Adapt your mindset to achieve financial wellness
Adapt your mindset to achieve financial wellness
Achieving quality of life and one’s financial goals, while living within one’s financial means, can be defined as achieving Financial Wellness. Sometimes it requires adapting one’s mindset and behaviours in order to achieve ultimate Financial Wellness.
Let’s look at some of the behaviours to cultivate:
- Plan for the futureThink ahead 5 to 15 years and imagine the lifestyle you wish to have, then in the present time plan what steps to take in order to achieve your future life goals. For example, have a paid-off house and car, retire comfortably, go on holiday once every two years and have study funds available for your children to attend university.Quantify those future life goals into financial goals to achieve, so that you can actively save towards, or work on, every month.
- Focus on what is importantAs good as it is to have a plan for the future and financially work towards that plan, remember that money is not the most important aspect in life!Quality of life, your health, family and friends are the most important aspects of life. Money is an enabler that helps you achieve the lifestyle you require, but cannot buy health, family and friends. It is therefore important to focus on both of the latter aspects, but not to let money rule your life.
- Maintain your mental and physical wellnessInvesting in a good medical plan, maintaining a good eating and exercise plan, as well as keeping stress levels under control can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle and help towards achieving your life and financial goals.Working towards your financial goals should not cause any financial stress, for example worried / anxious to be able to pay month-end bills because you are saving too much towards financial goals and cannot afford day-to-day expenses. A healthy balance needs to be maintained between the present and future money matters.
If you do encounter financial stress due to your financial goals, perhaps the goals need to be adjusted in order to reduce the stress. Alternatively seek help from a Financial Advisor to assist you in creating more realistic and achievable financial goals.
- Take care of the presentAs good as it is to plan for the future and have financial goals to work towards, it is also important to financially take care of yourself in the present. For example, are you financially covered for medical, death, disability and funeral expenses or even for a loss of income in case of unemployment?There are several insurance policies available that can provide cover for medical, death and loss of income expenses. Policies can be quite pricey, however having a little bit of cover is much better than having no cover at all. An emergency fund can also be used to supplement policy cover – for example, try to have at least 6 month’s salary saved up in case of losing employment, so that you are able to pay monthly expenses for a while.
Also consider ways to supplement your income for when you might be unemployed. For example, take-in a roommate to help pay the rent, sell your car and use public transport or start a lift club to help cover travelling expenses.
Having a financial plan of action for the future and present can help you recover quicker from unforeseen expenses and situations.
- Reduce debt to a minimumHaving debt locks one into always having “expenses” to pay. If you do need to create debt in order to achieve a life goal, ensure that it is an asset that you are purchasing that can increase in value as you pay off the debt, for example a house. That is a win-win situation!For debt created to purchase items that are consumed or decrease in value, for example entertainment or a vehicle, ensure that the debt is kept to a minimum and paid off as quickly as possible.
- Money makes moneyGrowing wealth is another way of achieving your financial goals, and let your money grow while you are sleeping! For example, invest a fixed amount of your salary, commission or bonus into a savings account that is interest bearing.There are a variety of different saving accounts available in the market, so be sure to speak to your Banker or Financial Advisor which saving accounts are the best to suit your needs.
Another form of making money with money is to invest in shares or assets, that can produce a profit over a long term period.
Lastly investing in a pension fund that is interest bearing, can grow your retirement capital over a long period of time. Start investing while you are young and even if you can only afford to invest a little bit of money, watch your capital grow over the years. Speak to a Pension Fund Broker or a Financial Advisor to obtain guidance on a pension fund that works for you.
Achieving Financial Wellness, financial goals and the desired lifestyle you want, requires commitment and focus. Working steadily to financially provide for yourself and loved ones for the present and future, can be achieved if small steps are taken every day, which accumulate to a lot of efforts over time and ultimately financial rewards.
It is never to late too start!