Financial wellness – how do we get there?

Money can provide security and contentment but it can also be the source of real heartache. In this article we explore a few ways you can make the most of your money and boost your financial wellbeing.

Picking the right Lotto numbers or backing a winning racehorse are two ways you could boost your finances but, alone, they won’t necessarily provide lasting financial security. And let’s face it, for most of us, the chance of winning either of these jackpots ranges from low to “dream on”.

Luckily, there are some practical steps you can start today take to improve your long term financial wellbeing.

Most Australians worry about their finances

Unfortunately, many Australians don’t take active steps to maintain good financial health.

Research from Mortgage Choice and CoreData Evolving Great Australian Dream Whitepaper 2018 found that 46% of Australians don’t monitor their finances regularly. This is surprising when you consider that over 23% worry about their money daily and almost half of Australians agreed that their finances are a bit out of control sometimes.

Failing to take care of your financial wellbeing can produce more sinister results, even having a detrimental impact on personal and family lifestyles.  A CoreData survey commissioned by Financial Mindfulness[1], found nearly one in three Australians are suffering significant financial stress, and 80% of these people report psychological and physical discomfort as a result. More than one in three financially stressed people admit to using drugs or alcohol to cope with the negative feelings associated with their finances.

Relish financial freedom

This research highlights how important it is to have control of your money. Financial wellbeing brings more than fiscal freedom. It’s a psychological safety net and the freedom to move away from unsatisfactory situations, be it a job that doesn’t inspire you or a home that’s too cramped for your needs.

The thing is, financial wellbeing doesn’t have to hinge on earning a large income. It’s what you do with your money that counts, not how much you earn.

With this in mind, let’s look at three steps that can help reignite your financial wellbeing.

  1. Embrace a budget

Following a personal budget is one of the most effective steps we can take to boost financial wellbeing.

Budgeting encourages us to take a disciplined approach to spending and saving. And, yes, a budget also shows how much money slips through our fingers. But getting that jolt can be good for us.

Just as valuable, budgeting helps us find the money to put into investments, pay for a holiday, or simply manage day to day living expenses.

  1. Track your spending

When it comes to financial wellbeing, it pays to sweat the small stuff.

Small costs can quickly add up, and there’s a whole range of apps available to let you track spending on the go including expenses like coffees and lunches that can be hard to record.

  1. Check your bank and credit card statements…regularly

When it comes to financial wellbeing, ignorance is definitely not bliss and sticking your head in the sand can cost you dearly in the long run.

Keeping a close eye on your finances is essential to understand where your money is going, where you can cut back on spending, and how you can build savings. It’s also a lot easier to avoid overdrawing your account when you know how much money is available in the first place.

Keeping tabs on your accounts helps to develop awareness of your spending patterns as well as letting you pick up any unusual expenses, fees, or declined transactions that you may not otherwise be aware of.

Like any wellness program, the first step can be the hardest. We make it easy.

Contact your local FinChoice Expert today about getting your finances in better shape. It could improve your physical health as well as your personal wealth.