When you think finances, you probably think about a few things: how much you make at work, how much you spend, and the state of your loans, accounts, and investments. But there are other factors in life that will have just as much of an effect on your long term financial state even though we rarely think about them in that sense. Here are 6 things you should still think about when you think about finances:
1. Physical Health
You need, absolutely need, to take care of yourself. Eating right and exercising helps you work harder and smarter, cuts down on depression, and prevents you from making foolish decisions with your money which will hurt you down the line. Your physical health is absolutely related to your financial state. Setting up practices now that give you problems down the road is a great way to hurt your long term finances. Get health, get educated, and invest in your body.
2. Mental Health
Seek help when you need it! Problems with psychiatric illness can, just like physical health, cause spending patterns that hurt your financial state. Mental health affects your work and ability to gain clients. Definitely seek care and resources when you need it, and not just for your financial state, but for yourself.
Do you have friends and family who need your income? Do your friends encourage you to spend too much money? Do you have family who is taking your money? When you think finances, you probably think of yourself as an island, maybe including your immediate family like spouse and kids. But all of your relationships affect your financial situation. Some friends encourage you to spend more than you have, other friends contribute to your energy levels and push you to work harder. Be smart about your relationships.
4. How Much TV do you Watch?
Study after study has shown correlations between time spent watching TV and less than optimal financial states. It’s definitely more of a correlation than a causation, but keep your finger on this pulse. If you find yourself using TV to procrastinate, time to switch it off and get the things done! TV is rarely as educational as reading or as valuable as a side hustle, so invest in yourself with those things!
5. How Often Do You Think About Your Life?
Here’s a strange one–how often do you pull back and survey your life from a balcony position? How often do you look at your total situation, how your past connects to your present and future, and what you want and where you’re going? It’s important to set goals and realize who you want to be as a person. Thinking about life helps your financial state because it ensures you’re working the best job for you, living in the best place for you, and only spending money on the things you really want and really need.
6. How Do You Think About Money?
Studies show that, unsurprisingly, rich people and poor people think about money very differently from one another. Do some self-reflection to determine how you think about money. Think about the money culture you were raised in, your parents, your religion growing up. Think about the mentors and people you looked up to in your life and how they handled money. You might have financial savvy in your blood–or you might need to identify problematic money patterns that you internalized without even trying! These early patterns and examples often shape the ways that we think about money today, even if the ideas beneath them have taken different forms.
Next time you think about finances, make sure to draw in other categories. Your entire life is interconnected! Think about how things like health, TV, relationships, and reflection impact your financial state. So many things that don’t have numbers affect the money in our lives.