April is Financial Literacy Month and it's a perfect time to focus on your finances, or more appropriately your financial wellness. It doesn't matter if you are just starting out in life, have a family and established career, or nearing/in retirement; the foundation of financial wellness is the same. The key to improvement is also the same. The key is your commitment to make progress, and progress can only start one way - telling yourself the truth. This little assessment is a great way to do just that. Just follow these instructions and create your financial wellness wheel to see where you need to place your focus.
Step 1: Score yourself in each area on a 1 to 10 scale (with 1 being I know nothing about this” and 10 being I have mastered this area and created a successful habit in my life around this.”)
Financial Wellness Skill
Budget- I know where every dollar goes each month by keeping track of all income and expenses. Because of budgeting, I am able to make good decisions about making purchases. Read Article | Listen to Podcast
Emergency Savings- I keep three to six months of monthly expenses set aside in the event of an emergency. Read Article | Listen to Podcast
Credit- I monitor and clean up my credit on a regular basis. My credit does not and will not cause unnecessary and/or exorbitant costs. Read Article | Listen to Podcast
Protection- Both my family and myself are protected from unexpected events - car accidents, home disasters, being sued, a disability or death and the loss of income as a result, unexpected health events or even a long-term healthcare event. Read Article | Listen to Podcast
Liabilities- I know the difference between good debt and bad debt. My liabilities are all categorized as good debt and are in proportion to my lifestyle, income and future goals. Read Article | Listen to Podcast
Prioritization- I am able to discern the financial priorities in my life to keep protect me and my family today and in the future. I have successful habits in place to keep my obligations to these priorities. Read Article | Listen to Podcast
Savings and Investments- I am saving enough for my future and my investments are in-line with these goals. Read Article | Listen to Podcast
Thinking- I think about my thinking as a success habit. I am able to discern a need versus a want. I am able to recognize old habits that may harm my future. I am able to discern an emotional versus a logical decision and not act on an emotional decision. Read Article | Listen to Podcast
Help- I have a trusted, unbiased advisor who helps me holistically with my financial wellness and meeting my future goals. Read Article | Listen to Podcast
Checkups- I have Financial Checkups in place where I or we (if married) review our financial wellness on a regular basis and make adjustments to the areas needed. Read Article | Listen to Podcast
Step 2: Take each score and put a dot on the wheel below in the corresponding location. You will then connect the dots and visualize how well-rounded your financial wellness is or isn't.
Financial Wellness WheelTM
Step 3: Go back through these ten aspects of financial wellness and make a goal in each area.
Step 4: Take each goal and put a dot on the wheel above in the corresponding location. You will then connect the dots and visualize how well-rounded your financial wellness will be as you commit to improving it.
Step 5: Write down the first thing you will do this week to set you on the right tract. Put this on your mirror in the bathroom, in your wallet or purse, or anywhere that you will see it daily until you get it done.
Your financial success starts with you. Don't wait until it's too late to put your Financial Wellness WheelTM into motion.
Click here for a printable version of the Financial Wellness WheelTM