re living a financially authentic life and this is the platform for financial freedom, financial independence, and financial peace of mind.
And it doesn’t stop just at financial peace of mind, either. When you have financial stability and clarity, you then have choice in your life. As you make choices to do more that makes you happy and really matters to you, those choices inevitably lead to opportunities to contribute in a bigger way to other people in your life, to your community, and the world at large. And if everyone were contributing something that mattered to them in a bigger way, imagine how truly connected we would all feel instead of the negativity we see and feel all the time. Clarity leads to choice, choice leads to contribution, and contribution leads to connectedness.
As you can see, being financially authentic and empowered isn’t just about the money. It’s about a pivotal point that we’re at where we have a choice right now to be, do, and have more in our lives. We can have more freedom, more choice, more connectedness, more wellness and more happiness.
As I’ve seen and experienced, living a financially authentic life results in at least 3 key benefits when wellness is considered:
- The chaotic energy around money in your life is reduced – Have you ever stopped in the middle of the day to worry about whether you paid that bill on time? How about wondering whether or not you can afford something in your life that came up unexpectedly? When you take the time to be financially authentic and you have a solid financial plan that includes the things that matter to you, you know where you are and you know where you’re going when it comes to your money and your life and there’s substantially less chaos when something unexpected arises. It’s like your “financial GPS” is fully operational and you’re driving in the right direction, so a short detour off of the financial road isn’t such a big deal.
- Money decisions are suddenly simpler – I hear all the time how people don’t know what to do when a financial “emergency” comes up, or when they find something that they want to buy but know they probably don’t necessarily need. There’s a lot of energy that goes into trying to make these decisions, and when it’s a “want vs. need” decision there’s a lot of guilt sometimes too. When you’ve taken the time to plan ahead, you’re ahead of the proverbial money 8-ball by having clear intentions about how you want to use your money which simplifies the decision making process. You’re no longer spending days going back and forth on making purchasing decisions, and if you’re married (or in a long term relationship) those money arguments suddenly become a lot less frequent!
- Financial stress decreases, and finances become more friendly and fun – Financially authentic plans help to decrease stress and take the sack of financial waste off of your back, and when your money has a purpose and a place to go then you can resume breathing and focus on having more fun in your life. If you’re like most people I talk to, there’s not enough fun igniting your life is there? Financial clarity has been a constant in my life and it has allowed me to take risks, enjoy myself, and live a life that I’ve only dreamed about.
As you spend time thinking about your wellness goals for 2013 and beyond, I would encourage you to start that process by reflecting on and being grateful for all of the awesome things that you already have in your life. Then, ask yourself whether the pillar of financial wellness in your life could use a little attention – what could you accomplish with the extra time and energy that you would find if once and for all you empowered yourself to be financially authentic and clear?
Could you stop working in a job that was no longer a good fit for you? Could you see being laid off as a blessing to have the time to reconnect with what you’re passionate about instead of being fearful about it? Could you be brave enough to start your own business doing something that you loved that made a difference to others? I was blessed to be able to say “yes” to all of these questions because of the financial clarity and wellness in my own life.
The options are never-ending really…is it time for you to choose what wellness really means to you?