We could all do with some financial wellness tips, especially as we live through a global pandemic. Trying to adopt healthy habits when it comes to money isn't easy at the best of times, and the past year has been even more difficult for many of us.
With that being said, there are many ways you can improve your financial wellness despite how difficult or out of reach it may feel. Black Girl Finance UK— one of our favorite personal finance podcasts— is a great platform that has created a strong community of "unapologetically ambitious, money minded women" (and particularly women of color) who are keen to become experts at handling their own money. We teamed up with founder Selina Flavius during our Get Set Instagram Live week for a takeover where she gave us five of her top tips for achieving financial wellness.
Here's what she had to say...
5 top financial wellness tips
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1. Talk about money
The first thing Selina advised is to get comfortable talking about money, something we all tend to be very bad at. Talking about money or someone's financial income is often seen as 'rude' but this needs to change in order to have a wealthy relationship with money.
"It's super important because a lot of the times when people are struggling with their finances, they don't talk to anyone about it. It's not uncommon, for some reason we exist in a world where money is not often spoken about," she says. "But it's super important to talk about how you are doing financially because if you are struggling you should not suffer alone or in silence, there is help out there."
She also highlighted that talking about your finances with someone who is doing the things you'd like to do. Don't be afraid to speak to someone who got on the property ladder about how to save up for house, discuss money-saving challenges with someone who nails their savings goals every month, or even someone who figured out how to ask for a pay rise successfully.
2. Prioritize your finances
Many of us lead very busy lives, especially before the pandemic slowed things down. This often means prioritizing our finances can fall to the bottom of our to-do lists, says Selina.
"Make sure that every single month you do a check-in on your finances and ensure that you can still handle any financial commitments that you may have," she explains. "This is really important, particularly at this time where circumstances might have changed for some of us."
3. Always save
Selina is a big advocate for saving and suggests that you should be saving at least 20% of what you earn each month if you can. But if you need to start with a smaller amount and work your way up then that's great too.
"The reason why I'm such a big advocate for saving is because at this time, during COVID, you need to have that financial buffer—a security blanket so that if anything happens you have something [to fall back on]. In ordinary times we talk about having an emergency fund in case a car breaks down or in case the boiler packs up but during COVID people are really impacted by cuts in hours or furloughs, so definitely do save up."
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4. Do a budget
Selina explains that budgeting is important because it is you telling your money where you want it to go, rather than wondering a month down the line where all of your money has gone. "Budgeting allows you to direct your money to the most important areas of your life. For example, if you want to travel next year or if you want to buy a car or get married, I would definitely recommend budgeting for it."
She continues: "A simple budgeting strategy is the 50/30/20 rule. So 50% of your income goes to your essential bills, 30% then goes to your wants and 20% is for your savings."
5. Try to pay off high interest debts to build up your savings
One common factor that hinders many from saving, or saving as much as they could, is paying off high-interest debts. This is because it takes a large chunk of their money, often. "Once you have paid off your debts, you can use the money that you would originally be directing towards debt and direct it to your savings or investing."
Here's to a more financially savvy 2021!
Sagal is a journalist, specialising in lifestyle, pop culture, fashion and beauty. She has written for a number of publications including Vogue, Glamour, Stylist, Evening Standard, Bustle, You Magazine, Dazed and Wonderland to name a few.
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