Financial Wellness

How is your relationship with money?

Is that a difficult question to answer or fairly easy to describe? Are you feeling icky just having a question about money proposed? Do you feel embarrassment creeping up in relation to certain spending habits?

The third Dimension of Wellness is Financial Wellness. Financial Wellness encompasses your current and future financial satisfaction. Perhaps you haven’t thought about the flow of money in and out of your life as a relationship? Or, pondered how money -- the surplus, the lack thereof, and everything in between -- is a huge component of your financial wellness, but it’s not the only aspect to consider. 

For instance, a 40 year-old doctor could be earning $20,000 per month, paying all of her bills and meeting all of her material needs, yet she does not feel financially well or satisfied.

An 80 year-old retiree could be living with a more modest $2,000 per month income, yet feel incredibly well financially. 

What’s the difference?
It comes down to how they are living out their values.

In coaching partnerships, we often land at this intersection of how values lay the foundation within each dimension of wellness. When you’re making decisions from a place of integrity, you will feel more at peace in your life. When you operate with clarity in regards to what success looks like for you and your financial goals, then you will feel more at peace in your life. This is regardless of what the dollar amounts in your bank accounts add up to! 

If your values are unknown. Or, they’re known, but belittled or left to the wayside as you’re making choices regarding your financial wellness, it’s very possible something feels out of balance.  You are the expert on you. Coaching partnerships give you the space to be curious about your experience and start making decisions that are more aligned with your values. You do that, and I guarantee your sense of satisfaction in regards to Financial Wellness will increase.

When we come back to what we can control - which is actually loads of things when it comes to making financial decisions – we are able to influence where we want to go. 

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to sit down with Taylor Richardson with Engage Advisors about money management. As someone who interacts daily with clients to help them align their wealth goals with their income and expenses, he has great advice for approaching what can be a difficult topic to discuss. One of the first exercises he conducts with a new client is an Expense Audit that often ends up being an eye-opening experience in uncovering the client’s relationship with money. Some of his clients have called it a “gut check” for how their spending now impacts their future financial options and satisfaction.

It’s no surprise that it’s vitally important to paint a realistic picture of financial NEEDS versus WANTS. Yet, how often do we try to skim over the nitty-gritty details rather than stare our money-spending-habits right in the face?  Taylor tactfully facilitates further exploration and decision-making processes around non-negotiable expenses and other categories. This can be a simple, yet profound, exercise for those curious about their spending habits and the effect it will have on their future. 

Our relationship with money is not one-way – a gimme, gimme, gimme.  The way we purchase items that support us, find opportunities to share generously with our families, friends, and communities, and create safety nets for The Unknown, it all influences our Emotional Wellness.

If you’re currently in a financial situation that you find stressful or unsatisfying, I invite you to spend some time evaluating your relationship with money. 

  • Have you mentally put a glass ceiling on what you can earn?

  • Do you have negative energy to air out surrounding how you have historically felt treated by money?

  • Perhaps the ways in which you were shown to manage money early in life were not best practices to follow?

Jen Sincero dives into money management practices in her best-selling book, You Are a Badass. In the chapter, Money, Your New Best Friend, she reminds us that, “Money is not only a blessing, it is a responsibility.” With that responsibility, there are infinite ways to attract money and the financial abundance you seek.

As a Life Coach, I have the opportunity to help my clients gain awareness about their relationship with money and its connectedness with their own wellbeing. Here are a few ideas for how you can begin to reflect on your relationship with money and start planning (and even saving!) for your future:

 Get Detailed

  • On what you want to save for your older years.

  • On what you need right now to cover your expenses. 

    The power of clarity in this dimension cannot be stressed enough.
    (And you don’t have to go it alone! If you need an Investment Expert of Financial Advisor I’d love to connect you.)


    Conduct an Expense Audit

  • Where is your money really going?

  • Do those categories – and the percentages of each – align with your goals?

  • Perhaps it’s time to visit the chopping block: Identify a reoccurring expense to cut out? Minimize a subscription barely used? Choose to eat out for lunch fewer times per week? 


