What does it mean to be financially well?
In preparation for an upcoming panel discussion for women founders, I’ve written about some of the components of financial wellness.
1. Having knowledge of where your money goes -
You may have heard this a thousand times. You can’t begin the journey of financial wellness without knowledge of how you spend your money.
Use an app to track expenses.
At the very least, you can look at your credit card’s annual spending categories for some insight.
If you need to, hire a financial planner to help you be accountable to this process. An empathetic planner will understand your apprehension and spend time with you to organize this part of your financial life without making you feel bad. They will help you slowly build this habit into your life.
2. Determining what you really value:
What brings you joy, increased productivity, or more time with those you love? What increases your own feelings of self-worth?
What creates mental stress, unnecessary decision making, storage and organization? What diminishes your feelings of self worth?
After you have several months worth of categorized income and spending, you will be able to make connections between your money flow and your values.
I like to have my clients think about the following questions after we’ve categorized expenses together.
Do I notice any category that feels limiting or excessive? Why?
Do these numbers reflect my values? Which categories do/don’t? Create a side by side list
What categories need to be adjusted to fit with reality? Be honest and build a strategy for cutting those back.
For me, I realized that I really don’t value drinking wine every night but I do value feeding my family healthy and sustainable food.
3. Taking care of your future self
By not creating excessive debt for your future self to pay, you are protecting your freedom to take advantage of opportunities that arise.
Saving for retirement - even if just a little at first
Saving for emergencies - everyone has them
Saving for things or experiences that will increase your joy - Travel, a new bike, starting a business.......
Investing is not optional. You need to grow your money significantly for your future self. Use the time that you have to do that.
4. Taking care of others
Give to causes that you believe in.
You all have issues and populations that tug at your heart strings. Find an organization that you believe in and donate to them regularly.
A little or a lot.
Money and time.
And yes, keep some cash and food to give to the homeless guy who asks, so you are
aware of exactly how much you do have and your humanity is regularly awoken.