Wellness. You probably hear a lot about it. And when you do, you might think of yoga, matcha tea, retreats by the ocean, or the little things you do for yourself in your daily routine. But wellness is more than that. There’s another side of wellness that can go overlooked in the hustle and bustle of life, but it’s just as important as what you do for your physical well-being.
We’re talking about financial wellness. The state of a person’s finances can have a big effect on almost every aspect of their life. And it can be hard for someone to prioritize the healthy habits conducive to physical and mental wellness when their finances are out of whack. In a way, it all comes down to financial wellness.
Taking control of your financial health is a learning process. There are things that will work for you that won’t work for someone else. There are things you can do that will have short-term benefits, and things that won’t pay off until well into the future. But they all matter. And it’s never too soon to get proactive about your financial well-being. Keep reading to learn about ten things you can do for your financial wellness.
1. Create a budget
It starts here. What are your expenses and how much is coming in? Creating a budget means balancing your income and your cost of living. While some expenses can’t be controlled, and financial emergencies may come up every so often, you should have an idea of what your regular expenses are. Here’s where you can also take a look at where adjustments can be made. From big things like rent or a mortgage to smaller things like subscriptions and coffee runs, deciding how you spend your money and where costs can be cut is a good first step.
2. Set savings goals
Your cost of living – those necessary bills you have to pay – is usually the first priority. But building up a savings account and adding to it regularly is also a good thing to prioritize. Whether it’s a portion of each paycheck or some money you’ve saved by reducing an unnecessary monthly expense, opening and adding to a savings account is a definite part of financial wellness.
3. Take a look at debt
Whether it’s credit card bills, a car payment, or student loans – anything you owe money on is debt. Not all debt is equal though. And neither are all interest rates on that debt. Learn about good debt vs. bad debt (assets that appreciate vs. depreciate), how much of your payment is going to the interest on your debt, and when you expect to be finished paying the debt off.
4. Set career goals
This will be different for everyone, but maintaining or improving your career situation can have a great effect on your financial well-being. If you’re aiming for a promotion, looking to change career paths entirely, or nearing retirement, having a plan for your career can help you keep your financial life healthy.
5. To invest or not to invest
Investment means different things to everyone. For one person, it may be playing the stock market, and to another it means buying a house. But investment often means creating multiple streams of income, or purchasing something that will increase in value, thus increasing the buyer’s net worth. All investments come with risk, so it’s best to weigh your options and consider your finances and your current and future goals.
6. Rent vs. Buy
Housing can take up a lot of your income. It’s a top expense for many, and choosing where to live affects not only your personal and professional life, but your financial life too. Both renting and owning can have their benefits. When you own a house, however, you own an asset – it becomes part of what’s known as your Estate. Owning property can come with more responsibilities, and the property may increase in value and should be managed accordingly.
7. Plan for Retirement
Retirement is more than just hitting retirement age. Being able to retire – or retire comfortably – can depend greatly on your financial situation. Getting a start on your financial wellness plan well before retirement can be a good idea, but taking stock of your finances and making changes where needed can be beneficial at any age.
8. Set Up Your Estate Plan
Your Estate is anything you own – physical property, intellectual property, anything of current and future monetary value. Setting up an Estate Plan determines not only what will happen to those things should you no longer be able to manage them, but an Estate Plan also includes medical directives, like a Living Will. If you need someone to make medical decisions for you or pay your bills from your accounts while you are unable to, an Estate plan can facilitate that. These documents can be so important in the case of an emergency or unexpected illness, when there’s no room for guesswork.
9. Create a Will and/or Trust
Trusts and Wills are often created as a part of estate planning. Since your Estate is made up of everything you own, it is what will be distributed to your heirs – and it is also where creditors will go to settle debts. But if you want to have some say in how your property and belongings are distributed, you can create a Will and/or a Trust. A Will outlines distribution of property, valuables, and sentimental items. A Trust can be created to transfer ownership at any time or to help manage sums of money, among other uses.
10. Don’t procrastinate
Just like no one likes late fees from overdue bills, waiting until the last minute to make important financial decisions is never good. You can get a start on your financial wellness today. Financial wellness is taking care of yourself and what you own – and Estate Planning does just that.
Here at Trust & Will, we have comprehensive Estate Planning options to fit your unique needs. Our customized Estate planning documents are state-specific, so your document will be valid in your state. Make an Estate Plan part of your financial Wellness journey with help from Trust & Will. Get started today!
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