Many of us (including me) are consumed by our money, terrified by our debt, obsessed with calculating our debt or wealth, and fearful of our financial future. I was reflecting on this obsessive relationship that I have with my finances when I was reminded that what I really want to achieve is financial health and wellness. What’s that? I wrote about it early in 2016, and here is the explanation I used then and still like:
“Financial health is having a conscious and purposeful relationship with money that is satisfying and isn’t overly stressful… Financial health or wellness includes: spending money based on your values; having low or reasonable debt; saving money to meet your goals; and having a safety net, such as an emergency fund or insurance.”
(Source: Klontz and Lowrance)
I am reminded that while I want to be wise about my money, and all financial decisions, what I really want is financial health and wellness – I want to be aware and thoughtful, but not stressed. This links back to my last column about conscious spending, we want to be mindful and thoughtful about how we spend, but we don’t want to obsess. I want to be sensible, but I don’t want my life ruled by my finances.
I’m delighted to see some links between this concept of financial health and my recent reflection on my spending priorities (my July mid-year budget review and conscious consuming). I think I am beginning to put the building blocks in place for being more financially healthy and well.
BUT… I fear I am still stressed about money; I still tend to obsess about it and panic that it may all disappear. Clearly this is a mind set, and I think that for me to truly reach financial health and wellness I will need to start trusting my financial plans more. Trusting that I have a sound financial plan and budget, and that all I have to do is follow it, and check that I am on track – without obsessing and triple-checking my plan regularly…… Yes, I could lose my job or the economy could crash and burn, but I cannot control that, so let it go.
I guess this is about me realising that setting a solid plan and following and monitoring it wisely is enough, I don’t need obsession as well. This is about the phycology of money again!
In my next column, I will reflect on how we structure our domestic staffs’ salaries, to support her/ him to save for retirement and emergencies.
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