What if I asked you to rate your financial well-being on a scale of 1 to 10 — 1 being poor and 10 being excellent. How would you answer? Perhaps it would be helpful if we made an effort to first define financial well-being. There’s a good chance that we all have a slightly different definition, but I think it’s safe to assume that most people’s would include some of the following components.
- Freedom from worry.
- The ability to spend as much time as I’d like with family and friends.
- Knowing that I am on track to accomplish the things that are most important to me.
- My giving is at a level where I feel comfortable (or uncomfortable!)
- I’m confident in the fact that I am saving enough to reach my long-term goals.
- I know that my spouse and the kids would be provided for should something happen to me.
- I’m comfortable with the amount I am spending.
- I have healthy money relationships with my spouse and those that I care about.
This definition is a work in progress and I’d love to hear your thoughts on changes or additions you might make to your own definition. But for now, assuming that my definition is a reasonable one, let me ask again. On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your financial well-being? Got your answer? Great. What would it take to increase your number by 1 point? To make your 6 a 7 or your 8 a 9?
Maybe it’s something as simple as finding room in your budget so you can hire someone to care for your lawn so you can spend more time with your family. Or perhaps it’s something a little more complex, like creating a financial plan so you can feel confident you are on track to accomplish your most important goals (we can help with that!). Either way, I encourage you to spend some time considering your financial well-being and taking action to maximize it. Money is certainly not the most important thing, but it impacts almost every aspect of our lives and our relationships, so it will be time well spent. Here’s a quick list of ideas that might help get you started….
- Automate as much of your savings and bill payments as possible.
- Start/restart using budgeting software – Mint, YNAB, etc.
- Have a money conversation with someone you care about. Maybe ask them how they would rate their own financial well-being.
- Work with an estate attorney to update or put in place a will and other important documents.
- Create a financial plan – knowing where you stand goes a long way towards assuaging worry.
- Review your insurance policies to make sure you have the appropriate amounts and types of coverage.
- See if there’s something you can delegate to create space for something you’ve really been missing.
As always, we’d love to hear from you. Let us know how we can help you improve your financial well-being.