We Can’t Afford Not To Talk About Financial Wellness

At The Banyans, one of the models we are proud to use is the Integrated Wellness Approach of the National Wellness Institute  co-founder Dr. Bill Hettler. As outlined in our previous blog post, the dimensions of wellness according to this model are physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, environmental, financial, protectoral, nutritional, occupational, financial, and social wellness. We have so far discussed the four of these dimensions, physical wellness, emotional wellness, environmental wellness, intellectual wellness, and protectoral wellness. The focus of this blog post is another important dimension of wellness: financial wellness.

The poet E. E. Cummings once said “I’m living so far beyond my income that we may almost be said to be living apart”. This sentiment sums up the feelings of the hundreds of thousands of people who struggle with their finances. And they struggle with good reason, as many live far outside of their means. The Australian Federal Reserve reported last year that Australia now has the world’s most indebted household sector relative to GDP. Australia has approximately $2 trillion in unconsolidated household debt, while the GDP of Australia is only $1.6 trillion.

Financial problems are not limited to Australia, however. A recent report by the American Psychological Association showed that 72% of Americans are currently experiencing financial stress. Financial stress is pervasive in that it affects many different areas of our lives. For example, arguing about money is “by far the top predictor of divorce…for both men and women”, according to Sonya Britt (read more here),  a Kansas State University lecturer and researcher who has spent years studying the link between divorce and finances. Additionally, studies have shown that stress experienced by parents can affect their children, putting them at higher risk for “mood disorders, addiction, and even disorders like ADHD and autism” (read more here). Financial stress also takes a physical toll; according to the ‘Survey of attitudes towards the Australian health system’ conducted by the Menzies Centre for Health Policy at the University of Sydney, families that experience financial stress are more likely to suffer poorer physical health.

It should come as no surprise, then, that finances constitute a key area of our overall health and wellness. Financial wellness is not about simply having more money. According to the National Wellness Registry, “[f]inancial wellness is not about how much you earn, but how well you balance and manage what you have. Therefore, someone of lesser financial means that manages their money well can be more financially healthy than someone of greater financial means that does a poor job of the same” (read more here). In many cases, the key to financial wellness is not obtaining more money. It is about changing our spending habits.

The first aspect of improving our financial wellness is differentiating between wants and needs. While we may feel that we “need” to order a takeaway coffee every day, or to purchase a new outfit, in reality we really only need a few things to live. Many of the things that we feel we need are actually wants. And our wants often add up to spending a lot of money per month.

Generally speaking, a balanced budget involves spending 50% of our income on needs, 30% of our income on wants, and 20% should go into savings.  However, these percentages may change based on your personal situation; if your needs total more than 50% of your income, for example, you will need to reduce how much you spend on your wants. If you are experiencing financial pressure, it’s possible that re-evaluating what you spend your money on is an important next step to take.

At The Banyans, we believe that addressing all aspects of wellness is key to living a healthy and fulfilling life.  That is why we have put together an expert team of therapists, health practitioners and wellness coaches to help our guests find healing and wholeness for their mind, body, and soul. Our team includes addiction specialist Dr. Christian Rowan, senior psychologist Peter Hayton, and psychiatrist and EGALA-certified therapist Dr. Anja Kriegeskotten. Each guest has a personalised plan developed for them to help them break through the barriers that are holding them back from living life to their fullest potential.

Designed for integrated restoration, and with an expert team of therapists, health practitioners and wellness coaches, The Banyans Health and Wellness Residence is a place where body and soul prosper in an environment of rest, wellness, and inspired living.

Call us now on 1300 BANYAN (1300 226 926) or email welcome@thebanyans.com.au for a confidential discussion about how you or someone you care about can benefit from The Banyans.