While it receives less attention than aspects of physical wellness like our body mass index, cholesterol, and blood pressure, Financial Wellness is equally important to our health and well-being.
In fact, more than 200 studies and surveys have tracked, measured, and documented the link between financial stress and illness. The American Psychological Association recognizes financial stress as the leading cause of unhealthy behaviors like smoking, weight gain, and alcohol and drug abuse.
Beyond health issues, poor Financial Wellness results in a decreased quality of life and creates a barrier to nearly everything including housing, transportation, education, and employment.
However, improving our Financial Wellness can feel like a puzzle to most of us. My Smart Money Plan, a non-profit organization, has a national team of Regional Directors of Financial Wellness who provide FREE Financial Wellness Workshops and assists individuals in creating a personalized My Smart Money Plan as a road map to reach their goals.
There are six core principles of Financial Wellness incorporated in our Workshops and My Smart Money Plans:
A Smart Money Plan is a personalized written plan provided for free to each participant addressing the six key elements (see graphic above). Essentially, it is a roadmap to get from here to there (goals) addressing the all aspects of Financial Wellness.
The typical process is as follows: