What My Personal Finances Taught Me About Wellness
Updated: Jul 8, 2020
Guest Writer: Rachel Steidl
What contributes to your wellness? Well, I learned I’ve learned everything can, but finances often play a big part. About 6 months ago, I was burned out from my stable yet unfulfilling federal government job. I wasn’t eating and sleeping properly, and I definitely wasn’t working out. I wanted to start a financial counseling business to help people get better with their money, but I couldn’t get myself to do anything after work. What saved me then was my personal finances. I knew I could afford to support myself for more than a year without a paycheck. While the idea of quitting my job was terrifying, the idea of running my own business and living life on my own terms was so exciting.
In February, I took the leap, quit my job, and started my business. Right after leaving my job, I felt a weight lifted off of me. It wasn’t all smooth sailing though. Transitioning from a 9 – 5 job to being a full-time entrepreneur was difficult at first, but it taught me a lot. I realized being free to embrace my inner night owl and wake up at 9 or 10 am, helped me operate at my best. I’ve learned a routine that works for me makes me happier and more efficient. I feel like I’m living my most authentic life now, and my personal finances gave me this opportunity. If I didn’t have all of this keeping me healthy, I think all the suffering going on in our society right now would be too much for me. I realized that while my daily stressors have changed, my personal finances have still afforded me the things I need to protect my overall wellness.
I know many women are not fortunate to be in my position though. This pains me as I know personal finance barriers force many women to stay in unfulfilling jobs and abusive relationships, and it further suppresses minority women. It keeps them stuck and unable to pursue their dreams. It makes it harder for them to work on their overall wellness. So, I’ve dedicated my business to helping women improve their financial skills and confidence. I believe helping women become financially empowered makes them more resilient and healthier even during times of distress.
Some people may feel they’re hopeless when it comes to their finances. We may all have different experiences and strengths, but everyone can improve their financial situation. Here are a few tips to help get you started.
1. Begin tracking all your financial accounts (e.g. checking, investments, student loans, credit card debt, etc.). You can do this for free by linking your accounts to free sites like Mint or Personal Capital. This will give you a starting point so you can assess your financial health and make more informed money decisions when costs arise.
2. Mindless spending can hurt your finances, but intentional spending can enhance your life and your financial situation. Before you buy anything, get in the habit of asking yourself why you’re buying it, what values it brings to your life, and if that value is worth the amount the item/service costs. If you decide not to buy it, you’ll save yourself the money. If you buy something after asking yourself these questions, you’ll be more aware of what the item or service truly does for you.
3. Your emotions can get involved when faced with an unfamiliar or intimidating financial situation arises. Ask yourself what you know, and what you don’t know to help you figure out what information you still need to make an informed decision. Don’t make a financial decision without understanding what is happening or how the process works.
I’ve learned personal finances can affect your wellness in so many ways, directly and indirectly. Therefore, as women we cannot wait any longer to learn about it and how we can use it to improve our lives.
About Rachel: Rachel Steidl is the Founder and Owner of My Financial Fluency. It is a personal finance coaching, counseling, and education business dedicated to helping women break through personal finance barriers so they can live the life they want. She is also a Certified Financial Education Instructor and holds a Masters of Public Health and a Bachelor of Art in Psychology degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.