How to achieve financial wellness


When you typically think of ‘wellness’ images of day spas, healthy eating, resting and leisure time usually come to mind. However, away from the Instagram-worthy, trending, wellness lifestyle, is the idea of balance and a better quality of life. It can be applied physically through exercise and mindful eating and mentally through stress-reduction, gratitude and lowering feelings of anxiety.

Although many wellness advocates will touch on the ‘mind, body and soul’ aspect of wellness, one area you may not have considered in the past is the idea of financial wellness. It doesn’t mean owning a boat, a luxury home or having the financial ability to splurge without debt. It’s the idea that you have control over your finances, have clear monetary goals in mind and practise good financial behaviour and habits. It can come from closely examining your money mind-set, attitude toward finance and a continual stride to do better financially. If you feel at ease and content with your financial path you’re much less likely to stress about whether you’ll pay your rent this month or what you’re going to do when an emergency arises. Your quality of life improves and therefore adds to your holistic wellness.

Everyone deserves to feel confident and financially literate, and achieving financial wellness is something that’s thankfully attainable for everyone, no matter their varied desires and goals. It’s something that requires work, positive habits and practice, as it’s less of an end result and more of an ongoing practice on how to mindfully live.

Financial wellness is more than just being money smart or financially savvy. It’s the capacity to regulate your emotional responses to limit or eradicate unhelpful financial behaviour and emotions.

Women inherently stress about money more than men. NAB’s Australian Wellbeing report showed financial anxiety rose, likely due to coronavirus in 2020 and that women were more worried than men. According to the research, females were more worried in regards to raising money quickly in an emergency situation, their children’s education and living costs such as rent payments and mortgage. In 2014, the Australian Psychological Society found that the three main causes of stress for Australians were personal finance, family issues and personal health.

Functioning with stress is like trying to meditate when your house is on fire as the stress hormones trigger your body’s “fight or flight” response. It comes with a rapid heartbeat, sweating, a scattered thought process and fast breathing. Not only are there the noticeable impacts that can be seen looking outside in, but when the stress response keeps firing daily it could have serious impacts on your inner health. Your respiratory and cardiovascular systems can be affected as your heart is pumping faster and your breath quickens. Your liver produces extra glucose, which over time may increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Your digestive system may become upset as you may experience heartburn or acid reflux by an increase in stomach acid. Finally, your immune system can be lowered, subjecting you to more illnesses and infections such as the common cold.

Another issue with financial stress is that it can also have a big impact on your relationships, career and daily behaviour. One practice to lower financial stress is to utilise a budget sheet. Writing down your weekly or monthly incomings and outgoings will allow you to see the broader picture, minimise unnecessary expenses for valuable savings and predict what’s ahead. A lot of the time stress comes from the feeling of lack of control and the idea of the unknown. Planning how you’ll both spend and save your hard-earned cash is one way to minimise the stress response that comes with worrying about your money in the future.

It can be both confronting and eye opening to see how one aspect of your life (finances) can affect the wellbeing of your physical and emotional health too. By taking care of your financial wellness to lower stress, you’re simultaneously looking after your body and mind.



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