Updated: May 16, 2021
In anticipation of upcoming events and workshops, Empathy in Action would like to dedicate this post to financial literacy and wellness. The phrase itself sounds simple enough, but part of today will tackle the nuances, and the true meaning of, "financial literacy" as well as touch on its relationship to mental wellness.
To be financially literate means to understand various financial topics and appropriately use the variety of financial skills that they encompass. By this, we don't mean learning how to read complicated stock charts, investing in penny stocks, or other risk-averse pursuits. Sure, that may be a part of your financial literacy trajectory, later on, should you choose that as a viable option. However, financial literacy is more general. Despite that, it is still elusive for the majority of people.
In a nutshell, the financial literacy we refer to is the basic understanding and use of budgeting, investing and other similar skills with the goal of promoting personal financial management. Ultimately, we want you to be able to make informed and effective decisions while using the various financial resources at your disposal that you may or may not be fully aware of. That is where the "wellness" aspect comes into play. Despite being among the wealthiest nations in the world today, many folks residing in the United States still find themselves stressed out about finances. As we know, that stress trickles down to other areas of our lives and compounds our problems— it "snowballs." Are we as a society living and spending beyond our means despite a relatively high income? Or could we, by taking a step back and going back to the fundamentals, position ourselves in a more advantageous position? While everybody's financial situation is unique and differs greatly from that of others, there are ways in which we can aim towards and ultimately secure financial security. Yes, it's true: many people need financial help in order to pay off car loans, student debt, afford basic healthcare, and plan for retirement. However, the ability to develop greater insight and understanding of the role money plays in our lives is the fundamental first step in achieving those goals. At Empathy in Action, we believe that financial literacy and wellness are vital to the emotional, psychological, mental, and ultimately physical wellbeing of every individual.
While this empowerment affects the immediate individuals involved, we'd like to look at the other side of that trickle-down effect. That is, financially literate adults go on to raise financially literate children who are able to navigate and ultimately deal with the financial stressors and obstacles they will undoubtedly face during their lifetime. Unfortunately, the inverse is also true: financially illiterate adults go on to raise children who will face the same financial problems that their parents faced, and will ultimately succumb to them in much the same way. Eight out of ten Americans are financially stressed; most have no place to go to learn how to cope with or to improve their circumstances (Center for Financial Social Work). This is a cycle! We'd like to help you break that cycle. In order to empower the individual in this pursuit, we'd like to underscore the fact that education and income are neither predictors of, nor afford protection from, overspending and, as such, are not set-in-stone determinants of financial stability! Before tackling the dollars and cents, the first step in this pursuit is to change the individual's relationship with money and him or herself. The more we understand the where, why, when and how of our money thoughts, feelings, beliefs and attitudes, the more likely we are to connect to our money, to recognize the need for better financial habits and to make better financial choices (Center for Financial Social Work).
In order to support our clients and the greater community in achieving this, we have teamed up with Jasper Smith, also known as Mr. #Buildwealth. Jasper created the #BuildWealth Movement, a financial education initiative that encourages people to address their biggest concerns as they relate to their financial status and help shift the stigma that is associated with financial planning. In Mr. Smith's own words, this movement exists to help people change the way they THINK and FEEL about money.
Our June 4th event (10 am via Zoom) will help participants develop a deeper understanding of their money mindset and how it impacts their overall health. We’ll teach you the core principles of financial wellness and key components to building positive financial habits. Leave with the skills to take care of your mind, body, and bank account.
Mark the date and stay tuned for more posts centered around the topics of financial literacy and wellness prior to that workshop! For tickets, click here!