It’s Not Just Your Mind, Body & Soul

For many of us, our overall state of well-being is very much connected to our financial affairs

live in single-parent households or have two parents who work outside the home. To compensate for the lack of attention, parents buy more things for their children out of guilt. As a result, some children may learn to equate money with love. According to Teenage Research Unlimited, a market research firm, teenagers spend an average of $84 per week — $27 from their parents and $57 from a job or other source — shelling out a staggering $155 billion in the year 2000. Additionally, they rack up thousands of dollars in credit card debt.

Parents who live beyond their means, amassing huge debt, often influence their children’s relationships with money. Marvin Goldberg, a business professor at Pennsylvania State University, found that when parents stated: “I’d rather spend time shopping than doing almost anything else,” their children were likely to learn accordingly: “The more money you have, the happier you are.”

We know that stress can affect our mental and physical health. It is no surprise that financial problems cause people to neglect their health, and that the stress of financial problems may harm your health.

Researchers from Ontario York University studied the negative impact of unstable income on health. Their results suggested that sharp income drops result in substantially higher mortality risk, even when such financial setbacks are only temporary.

What causes many Americans to end up in dire financial situations? I do not pretend to know the answer, but, in my humble opinion, it has to do with our relationship with money, as well as the ability [within] each of us to receive an education, get a job, and save money.

Everyone knows planning for the future is important. We plan what we will study in college. We plan appropriate exercise to achieve physical strength and endurance. We even plan to take that family vacation. Yet, many of us do not plan for our financial future. Would you believe people spend more time planning their annual vacation than they spend planning their financial future? And, when something does go wrong, even if it is a minor problem, we are caught unprepared and emotionally unable to handle the impact. We worry and our health suffers as a result of the additional stress. Deep down, we understand that we need to eat balanced meals and exercise regularly to maintain our health. Excellent health is the result of careful, day-to-day attention to nutrition and exercise. The same principle holds true for our financial health.

You owe it to yourself to talk to a financial expert. And remember what I said, your financial health is related to your overall health. Setting long-term financial goals, paying off debt, and beginning to save may ease overall stress in your life. Feeling that you are in control of your finances is truly empowering.

Building a health “financial house” can take a lifetime. For “financial fitness,” I encourage you to develop a plan and obtain help with money management.

Six Steps To Financial Fitness
Here are some steps that have worked for

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