Very often when we hear the word wellness, our minds jump to health and medical topics instead of money and finances. It is wise that we not only have to achieve wellness in our physical health, but we also need to aspire to a level of financial wellness. According to Isabelle Coetzee, a Finance Writer, financial wellness means having control over your money – regardless of how much or how little you make. You should pay your debt on time, track and meet your financial goals, and build and maintain your emergency savings. This is summarized below by the following actions:
Isabelle adds that there are 7 stages of Financial Wellness and we always find ourselves in some of these stages during our lives. Some are ahead, while others have just started depending on various life situations.
Chaos - This is the base stage where we all begin. At this point, you're struggling with your finances, even if you're earning enough to cover your needs. This often has to do with a lack of understanding when it comes to money, or a sudden life event has knocked your finances off balance.
Avoidance - This is similar to the chaos phase, but you now know that you need to make changes if you want to achieve financial success. However, you haven't taken action yet. You feel overwhelmed and insecure when it comes to money.
Awareness - When you reach this stage, you're ready to work on your finances. You have already established that you need to take action and you're actively looking for assistance and learning how you can improve your financial wellbeing.
Stability - Your financial wellbeing is starting to progress steadily. Based on what you learned, you have set up the fundamentals on which your finances can now be based. As a result, you may feel proud of your progress and cautiously optimistic about your financial future.
Security - As you continue to see your finances progress, you establish a thorough plan which you diligently follow. You have become confident in your ability to manage your money, and your focus is shifting towards the future.
Freedom - You have built up your financial knowledge and applied it to your life. In this stage, you are living comfortably, and both your present and future will be taken care of if you continue on this path.
Fulfilment - In the final stage of financial wellbeing, you don't spend your days wondering or fretting about money. You have already put in the time and you can now reap the benefits of your financial freedom. Even when an emergency strikes, you will rarely feel a large impact.
What stage are you in? If you find yourself at the beginning stages, do not be discouraged. Look for expert advice and start working your way out of these stages. If you are in the last 4 stages of Financial Wellness, such as stability, freedom and fulfilment, well done. Keep it going and share your knowledge with others to empower them to improve their financial wellness. We need a collectively saving nation in order to improve our economy.