Finances. Money. Wealth. Poverty. Living Paycheck to Paycheck. Disposable income. How do you feel when you think about these things? What comes to mind? Happy thoughts or negative thoughts? Good experiences or bad experiences? Jot down some notes, because today we’re going to talk about how to increase our financial wellness.
Raise your hand if you learned about financial wellness from your parents, teachers in school, or your peers while you were growing up… If you raised your hand, congratulations!! Not many of us have, unfortunately, but this does not mean all hope is lost. It just means we have the task of seeking out the information for ourselves.
Financial wellness can include increasing credit scores, decreasing debt, learning how to live within your means, budgeting, saving for emergencies, and future goals (who here wants to be able to purchase a home one day?) or retirement.
For many, talking about money isn’t pleasant. If things aren't going well financially, you may avoid the topic altogether. But avoidance will only lead to more issues down the road, and we all need guidance. It’s ok to admit you may not have much knowledge of financial wellness, and it’s very courageous to ask for help!
Here are some ways to increase your financial wellness:1. Learn about assets vs liabilities.
Sorry to say, your car may feel like an asset, but if you are paying a loan on it, it's actually a liability! Assets increase in value (this is good), and liabilities COST you money (generally bad). Learning how to balance these can mean the difference between being broke vs gaining wealth.
2. Save your money where it can grow.
Invest your coin! If your money is sitting in a savings account, you probably aren't getting a great return. If you learn the basics of investing/trading that can change!
3. Assess where your current money is going.
If you are finding you have more bills than your paycheck allows, it may be a good idea to track exactly where your money is going. One month, I didn't realize I spent over $400 at Target! That was an eye-opener. When you know where your extra funds are going, you can assess what money habits need to change, or if you simply need to find a way to make more money to cover your bills.
4. Pay down your debts wisely.
There are different debt-payoff methods out there, but the method that works best for you may not work for the next person. Overall, a good rule of thumb is to pay down debts that are accruing the most interest first. Another rule is to pay down the debts that are affecting your credit score the most. Financial advisors or debt improvement specialists can be great to help you find the best game plan.
5. Consult financial advisors.
Sometimes, we may not have people around us who know much about financial wellness. Consulting a professional or someone certified in finances may be a good step if you don’t know where to turn.
6. Learn as much as you can!
Read books, listen to podcasts, watch Youtube videos, follow “money gurus” on Instagram, Twitter, etc. Know that every person may have different advice, but the key is to find the common denominators in everyone's messages. For example, having savings on deck for rainy days (or months) is something we can all agree is pretty important.
7. Talk with your close friends about money.
This may seem like it's too personal. But one of the ways we can help ourselves and our fellow sisters is to TALK about MONEY. Being open with our community can open doors to insight and knowledge that can help us all win.
Here are some resources that expand on what I talked about above!
- “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki: This book is gold. I highly recommend it!
- Dominique Broadway with Finances Demystified: A great resource for black women trying to learn about investing, trading, and building wealth. Dominique’s mission is to help us all win! https://www.financesdemystified.com/
- Classy Credit Repair: If you are looking for someone to help with repairing your credit check out https://classycreditrepair.com/services/
What are your thoughts about financial wellness? Share your feedback and knowledge below, we can all learn from each other! Don’t forget to share this post with your besties on social media and start the money conversation.
Check out more on Financial Literacy in the Black Community. They analyze the racial gap and possible solutions.
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