A big chunk of my professional life is spent helping people improve their money wellbeing. And that’s lead me to spend a lot of time thinking about what true wellbeing means. What I’ve found is that true wellbeing has three pillars; your physical health, your mental and emotional wellbeing, and your financial wellbeing.
I’ve found that if any one of these areas is lacking, it ends up dragging down one (or all) of the others. In this post I want to talk about the key elements of financial wellbeing and what you can do to take things to the next level, in turn improving your overall wellbeing.
Where Do We Go Wrong?
When most people think about doing the right thing with money they think about getting more dollars in the bank. But that’s only part of it. I’ve found there are three keys to financial wellbeing which are often overlooked.
Money is an area that’s easy to overcomplicate. It’s also an area where our inbuilt psychology can get in the way of our better judgement. I’ve seen a bunch of people run into trouble by getting caught up in the hype, investing in areas that sound ‘sexy’, and sound like they’re going to deliver epic financial results, but in reality, they look way better than they actually are.
When you don’t understand a strategy or investment well enough to really know why you’re doing it, or if something goes wrong, you’re much more likely to make a bad decision, and then make a move that costs you money. When you understand your strategy, investments, and products, you’ll be prepared to make the right moves at the right time, even when that move is to do nothing.
When I talk about clarity, what I mean is understanding where you’re headed. This sounds like a no-brainer, but after having spoken to a load of people about their money, I would say there are very few that are really clear on what their financial future is likely to look like. To achieve this, you need to be clear on where you’re headed financially and how you’re going to get there. This is often driven by the lifestyle you want to live, not just the dollars. But once you think through what you want your life to look like, it will often become clear what you need your money situation to look like to allow you to make it happen. The last step is to build a step by step plan to get you there—Google Sheets is your friend here.
This is one of the most underrated wellbeing benefits when it comes to money. A good path is one thing but having complete and total confidence in it is another. I’ve found that one of the big keys to confidence in money is the products, providers, and people in your money team. To get ahead with money you need to grow your assets, investments, property, maybe take out a mortgage. Most of these elements need a financial services provider or product solution to make it happen. But if there’s a conflict of interest or hidden agenda, it can totally take away from your confidence in what you’re doing. When you’re building out your strategy, avoid the conflicts of interest and you’ll be well placed to not only improve your financial wellbeing, but to be more confident in your money journey.
Financial wellbeing is one of the key elements of your overall wellbeing, and something I believe every person should have. If you can nail your simplicity, clarity, and confidence, you’re going to not only set yourself on a path to financial success, but also lock down one of the biggest pillars of your overall wellbeing.
It will take some work, but the results are worth it.
Image Credit: Brandon Jackson/Unsplash
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is general in nature and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Therefore, you should consider whether the information is appropriate to your circumstances before acting on it, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from a finance professional (perhaps one with a glorious beard).