Financial Wellness: A Guide to a Heartfelt Investment

Discover the transformative power of financial wellness, and explore the link between financial stability and overall well-being with our practical guide.

We all want to live good lives. For many, that means building connections with others, pursuing passions, and helping out in the community. But it can be difficult to remain focused on the things that truly matter in your life when your finances aren’t in a good place.

That’s why reaching financial wellness is an important part of living a satisfying life. But how do you do it?

This guide will get you started. Keep reading to learn why financial wellness programs matter and the concrete steps you can take today to begin working toward it.

What Is Financial Wellness?

Financial well-being generally means being able to manage your money and live within your means without excessive stress. However, the details of your financial wellness definition can vary based on your situation.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says financial wellness incorporates four key points:

  • Feeling in control of your cash flow day-to-day and month-to-month
  • Being able to absorb financial shocks in the form of unexpected expenses with an emergency fund
  • Staying on track to meet your long-term financial freedom goals
  • Having the flexibility to make choices that allow you to enjoy life, such as going on vacation or working less to spend more time with family (without having to incur credit card debt)

You can work on financial wellness activities that help you achieve these goals on your own, through a financial wellness platform, or with a local community bank. 

Why Is Financial Wellness So Important?

Financial health is important because money plays such an essential role in our lives. It determines where we live, what our retirement looks like, whether we’re able to pursue our hobbies freely, and even how often we can take breaks from work. 

In other words, you need to have solid financial footing to pursue your goals in life. Financial wellness is a catch-all term that incorporates the different aspects of finding that solid footing. So, achieving financial wellness is an important step toward, eventually, achieving your biggest goals in life.

The Connection Between Finances and Well-Being

The importance of financial wellness goes beyond the world of finance. It has a direct impact on other key areas of your life, too.

For example, in 2022 about one in four U.S. adults delayed or went without medical care or prescription drugs due to costs. These Americans probably hadn’t achieved financial wellness and had to sacrifice the medical attention they needed as a result.

There’s also research showing that people in debt have higher rates of mental health challenges. In fact, 54% of U.S. adults with debt say they always or often feel stressed because of their debt. 

That’s problematic for several reasons. But an important one is that stress has a tangible impact on the body. When left unchecked, stress can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and strokes.

How To Build a Wellness Foundation Through Effective Budgeting

It’s important to be aware of how finances can impact your broader life, but don’t let that discourage you. With effective budgeting and a new mental approach, you can build a financial foundation that’s strong enough to last a lifetime.  Here are some financial wellness tips to get you started with your financial planning.

Smart Spending for Improved Mental Health

A good first goal is getting your spending under control. When your monthly expenses are consistently less than the amount you earn, it becomes possible to save for the future, spend on things you want, and handle unexpected expenses when they arise. Those can all be great for your mental health.

Start by looking at how much money you’ve spend in our needs, wants and savings over the last few months. You may immediately notice that you’re spending too much on what you want or not allocating enough to savings to achieve your goals.

Just having awareness of your spending habits is often enough to begin changing them. The goal should be finding a sustainable financial balance that can keep you on track in all areas of your life.

Develop a Strategic Plan for Goal Achievement

Once you have your spending under control, you can begin thinking more about your medium and long-term goals. Those might include saving for a mortgage down payment, going on a fun vacation, or retiring by a certain age.

The key to eventually achieving goals like these is developing a personal finance strategy and sticking to it. For example, some budgeters use the 50/30/20 rule. This says that you should spend:

  • 50% on needs like housing, utilities, and food
  • 30% on wants like entertaining and travel
  • 20% on savings and investing for medium and long-term goals

This plan doesn’t have a natural space for high-interest debt. But you can always reduce your savings and investing bucket until you’ve paid off the debt and reached a good credit score. Ultimately, the details of your plan are less important than the fact that you have one. The main thing is choosing a sustainable financial strategy and not deviating from it until you’ve reached your desired financial wellness goals.

Coping Strategies for Financial Stress

We all feel stressed about finances from time to time. But for some people, that stress rarely seems to go away. If that’s how you feel, then finding a healthy coping strategy is important.

Your coping strategy should include both plans for dealing with the feeling of stress you’re having now and a long-term solution so it doesn’t keep coming back. For example, you might speak to a therapist or a trusted family member about your stress to get some relief and advice. Other people relieve stress by working out, meditating, or getting more sleep.

At the same time, think about how you can change your life today to avoid similar financial stress in the future. That could mean getting a new job, going back to school, or reducing your expenses by spending less at the grocery store or moving.

Leverage the Long-Term Benefits of Financial Wellness

Achieving financial wellness can take time. But the long-term benefits of doing so make it a goal that’s absolutely worth pursuing to improve your economic life and provide financial security for you and yours.

Fidelity Bank can help. From our savings products to our personal banking solutions, we’re always available to help you take the next step toward your financial goals.
But don’t take our word for it. Visit our website to find more financial wellness resources. Or, schedule an appointment with us today to learn how we can help you regain control of your financial life.