Financial Health

Week 6:  Financial Health

  • The importance of continuous personal growth
  • Managing finances for a balanced life
  • Budgeting and savings tips

Finances, bills, debts, income, all of it can feel like bondage or freedom!  Years ago I was absolutely lost with my career goals.  A judge had ordered me to quit attending law school or give up physical custody of my young child, my background was working in law offices, and all I had ever aspired to be was an lawyer.  I had two semesters of law school left and was ordered to quit, or else.  With law school student loan debt and no attorney salary to pay for it, I found myself overqualified, over educated, and under interested in anything else.  I spent a few years going from job to job and lost ambition and a lot of self-esteem.  The economy had tanked, I lost my house, my vehicle was repossessed and I only owed $600 dollars on my last payment after paying on it for years, and I needed a job and income quickly so I took a two week class on becoming a CNA.  This was the worst job I can now say that I have ever had in my entire life; I don’t do well with death, long hours on my feet, mandatory over-time…  However, with every setback comes lessons and opportunities and while working on an acute floor, I was approached and asked if I would be applying for the social work position; after all I had a Bachelor’s Degree.  Honestly, I had no idea what that even entailed.  And this, my friend, sparked my research and interest in figuring out how to balance my life, set some goals, make a plan and use this very tool you are learning now.  I did my due diligence and learned that as a social worker, I could still advocate and help people without starting law school all over again.  Under this section of my personal pie chart, I wrote “obtain my Master’s Degree in social work.”  It took me THREE years to complete this life balance chart because it took me three years to complete my degree.  And, while taking classes I networked and obtained gainful employment with the referrals of my cohort members and eventually landed my first clinical therapist position.

Financial solvency refers to the ability of an individual to meet their financial obligations and maintain financial position.  Finances can feel very much out of our control with the economy and at-will employers.  Organizational downsizing and restructuring, layoffs, and overall life changes can put us in a monetary tailspin.  Financial growth allows us reduced stress, increased independence, increased opportunities for personal growth, and the ability to plan for our futures.  It reduced our financial vulnerability and by building good habits around money, education, and budgeting we can avoid the bondage that comes with financial hardships.

Here are suggestions for bringing this area of your life to a “10”:

  • Ask for a raise or apply for a promotion
  • Find a new job
  • Find a second job
  • Create a budget to pay off debt in two years
  • Take a Dave Ramsey or other budgeting course
  • Return to school by applying for a GED program or at a college
  • Researching alternative careers
  • Establishing passive income