Peace of mind.
There is nothing better than waking up each day knowing that you are in a strong financial position. This means that your bills are covered, your savings plan is on track and you have an emergency fund. Best of all, you have the disposable income to afford life’s luxuries. This does not have to mean that you can slap down a wad of cash for a posermobile, it means that you can spend R1000 on a designer “must have” without batting an eyelash, or batting it at someone else to get it for you.
Lee Ann Du Toit, The head of client management for Momentum says “Financial Wellness goes beyond pure number crunching and building big cash reserves. It should be about the ability to make choices about how our lives will unfold. If we have limited financial resources we have limited choices. Money gives us the ability to retire without worry, to live debt free, to become a philanthropist or travel with our children. In other words, we need to focus on possibilities rather than limitations”.
Society places a lot of importance on physical wellness but fails to make the connection between this and financial health. Having both is critical to our overall success; the last thing you want is to be using your wealth to buy back your health. Lee Ann says “Financial Wellness is the balance between enjoying your life today, while making sure your future is secure. It’s not about scrimping and saving every last cent it is about being smart with your money so you can have the proverbial cake and eat it. It is a state of psychological wellness where you feel you have control over every financial decision rather than being dictated to by the limits of your finances. It’s a great place to be”
So how do you achieve this? Here are some tips to help you on your path.
Manage money with purpose
If you are wringing your hands because you have too much debt, do something about it, you are not a tree; you can move and take action. Work out where your weak spots are in the spending arena, you probably already know what they are. Keep in your mind the peace you will experience when you get in control. Suddenly your desire to buy “stuff” will be replaced with your desire for substance. When you free up some cash from your savings spree start paying off small debts, you will be pleasantly surprised how quickly you can clear debt when you put your mind to it.
The good news is we are living longer healthier lives and this means that we will be able to work for longer. Ultimately this translates into not having to panic if you feel you have not saved enough. Be concerned but don’t worry yourself into ill-health. Go and see a financial advisor and get the information you need to start building a solid foundation. They will give you the road map to get you on the right path.
Make work fun
If you know you will have to work past 60 but you do not enjoy your current job start looking at careers that you are passionate about and get the skills that will help you to get work in that area. Being happy at work feels like play and when you hit 60 you deserve to play. Don’t look at having to work as a negative thing, sitting at home watching bad TV is no way to treat your brain, it is a treasure trove of knowledge and intellectual property, it would be tragic to let it give way to mindless soapies and mall trawling.
Hedge your bets
While it’s great to build up your net wealth don’t forget to protect it. Your ability earn an income is one of your biggest assets, make sure you have income protection. The other areas that have to be protected are your health, property (like a car and home) and your life if you have dependents. One calamity like a car accident or a home catching fire can wipe out your savings, so not neglect this vital element of a good financial plan.
Lee Anne says “Getting on the path to financial wellness is not a chore, it is a lifestyle that will give you peace of mind but most importantly it will give you choices. It is much more fun to be deciding which holiday to go on than which bill to pay”.