Financial health, to me, means more than being able to shop until I drop or purchase whatever I want. There are many components to what I believe is good financial health, including the ability to provide for my household without entering into debt. Saving for retirement and investments are on my list of priorities for the second half of 2016.
Being in control of My Money
It is important for me to be in control of my money. I must know where every penny is allocated and if the expenditure makes sense. I am always seeking out the best prices for products and services to save money and live a bit frugally. The cost of living continues to rise, but wages do not necessarily adjust with the increased costs. I adjust my spending, coupon clipping, and discount searching as these increases happen.
Living within my Means
It is important for me to be able to afford my home and utilities regardless if I have full paychecks or not. Living within my means, and paying all of my bills early, is important to me. I do not want to be struggling every month to pay my rent. The financial and mental stress is too much, so I work hard to ensure that my family’s financial needs are satisfied.
There is no point in having a big, fancy house or a luxury vehicle if it brings you stress to pay the bills for these items. At least that is how I view things.
Improving my FICO score
My FICO score means more to me than telling me that I have good credit. It also helps me see where I can improve my credit score, how much credit I have available, and the overall health of my credit. By staying up-to-date on my FICO score, I am able to see how important it is to not spend all of my available credit each month and to pay my bills early. It keeps me in good-standing with my creditors and provides me more buying power as my credit/FICO score improves.
I am preparing to purchase a home in the next year or two and staying on top of my FICO score and financial health is helping me to save an appropriate amount for a down payment, will help me get a lower mortgage interest rate, and less difficulty obtaining mortgage approval.
When my finances are in order, my emergency fund stays healthy too. It is important to me to keep at least enough to sustain my household for 3-months should a financial emergency or major illness occur. I have not had to dip into my emergency savings yet this year, and continue to build on it to ensure that my finances stay healthy.
Final Thoughts on Financial Health
Financial health brings me peace of mind. So much of society stresses over finances and making ends meet. I watch friends and family struggle and strive to not allow myself to feel that same stress. Keeping my finances in order, my budget intact and by staying diligent in my spending choices, I am working toward complete financial stability and am only a few short steps away.
What does financial health mean to you?