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Financial Wellness 101: Top Tips That Will Save You From Unnecessary Money Stress

June 08, 2022
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Image by Jimena Roquero / Stocksy
June 08, 2022

We've said it before, and we'll say it again: Being financially well is an integral part of overall wellness. Money is a top cause of stress in America, and as we already know, chronic stress can negatively affect health and well-being. When almost every decision you make in life is a financial decision, it's no wonder that money is at the core of so much of our stress—but it doesn't have to be... 

Think of financial wellness like preventive medicine. Preventive medicine involves practicing healthy behaviors now to prevent disease in the future. When you begin exercising, eating a more balanced diet, getting better sleep, etc., not only are you setting yourself up for a longer, healthier life, but you also start to feel better in the present. The same goes for financial planning. By implementing even a few budgeting and saving tips now, you're creating a stable foundation for the future—plus you can expect immediate positive changes in your day-to-day life.

To help you get started on your financial wellness journey, we chatted with Brent Weiss, CFP® (CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™) professional and co-founder of Facet.

Image by Facet Wealth / Contributor

mindbodygreen: What does financial wellness mean, and why is it important?

Brent Weiss: Financial wellness is rooted in the science of thriving, which is all about purpose, meaning, and achievement. It's when money becomes an energizing element of our lives because we think, feel, and act in positive ways with and around it. Here are the five elements of financial wellness:

  1. Achieving a state of positive emotions around money. Think of it as mastering your money mindset. Eliminating anxiety and stress and finding a sense of calm and positive emotion around money can lead to greater clarity in our thinking and actions.
  2. Engaging with money in a positive way. Many people experience fear, shame, embarrassment, or uncertainty when they engage with money. If we engage with money in a proactive and healthy way, it can transform its role in our lives.
  3. Our relationship with money. All relationships in life, including money, require work. As we go through life, our relationship with money will evolve. This is normal and healthy, and we need to continuously work on our relationship with money to ensure we maintain positive emotions and engagement with it.
  4. The meaning that we give to money in our lives. This all hinges on getting clarity around what matters most to each of us, exploring our beliefs and values, and finding ways to make our decisions with money an expression of our true selves.
  5. Accomplishment. True wellness comes from a feeling of achievement or mastery of something. In this case, it's achieving mastery over our money—both how we think and feel about it (our mindset) and the actions we take with it (our plan for it).

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mbg: What are the top budgeting/saving tips you would give someone who is just starting their financial wellness journey?

Brent Weiss:

  1. Learn to love budgeting. Everyone will tell you that budgeting is bad because it triggers negative emotions or it feels restrictive like a diet. In reality, budgeting, done right, can be empowering. Budgeting is simply the process of understanding where your money is going, deciding where you want it to go, and choosing to be more intentional about how you spend and save it.
  2. Identify and tackle your "one thing." Everyone has one thing that is holding them back from taking the next big step with money. For some, it's debt like student loans or credit cards that they need to tackle first. For others, it's a limiting or unhealthy belief about money—"I'm not worthy" or "money is bad." And, for some, it's an unhealthy habit like compulsive spending. If you want your money to move you forward, you have to get rid of what's holding you back.
  3. Know that you will always face trade-offs. The sooner we realize that life will require us to prioritize our goals and to make sacrifices in order to achieve them, the sooner we can get to work making them a reality. For example, how can you afford to get married, start a family, buy a new home, and start a new job or business? The answer will be different for everyone, but you need to define what trade-offs you are willing to make. Maybe you dial back the wedding or the honeymoon. Maybe you choose a less expensive house. You can do anything in time but not everything at the same time.
Image by BONNINSTUDIO / Stocksy

mbg: How might one benefit from working with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional?

Brent Weiss: Working with a CFP® professional can give you what I call the "4 C's" of financial planning: calm, clarity, confidence, and control.

  • "Calm" is about understanding how you think and feel about money. It's gaining mastery over your money mindset so you can reduce or eliminate the anxiety and stress that come with money. 
  • "Clarity" involves 1) being able to see your entire financial picture, and 2) defining what matters most to you so you can be intentional about how your decisions with money can support your life.
  • "Confidence" is about knowing you are making smart, informed decisions every step of the way. The critical piece is having a planner to help develop a dynamic and evolving financial plan that can help you navigate all of life's decisions, milestones big and small, and even the unexpected with greater confidence.
  • "Control" is the outcome of the first three. A CFP® professional can help you find a sense of calm amid the chaos of life, gain clarity on your entire financial landscape, and gain the confidence that the decisions you are making with money are aligned with what matters most to you. All of this puts you in control of the life you want to live.

Start your financial wellness journey today.

When integrated into all aspects of our lives, financial wellness turns money from a tool that helps us survive to a tool that helps us thrive. The sooner you learn how to have a more positive relationship with your finances, the sooner you'll get there. 

Scheduling a free consultation with one of Facet's CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals is a great first step in your financial wellness journey. Take Facet's five minute Financial Wellness quiz to receive your free score and unlock insights about your finances.  To learn more about Facet Wealth and their personalized financial planning services, follow them on social.

It's time we shift the way we think about money—and today is the perfect day to start!

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