    Identify and Define Your Values

  • If you’d like resources in defining yours – request here – and I’d be happy to email you the comprehensive list I utilize with clients to gather awareness.

    Do what you need to, to interact with money in a way that protects, honors, and supports you living your absolutely amazing life. You’ve got this.

Environmental Wellness

Raise your hand if you made your bed this morning!?
Raise your hand if you have space on your desk for your coffee and know what all of those papers are for!?
….raise your hand if neither of those are true but you made it to work in one piece…? =)

I could go on and on quizzing you about the different spaces in our lives…but really the heart of what I want to emphasize is the importance of

ENVIRONMENTAL WELLNESS. 

Last month, we learned about Emotional Wellness. That dimension can often be right up in our faces telling us we’re feeling elated or disappointed and everything in between. Environmental wellness is a bit more subtle - but just as groundbreaking and life changing - to be in control of. Maybe you’re doing so much work to find that balance for your emotional health, but if you’ve hit a plateau, then it’s very likely your space is not set up in a way to support your breakthrough to another level of health. 

So what’s this all about? Perhaps it sounds so obvious, but it’s about making your best effort to set up your environments to work FOR you…not against you.

“Whatever is going on in your life good or bad – mimics or mirrors how you’re living in your space.” Robyn Stevens

When we think about how much time we spend in our homes and offices, and how easily we take on the energy of our environments, it’s a wonder this isn’t more top of mind! Think about when you walk into a stadium for a big game – the energy excites you and gets you pumped for the competition about to begin.  Or why is it that we’re so attracted to luxurious spa experiences? When we are welcomed in to the inviting décor and plush amenities it immediately oozes serenity.   

You have the opportunity to create a space that supports you. This is within your control! Let me say that again…. It is within your control - and it is critical to your balance and wellness – to ensure that your environments support you.

Does it seem far-fetched that by taking responsibility – for instance removing clutter in your bedroom or office – could completely change the trajectory of your life? It’s certainly worth taking a closer look! I know when I first set up my home office a few months back my productivity and mental clarity sky rocketed after I took the time to put everything in its proper place and donate or throw away unnecessary items.  I could go to my desk….and actually work, rather than be mentally pulled in several directions before I even made my first call. If you want more insight and motivation on the practice of simplicity, check out the book Essentialism by Greg Mckeown. Total kick in the pants to design the life that really works, for you.

We all know what the hardest part is…choosing to do it. Taking that first step. Once you start it, it’s energizing!  Recently, a family member of mine spent a couple hours organizing his closet and found things he didn’t know he had; items that are treasures to him but because it was disorganized, he didn’t even know they were there. These touchstones of the past reminded him of wonderful times…for example a card from his wife, or a picture of his children when they were young. If the closet had stayed disorganized, they might as well have not been there. He also discarded broken or outdated items he would never use and were simply taking up room.

When he was done organizing, he experienced the welcome relief of walking into a space that brings joy. Knowing things are where they “should” be – where HE decided where to be placed that would most support his wellness.

The space is being utilized to its maximum, and it’s a beautiful thing.  That one small shift will bring energy day-after-day because it’s a space he goes to day-after-day. 

Imagine your life like a phone battery.  So many things around us deplete our energy. Now, this closet, and the way he’s organized it is FOR him. It supports his day and wellness so a little less energy is depleted, and he has more energy and attention to the other things that fill his day.  Allow your environment to not be an energy drain, but to boost up your clarity, energy, and positivity.

If you need advice on where to start.

Here are the recommendations from Feng Shui expert Robyn Stevens

1)   Remove clutter (leads to mental clutter)

2)   Get rid of or fix broken items (you are whole and well and deserve to be surrounded by items that reflect that)

3)  Remove past items with a negative history (these could be keeping you in the past and a barrier to welcoming opportunities that are more aligned with your wellness)

I love how Robyn describes, “I used to be the messy person… I don’t live there anymore – but visit occasionally.”

Many of us want to tackle our shared spaces first where people see. But actually, tackling spaces in the bedroom that you utilize the most are going to give you the most bang for you buck. Your nightstand, for instance, is a great place to start, today.  Discard, clean, organize, and create the space that works for you. You’ve got this.