The definition of wellness according to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary is “the quality or state of being in good health especially as an actively sought goal”. Seemingly then wellness has no direct connection to finances as there is nary a word about it in this official definition. And yet there are so many connections, to not consider them would be imprudent.
Stress – It’s well-accepted that ongoing stress can be very damaging to one’s health. Serious medical conditions ranging from cardiovascular disease to depression have been linked to it. If one’s personal finances are in disarray and a constant source of worry, chances are it will impair both your quality of life and long-term health. Alleviate this stress by instituting a plan for your money and financial life. This may entail drafting a budget that more intentionally allocates your resources to the things you care most about while eliminating superfluous spending. Think of it not as an exercise in constraint but rather the first step towards living your one best financial life.
Leisure – Americans are known as being workaholics. The old adage is “we live to work” not “work to live”. But research shows that too much work and not enough “down-time” can stifle creativity and make us less productive. While a strong work ethic and dedication to achievement are certainly admirable, they must be balanced against one’s overall wellness. Achieving career and/or financial success at the price of your health or time spent with family and friends doesn’t seem to meet the definition of wellness. Rather, consider “investing” in time away from work to pursue interests that re-energize and feed the spirit. Whether it be a simple “staycation” in the spring to work in the garden or an exotic trip abroad to see and experience new cultures, commit to unplugging from work to invest in your well-being. Who knows? You might just find by doing so you are not only happier but also more productive and successful at work.
Lifestyle – It’s no secret that leading an active lifestyle while maintaining healthy eating habits greatly increases one’s ability to live a healthy life. But doing so requires both a level of financial commitment and discipline. It is not uncommon for healthier foods to be more expensive than many staples of the American diet. Think salmon versus ground beef. And gym or health club memberships certainly aren’t free. But the cost of not “investing” in these can be poor health, thereby limiting one’s ability to lead the life they’ve imagined. In addition, future health care expenditures incurred will likely outweigh the cost of healthier foods or gym memberships. The best medicine is preventive even if it does cost a bit more upfront.
Finances are nothing more than the expression of the choices we make daily. By being organized, focused, and intentional, it is possible to leverage the power of your personal finances to support your overall well-being. What better time to get started than the beginning of a new year!
The opinions expressed herein are those of PYA Waltman Capital, LLC (“PYA Waltman”). This information shall not constitute investment advice or a recommendation to buy or sell any security or service.
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