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Monday, May 27, 2013

How Do Your Finances Affect Your Health?

It's all about the money, money, money!!  

Ever since my post on Stress, I have been trying to find ways to DECREASE the stress in my life. I noticed that I have different levels of "stress."  There are situations that stress me out, but they usually dissipate quickly.  I stress about my kids and how I am probably messing up their life and should just accept the fact that they will need therapy.  Then, there are the things that CONSTANTLY have me on edge.  FINANCES is one of those things!

In a poll conducted by The Associated Press and AOL, it was found that people that suffered from financial stress also suffered from:
  • Ulcers or digestive tract problems — 27 percent of people with high stress over finances reported digestive problems versus 8 percent of people who did not worry about finances.
  • Headaches or migraines —44 percent of people financially stressed reported having migraines versus 4 percent of people with low financial stress.
  • Depression– 23 percent of people with financial stress were depressed, compared with 4 percent of people who were not stressed.
  • Muscle tension or lower back pain — Highly stressed people were 65 percent more likely to suffer from back pain and muscle tensions than those with low stress.
All this ON TOP of the higher cortisol levels that are caused from the extra stress that the constant worry brings. Not to mention that ALL of the above symptoms are linked to struggles with weight loss.  (Is your interest peaked now?)

In short, YES, your financial situation DOES affect your fat loss.  

Imagine your life without debt or financial worries.

Really.  Take a minute and think to yourself.  "What would my life be like if I didn't have to worry about debt?"  Intriguing, isn't it.  Possible? Yes!  

Jeff is a pilot.  This career choice required that we sign away our lives into the black pit of money despair took out some student loans. Because pilots don't get paid very much ($17,000 for a first year, First Officer, and only a little more as a Flight Instructor,) we haven't been able to pay down much of the loans.  This just eats at both of us. Although we know that the time will come when he will make some pretty good money (the kind that pilots are known for, and that everyone THINKS we make right now,) I still struggle with wanting to end the debt faster.  Patience isn't one of my virtues. I just know that if we were debt free and followed a budget a little more closely, we would be happier...FOR SURE! 

Where to Start?

As usual, when you don't know the answer to something, you go and find it.  This problem is no different. And, a year ago or so, I did my research and came up with Dave Ramsey's book ,"The Total Money Makeover."   Jeff and I started reading it.....we never finished.  Was it not a priority? Yeah...maybe.  I think it was mainly because were were trying to read it together and that just wasn't happening. BUT, because I already have this book.  I'm going to finish it.  I'm going to apply the things that I learn. At the time of this post, this book has over 850 reviews on Amazon.com and almost ALL of them are positive and share life-changing stories.  So, THIS is where I am starting.  Anyone disagree with this choice?  Speak now.

The Road to Financial Health

The way I see it, I have 5 steps:
  1. Learn to "Just Say No."  Cut up the credit cards, and face reality.  NO to going out to eat, NO to the cute jewelry, dress, purse, etc that I might want, NO to vacations, NO NO NO!  That money can be better used elsewhere.
  2. Focus on Getting Out of Debt- Jeff and I are going to find the balance between needs and wants with our family.  Figuring out how we can bring in more in and have less go out.  That is the goal.
  3. Create a Realistic, Yet Firm Budget- I think creating a budget is like dieting.  You can't go SO strict that you BINGE later on.  We want to avoid that.
  4. Learn About Investing- I know absolutely NOTHING about investing or financial planning, for that matter.  I think it's time. Who knows, I probably could have been a millionaire if I had made some better moves 10 years ago!  ;)
  5. Create a Retirement Plan- Let's face it.  No one wants to work forever.  This is just a must.  How sad would it be if I became all healthy and active and then wasn't able to DO anything because I always had to work?

Yup, those are my goals.  Are they good?  Should I add to them? Are my expectations too high? Too low?  

What have you done to ease the Financial Stress in your home?  What are your favorite books? Programs? Do you have a favorite financial planner? 

Time to "weigh in!" 



2 comments:

  1. I have financial stress because I refuse to be mature about managing money. I like to be in the dark, because then, I can be less stressed!...or so I think. I grew up in a household that was horrible with money. We never had consistency. This is the NUMBER ONE biggest fight in my marriage. I don't know where to start, and my husband thinks I should be the one doing everything...hey, isn't he the one with the MBA????

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  2. Thanks for the comment Kellie! :) With us, Jeff is totally in the dark about our finances. BUT, that puts a lot of stress on me. If we get in a tight spot, I take the blame. HE doesn't really blame me, but I do. I am usually the one spending the money. I pay the bills, I do the shopping, etc.

    The problem is that as soon as I try to "clue him in" on the financial situation, he freaks because he feels like he needs to "make more money." And that puts stress on HIM, and thus, our marriage, and so on....

    My problem is that I get overwhelmed with it. I figure as long as we aren't bouncing check,s we are ok, right? But, that isn't the right way to think. That is why I am going to read that book. I do really well when someone just tells me what to do! LOL!

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