(Family Features) Your financial health is just as important as your physical and mental health. Money affects almost every aspect of your life and can be the determining factor in many of your day-to-day decisions.
Being financially healthy isn’t just about how much money you have in the bank. It also encompasses your financial capability and how you feel about money or how money makes you feel.
Start by doing a self-check to determine your financial health. Look at where your accounts currently stand, including the statuses and balances. The balances in your accounts can be used to calculate your net worth, which is a numerical indicator of your overall financial health from an accounting standpoint.
Also consider your feelings and relationship with money, including the emotions you experience when someone brings up topics involving money. Then determine if you are a saver or spender. Understanding how you feel about your finances and why you have these feelings can help you improve your overall financial health along with these tips from the financial experts at kinly, a financial services company helping Black America build generational wealth.
Set Financial Goals
To improve your financial health, start by setting short-term, mid-term and long-term financial S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time bound) goals. S.M.A.R.T. goal setting can help you be more specific, provide a way to measure your progress, allow you to create a plan to make things more achievable, ensure your goals are in line with other objectives and provide deadlines, so your financial goals don’t get lost in the shuffle of day-to-day life.
Create a Money Plan
A money plan is a guide that details how you want to use your income monthly. This plan should consider the money you want to save and the money you want to spend. As you add your list of expenses, use this opportunity to review where your money is going and if your spending is in line with the financial goals you’ve set. This is also an opportunity to look for ways to reduce or eliminate spending so your money can be used for things that are important to you, like saving for a down payment on a car or home, or purchasing an item from your wish list.
Expand Your Financial Knowledge
Explore ways to become more comfortable with money and take control of your financial future. Your relationship with money and how you feel about it make up your money story. Money stories involve emotions, beliefs and experiences with money from childhood to adulthood. Start by spending 10-20 minutes each day exploring topics around money or personal finances to help build your knowledge base. You can do this by listening to podcasts, reading books, browsing reputable personal finance websites or exploring financial education resources provided by your financial institution.
If you need a more personalized approach to developing a better relationship with your finances, explore working with a financial coach. Your financial coach can work with you on a range of fundamental money management skills. For example, a financial coach can help you overcome financial anxiety or come up with a debt repayment strategy. The coach can help guide, teach, empower and challenge you to grow into a savvy money user.
When determining your financial health, remember personal finance is personal. The financial decisions you make today impact your overall financial health. Determine what financial success looks like for you and incorporate mindfulness, resources and other financially beneficial strategies to help improve your relationship with your finances. Find additional advice and resources to help you manage your money at bekinly.com.
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How to Improve Your Financial Health
Rod is a blogger, writer, filmmaker, photographer, daydreamer who likes to cook. Rod produces and directs the web series, CUPIC: Diary of an Investigator. He is also the editor, producer and administrator of STM Daily News, a part of the TNC Network.