How Health and Wealth are Intertwined with Financial Coach Christine Dang
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As some of you may know, I’m a weight lifter and I train in a club with a lot of young people.I’m not the type of weight lifter that pulls weights on the machines – I do the snatch and the clean and jerk, which are typically the movements that you see in the sport of weightlifting in the Olympics.
I’m a financial coach and I’m very fortunate to work with our members and help them set some pretty amazing ambitious life goals and see them progress along the way. Often a lot of the goals involve a lot of health goals, too, which is really important.
In the gym, we are very fortunate to often sit around and chat about a lot of different topics, including finances, and what’s been very startling for me is to see the trends between health and finances.
Now, these members might come into the gym every single day and do the work, but they may also be struggling with other areas like their weight or battling with illnesses or things like gut issues.
When we talk about finances, what I often actually see is a very blasé attitude in these people when it comes to their money.
Often they may know that it’s important but are too lazy to do anything about it. They may delay their tax return or they may have multiple superannuation funds, for example.
As a coach, I also often see members who struggle with their health.
They may be going through a tough time with their health, they may be having to see different practitioners or specialists, they might be battling with their their weight or might be battling an illness beyond their control.
Often if they’re not focused on their finances and motivated over their finances, they may just put expenses on the credit cards for example, without really thinking about how it will impact their goals and their progress towards building wealth.
It’s very much interrelated. Health no doubt is an investment.
However, I must stress it can also be a very bad investment if you don’t plan for it.As you know, health and wellbeing can be very costly. Ensuring that you understand what the costs are is so important.
You need to first figure out your “looking after me plan.”
Do I want to go to the gym? So, I might need a gym membership. Do I want to see PT? Once, twice, four times a week? Do I want to see the chiro, the physio, a masseuse? Do I want to see a nutritionist?
Don’t forget you might also want to buy some new gym gear as well!
All these costs can add up, so getting an understanding of what our “looking after me plan” is and how much it costs is the first step.
The next step is asking yourself how this fits into your budget.
Have a look at how those expenses fit into your budget.
Is your budget in a shortfall? If it is, you need to make some decisions around certain expenses. It might be, okay, well I’m going to see the PT two times a week instead of three. I might see the massage therapist once every two months. Or I might say, you know what, I’m just going to have to sacrifice buying some new gym gear and make do with what I have until my income increases.
The third step is so important: you also need to have an emergency fund in place in case things don’t work out.
At Wealth Enhancers we call it your Get Out Of Jail account and it’s purely for unexpected emergency expenses. We generally target about three month’s income in that account so if things do happen to you, you don’t have to stress over your money.
You also need to have a think about the worst case scenarios – which we don’t really like to talk about. It’s very important you get some insurances in place. As young people, the common mentality is that
‘I’m young, I’m healthy, I don’t have any dependents, I don’t have a mortgage, nothing’s gonna happen to me!’
Let’s face it, we all know someone who has been in that position. It might have impacted them, their friends and their family in ways they couldn’t even have imagined. So getting some insurances in place is so important because when that does happen to you, the most important thing is that you are focusing on your health. Your family and friends can focus on how they can help you rather than stressing over how you’re going to get the money.
Now, all this is great, but we need to remember to start taking action today.
It’s all these little steps that add up over the long term. Without taking any action today, you’re going to have a very big impact on your finances when your health isn’t going right and vice-versa.