Many of the benefits of getting your financial house in order are obvious. But there are some lesser-known reasons to get it together in the money department you may have overlooked…
1. Less stress and better health. In a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, 73% of people listed money as the number one factor affecting their stress level. This is a problem because persistent stress isn’t just unpleasant—it’s deadly. Stress is a significant contributor to a host of serious physical ailments like heart disease, stroke, depression, and even obesity. By doing the work necessary to get your financial house in order, you might also add some years, and greater quality, to your life.
2. Better marriages. Money woes are hard on relationships. The inevitable day of reckoning (like when the credit card bill is due, or the mortgage is in foreclosure) can bring out the finger-pointing and cause couples to turn on one another, rather than work together to fix the problem. Couples with a sound, mutually-negotiated financial plan may not get everything they want, but they’re less likely to blame one another for it.
3. More options in life. When you manage money well and plan for tomorrow, you have greater control over your own life. Those who are constantly mired in heavy debt, by contrast, are slaves to their payments and what the banks will allow them to do. Want to have the financial margin needed to make a career change? Want to have more choices related to your kids’ education? Then make small sacrifices now that will empower you later.
4. The freedom to be generous. People who are financially stable have more margin. In other words, they don’t live to the end (or beyond) of their means. They build in a bit of a buffer in the financial plan for the “what ifs” in life. That’s a wonderful feeling when you’re suddenly confronted with a need or a cause that you want desperately to support…and you have the means to do so.
5. More financially stable kids. Kids who grow up in a family culture of financial literacy and accountability have a greater chance of being financially stable in their own adult lives. And trust us, it’s a wonderful thing to have adult children who can take care of themselves and don’t need to revisit the parental well over and over in adulthood to make ends meet. But don’t assume they’ll learn it all by osmosis. Be intentional in teaching the basics of money management to your kids.
Dana Hall McCain writes about marriage, parenting, faith and wellness. She is a mom of two, and has been married to a wonderful guy for over 18 years.