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Published March 03, 2014, 03:52 PM

Financial Wellness: Another kind of wellness in focus

Wellness goes far beyond the physical elements like diet and exercise.

By: Sherri Richards, INFORUM

Wellness goes far beyond the physical elements like diet and exercise.

We talk about our emotional wellness, how we cope and feel. Spiritual wellness is gained by finding meaning and purpose in life. We’re cognizant of our social wellness, a sense of connection and belonging.

Financial wellness, however, is a topic many still shun.

“It’s not polite or proper to talk about money,” you say. “Numbers are boring.” “I can’t budget.” “I don’t have time.” “It’s depressing to look at my finances.”

All are excuses that lead to out-of-whack money management.

The way you live your life financially affects other aspects of your wellness.

Being stressed out about money takes a physical toll.

When you don’t have a firm grasp on your financial situation, you may feel pressured to spend beyond your means in social situations.

And it’s hard to climb Maslow’s hierarchy of needs toward self-actualization when you’re stuck on the second tier worrying about your resources.

On the other hand, taking control of your finances allows you to understand how much you can comfortably spend and share. It frees you from a lot of stressful worry.

So what does living a financially well life look like?

It’s spending less than you earn.

It’s being debt-free or following the path to get there.

It’s saving money for your future, whether next month, next year or 30 years from now.

It’s feeling content with what you have while planning and working for what you want.

Since 2011, I’ve written a monthly column in The Forum called “Money-Savin’ Mama,” sharing practical suggestions to spend less and save more. My goal has been to get people to take personal finance more personally, to see themselves in my family’s situation and to inspire them to do better.

Based on the feedback I’ve gotten, the message seems to be making sense – and cents – for a lot of readers.

So we’re taking it a step further, rebranding the column and publishing it weekly in the Business section with the hopes of reaching a wider audience, from young professionals to retirees.

My goal remains the same: to make money a topic of conversation.

To counter a culture of über consumerism.

To encourage financial wellness.

Sherri Richards is the Business editor for The Forum and a thrifty mom of two. She can be reached at srichards@forumcomm.com