Financial Wellness Concepts We Wish Someone Taught Us
Sep 01, 2022
For most of us, our financial knowledge and practices came from our parents. Because of them, we understood the value of money and how it must be properly spent — that is, to prioritize our needs before our wants. While these are helpful as a starting point, some of the beliefs and practices may be more counterproductive than we realize.
There are some beliefs that lead to behaviors that have negative connotations and could hinder us from being financially literate. However, it’s never too late to correct those beliefs! Here are some of the things that we need to unlearn to better achieve financial wellness.
You don’t have to feel guilty when spending
Saving your money is not the whole story.
When it comes to our finances, one of the things that we learn from our parents is that we should save as much as we can — whether it’s a hundred or a peso. However, thinking about “saving” as the be-all and end-all of your money would most likely leave you with a bad relationship with it. It’s time we change that!
Saving is definitely a must! However, now that we’re getting older and starting to be more financially independent, we start to realize that “saving,” where we simply keep a portion of our money for future use, is not the way to go. Why? Because it doesn’t allow you to enjoy the value of your hard work! It’s time to let go of the black-and-white mindset where saving is good and spending is bad.
When saving, always see to it that there’s a portion where you can treat yourself from time to time. Love reading books? Spending a little amount of your savings for a book once or twice a month is not a bad idea at all! The same is true if you like to treat yourself with the latest food craze, concert tickets, or even with an online shopping haul. Spending some of your savings to treat yourself every now and then is a perfectly valid (and healthy) thing to do. Not only will it allow you to enjoy your money, but it will also help you build a better relationship with your money as you see it as a resource and not only as a means to survive.
It’s not just for “adults”
Growing up, money was usually a taboo topic for most of us. That’s because whenever household finances are discussed, only the parents or those already working who are involved, while we, the younger members of the family, are left out. Even then, conversations about money are not done out in the open. They are done in closed doors, as if money and finances are secrets that have to be kept. This leaves soon-to-be adults unaware of the different problems and solutions with regards to money.
Money has now become an “it-that-must-not-be-named” for us, simply because that’s how it has been in our households. This has left us feeling disconnected with our finances, seeing our lives as only having to work and earn for us to pay bills. Instead of seeing money as a resource that can enrich our lives, we now see it as a burden — and it doesn’t have to be that way!
As teens or young adults, the surefire way we can take control of our money is by reconnecting with it and rebuilding our relationship with it. That starts with having open conversations about our finances. Having open conversations means being confident to ask or share any information about finances that can help you or others become more financially literate. Not sure about your mobile bills, bank interest rates, or even contracts? Ask your parents and have a conversation about it! Saw your friend purchase their first car and you’re thinking about getting yours, too? Have a chat with them and see how they achieved that milestone!
Remember, however, not to compare yourself with others. Comparing yourself to your parents when they were your age or even comparing the financial achievements of your friends will only lead to negative feelings about finances, especially if you feel like you’re falling behind. Instead, the goal here is to share helpful information, like tips and insights.
Your parents may have done things in their lifetime that are actually good practices when it comes to money and the only way you’d ever know about that is through conversations with them. Same goes with your friends. They or you may have done something that is actually a solution to each other’s problems. Having these conversations allows us to know these best practices and try to apply them in our own lives to see if they would work. And, at its core, that is being financially well — living your economic life as best as possible!
You’re not too young to have bigger financial goals
It’s better late than never — but being early is best.
As young adults or young professionals, we get a feel of what it’s like to be a full-fledged adult. Question is, will we wait until we become the same age as our parents before we take control of our finances?
Managing our own finances as early as possible helps us build a good habit of taking care of our resources. If there’s anything that will make or break our financial wellness, it will always be our money habits. Instead of giving your parents your savings and letting them “take care of it,” why don’t you take care of it? Open a savings account at your local bank and put your savings there. You can ask your parents for help with some documents but, generally speaking, you should take a more proactive approach to managing your money.
Speaking of being proactive, taking control of your money doesn’t end with the bills and coins and where you put them. Being proactive also means doing your own research. Of course, you can always ask your parents about finances but, in some aspects that they may not be as knowledgeable, it is a good habit to research on your own.
Read articles on financial literacy. Start with knowing things like interest rates and how this affects your bank savings. Also, look into things like investments and emergency funds. Investing allows you to put a certain amount of your money to a place where it can grow. Meanwhile, emergency funds, as the name implies, are any amount of savings that would cover your expenses during unexpected times such as loss of income.
Sooner or later, you’d start finding yourself making better decisions about your finances. You now know how to spend wisely and save money. More than that, you have small investments here and there, and have a set timeline of when and how you’re going to have your funds. And you’re even attending learning sessions mounted by credible financial institutions and consulting financial advisors, which is also for free and with no commitment to buy — even before you’re 30!
Financial wellness is not rocket science. Sure, it’s overwhelming at times, but it’s actually a lot easier than it looks! Knowledge will be your best asset in achieving financial wellness so research, talk with a financial advisor, and take control of your finances for a brighter life!
You can also get a chance to win P2,000 Giftaway eGCs courtesy of Sun Life PH until November 15, 2022! Simply complete the FinLit is Life Quest, and enter the promo here: https://sunlife.co/finlitquest
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