If you only read the money advice that tells you to keep costs low and cut out all unnecessary spending, the task of improving your financial wellness can feel pretty bleak. One thing that can help is to keep your sights set on the bigger picture of why financial wellness matters in the first place.
Good money management supports a better quality of life and enables you to say yes to new experiences and achieve major milestones. Here’s a look at five benefits you can receive from smart financial management.
1. You can plan for the future, knowing you’ll be able to reach your goals.
Dreaming of owning a home or setting a goal retirement age isn’t fun when you don’t know how you can turn that dream into reality.
By taking proper financial management steps, setting a budget, and creating a savings plan, you can project your income and saving capabilities over time. This lets you make those plans and use them as motivation to be diligent in your budgeting and money management.
When you’re able to set goals and plan ahead, it takes the pressure off of your current financial situation—and that will let you enjoy day-to-day life a little more.
2. You can reduce your overall stress.
Financial stress is the most common form of stress among adults in the US. Money may not buy you happiness, but it can buy you more restful sleep at night and lower stress levels during the day.
The uncertainty of living without a budget can be its own source of stress. If you don’t know how much you’re earning and how much you’re spending, it’s easy to worry about whether you’ll be able to reach your long-term goals.
By contrast, if you know your plan and get yourself on solid financial footing, it’s one less thing to worry about—and that can have a big impact on your mental and physical health.
3. You can provide better support to organizations you care about.
If you’re passionate about charities and other nonprofit organizations in your community, financial wellness makes it possible to support those organizations with financial contributions.
You should always give money within your current financial limits to avoid creating new pressures or shortfalls resulting from too much charitable giving. But if you’re managing your own money well, you can get a lot of satisfaction from being able to help others in need. And those donations might save you a little bit on your state taxes, too.
4. You can be open to new opportunities.
When your finances are in good shape, it opens new doors that might not have been available in the past. You may seize upon the opportunity to consider new jobs or career changes based on what you’re most passionate about, rather than what offers the largest salary.
Even if you forego a pay raise—or take a pay cut—to take a job that offers greater personal satisfaction, you can be comfortable with that choice based on your past success saving and sticking to a budget.
5. You can prioritize spending that supports your own mental wellness.
After all that excellent budgeting, there’s nothing wrong with giving yourself a little reward.
Whether it’s a massage session, concert tickets, dinner out on the town, or another luxury you’ve been trying to cut out, remember that the occasional indulgence can benefit your mental health and refresh you when you’re feeling bogged down by the pressures of keeping to your budget. Just make sure you don’t go too crazy and undo all of the great progress you’ve made up to that point.
The benefits of financial wellness aren’t limited to your checking account. If you establish a budget and develop money management skills, it won’t be long before you start reaping the benefits in unexpected ways.