How your finances affect your health is the first post in September’s #HealthyFinances Series
Lately my mind has been preoccupied with the idea of a 360 degree approach to health. It is a preconceived notion that healthy living is attained when you combine a balanced diet and exercise. We often ignore other factors that contribute to our health. Are you getting enough sleep? I know that I am not, but I’m working on it. Do you sit at a desk behind a computer all day? I do, but last week I found an amazing solution! What about your finances? Eeek.
Life is hard and it is so easy to get caught up in day to day stresses, expenses, wants and needs and forget about the future. Why worry about a may-not-ever-come when you don’t even know where you stand today?
Here’s the problem; Tomorrow is coming. Do you really want to be reliving the stresses of today when it arrives? I know I don’t, so I need to start making changes today. In my quest to make September all about healthy finances, I decided to chat to our financially savvy friends at The Purple Group and Easy Equities.
The Purple group offers investing and trading solutions for everyone. They operate under four business units, catered to a vast array of individual needs. Easy Equities, one of the four, has become a game changer in entry level investing. EasyEquities offers fun, friendly, cheap and easy access to equities and ETFs listed on the JSE. There’s no minimum investment, no monthly fees and the lowest trading costs in the market (investors pay only 64c per R100 invested).
Easy is definitely the right place for me to start but I’m already overwhelmed. Maybe you are too?
To get started with a financial spring clean, the first step is getting your mind-set in alignment with the new habits you want to form. The old school thinking that it takes only 21 days to form a habit may have been disproved, but over the next 21 days, a few individuals across The Purple Group are going to help guide our minds in the right direction.
The Purple Group on the Effect of Finances on Your Health
Lee Scott, sales consultant at EasyEquities
I don’t think it should be How your finances affect your health but rather How your health affects your finances. Based on that I think it’s vital to remain healthy and to exercise regularly. Exercise always makes me feel better and if I feel good I can handle a lot more stress and remain positive. With markets being volatile it’s important to keep a level head especially when those around you lose theirs
Carly Barnes, brand manager EasyEquities
I think being financially fit is a lot like being physically fit. How to get started? Just start! It’s the same when you haven’t been to gym or sticking to your diet for a while, the only way to get back on track is to jump in. Not on Monday. Or next month. Or on the 1st of January. Now! Even if it’s just 15 mins on the treadmill – or a R15 rand share buy on EasyEquities. Just do it. Then when you get your groove back, you’ve got to keep at it regularly to see results. Put a little money aside each month for investing; the same way you would put a little time aside with your yoga matt each day! The more you practise the more confident you become and before you know it, you’ll have some serious money muscles to flex. Lastly, there are no quick fixes to losing weight, getting in shape OR growing your wealth. Allow yourself some small indulgences every now and then, set (reasonable) goals and no matter what: keep your eye on the prize! Like the number on the scale, markets go up and down. But if you stick to it, in the long term you’ll see the results you want!
Carel Nolte, Chief Communications Officer, The Purple Group
Obvious one is that if people are stressed about finances, then their health will suffer. So, for me, being an ostrich is not smart. Acknowledge debt and your financial strengths/weaknesses and then have a plan. Just like training goals, your financial goals won’t always be met (100%) but that doesn’t mean you must give up. Put one foot in front of the other in a race, put one rand away when you can. Little things lead to big changes!
Josh Nuttall, Brand Assistant, The Purple Group
Why do we train, run, ride, or keep fit? Well for me it’s because I enjoy it, I enjoy being outdoors and challenging myself.
I take care of myself, buy the right clothing to stay warm (vital for these chilly Jozi mornings), make sure that I fuel my body with the right type of food and make sure that I service my bikes regularly so they run smoothly!
So this got me thinking…why shouldn’t I take care of my finances and where/ how would I start??
The hardest thing I find for most people, is taking that first step and just starting. Getting disciplined and making sure that you keep your finger on your financial pulse, means applying some of the lessons you have learnt in your fitness journey. Once you have developed a routine/habit it is easier to be more financially aware and make financial decisions to positively influence your health.
To conclude, to take control of your finances you can learn a lot from the steps that you have taken to become disciplined in your training. For me, just start and this will help you get into the habit of being more financially aware.
Kurt Solomon, People and Brand, The Purple Group
I suppose stress is plays the biggest role here, if you worry about finances, you stress, when you stress you waste time and energy and end up going around in circles. If you’re not getting enough sleep, or exercise or eating badly, generally one is going to feel lethargic, down and demotivated. As they say, a healthy body is a healthy mind. When you not at your peak, you drop balls and make bad decisions, this can range from bad financial decisions to bad life decisions.
My biggest stress in life is being able to provide for my family one day and of course retire comfortably, none of that is possible if I don’t make the right decisions now, hence I use EasyEquities to invest and make sure I put money aside monthly (even if I need to sacrifice a few things).
I need remind myself to have a good work / life balance, as late nights, lack of exercise and eating badly affects my life and day to day decisions and choices.
Next week we’re going to climb into how to balance living in the now and planning for your future.