Are you interested in financial wellness?
But first, how do you feel when you read these words:
Money. Finances. Investing. Student loans. *Drowning in a sea of despair*
Do you feel unsure or scared? I sense your dread, but dread not!
Financial wellness and building wealth is a top priority. I conducted a poll on Instagram that revealed 96% of voters are interested in building financial wealth, and 95% of voters would love to prioritize financial wellness in 2021.
How would you like to tackle your financial situation once and for all, no matter how scary it may be, and prioritize financial wellness in 2021?
Building Financial Wellness: Simplified
If I can embrace this with over $150k in student loan debt, so can you. I will share the three recommendations that have helped clear my money anxiety and have gotten me- dare I say- excited to talk about finances.
Disclaimer: I am by no means a financial expert, nor is this an overnight hack to fixing financial wellness; however, through leaning on the expertise available to me through podcasts, books, services, and other resources, I’ve come to gain a clearer understanding about my finances.
I have found these tips helpful for someone like myself, starting from square one and who wants to find their bearings on this financial wellness voyage.As someone who quickly becomes overwhelmed by financial jargon, I hope this piece resonates with you if you feel the same way.
What You Need For Your Financial Wellness Voyage
It’s about *damn* time that you become empowered instead of shrinking away from your debt situation. You should feel confident in navigating the rough financial seas with a:
1. compass in hand (mindfulness)
2. steady hand on the helm (student loan planning service)
3. a skilled crew (support system) at your service.
Onboard with me (and this impromptu nautical theme I’m rolling with)?! Let’s set sail!
1. Compass in Hand: Mindful Finances
What does it truly mean to practice financial health in the first place? Financial wellness has to do more with a state of mind than the amount in your bank account per se. Let’s break it down into four components:
- Keeping spending within one’s means
- Being financially prepared for emergencies
- Having access to the information and tools necessary to make sound financial decisions
- Having a plan for the future
Before we go into a plan, it’s essential to first talk about your habits, thoughts, and feelings about money. Do you have a healthy relationship with money? Do you know where your money is going? Do you feel like it’s bad to have a lot of money?
When you think about these questions, what emotions come to mind? Do you feel fired up, stressed out, or as cool as a cucumber?
Fix Your Money Mindset
Money is a tool, and some people view money as a currency of energy. I have learned to adopt a grateful mindset and view money as a source of abundance rather than something I lack. I read the book You Are a Badass At Making Money by Jen Sincero a few years ago, which completely changed my relationship with money. The next financial book on deck is Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki, and I can’t wait!
Moral of the story: reevaluate how you associate with money, dig deep into the money stories you grew up with and how they impacted your attitude and behavior, and look into your past and current finances. The work won’t be easy, but the clarity and freedom you’ll gain will make it all worth it.
2. Steady Hand On The Helm: Find a Free Student Loan Planning Service
You can’t sail the financial wellness seas without a plan to pay off your student loans. Although I’m on a repayment plan, I didn’t have a plan in place to pay off my loans in the best way. I discovered Snowball Wealth, a free student loan planning service and I love them mainly because of these two reasons:
- it’s free (and something that will always remain free)
- they know how to make a complicated and daunting topic of student loan debt simplified, attainable, and comfortable.
63% of my community on Instagram voted that they are unsure if they are paying off their student loan in the smartest, most strategic way. Yikes!! 😬 I was right there with you. But whether your goals are to pay down debt faster, lower your interest rate, lower your payments, or stop payments, Snowball helps you optimize your debt payments.
How Snowball Works:
I first signed up, created a free account, and synced up my student loan accounts on Snowball. I thought the syncing part was going to be a frightening process, but it was easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy.
My account homepage shows me my interest rates, a straight-forward loan breakdown, which loans have been affected by COVID, and more insights.
Snowball created a repayment plan for me and gave me recommendations from different angles based on my loans and goals, including how long it’ll take to pay them off and how much it’ll cost.
Here is a screenshot of my account with the recommendations and all the savings potential. I can even play with the app to see different payment scenarios. If I lower my interest rate to 5.0% after COVID relief ends, I can save over $48k. Say what?! And if I increase my monthly payments by $50 after COVID relief ends, I’ll save on interest and pay my loan faster, enjoying over $15k of total savings.
Before Snowball, I didn’t know I could optimize payments or create any strategy with my loans. Now, I feel confident with the plan they’ve outlined to help me save thousands of dollars in the long-run.
3. Skilled Crew: Join an Empowering Financial Community
“Dime con quién andas y te diré quien eres.”
“Tell me who you walk with, and I’ll tell you who you are.”
If the people you love and cherish around you don’t have the healthiest relationship with money or the healthiest money habits, the chances are that it has rubbed off on you. These are just a few mindsets I have encountered in my life among different circles:
- “Money is dirty.”
- “Money doesn’t grow on trees.”
- “I never have enough money.”
- “I’m so poor.”
Do you see how these can leave a negative imprint on your psyche?
57% of voters on my Instagram poll voted that money was an uncomfortable topic in their house growing up and/or still is a painful conversation.
What if there was a supportive community that you could rely on to have healthy money conversations? Snowball has just that- a free money community on Slack for women to talk about money moves, share resources, and connect with like-minded people.
I love this community because it feels so free to talk about money in healthy and productive ways. So far, I have learned about micro budgeting, received awesome book recommendations (i.e. Choose FI), learned about maximizing my retirement accounts (i.e. individual stocks, index funds, etc.) shared my 2021 financial goals.
No money question is off limits. They also host exclusive happy hours and educational webinars on debt, salary negotiation, investing, and more (Tanya the founder hosted a budgeting 101 webinar last month!)
Having this kind of support takes the edge off navigating the rough financial waters because they normalize money talks. I never had a safe space to talk about financial wellness before, and I’m so thankful now that I do.