How does your wealth affect your health?

Financial stability means balancing your money so that you have enough to pay for your needs and wants now and in the future. When money is tight, it can be hard to buy healthy foods. It can also be difficult to see a doctor regularly. Worrying about money can cause stress, which is not good for your health. There are some things that are out of your control, but learning how to manage the money you do have can help you to be healthy. And, if you get pregnant or already have children, knowing how to manage your money will help you have a healthy family.

To get started, you should know how to:

  • set financial goals for your needs, wants, and savings
  • track your money and make money choices that get you to your goals
  • get a low-cost checking and savings account at a bank or credit union and keep it in good shape
  • make a spending plan that will get your bills paid on time and allow for saving
  • find thrifty ways to spend your money for your goals, not keep up with neighbors
  • set aside money for non-monthly expenses and emergencies that come up
  • teach the children in your life about earning, spending, saving, and giving
  • make a system to keep your financial papers and records where you can find them
  • read your paycheck stub
  • file your taxes, claim tax credits and refunds to build your net worth, and know how many exemptions to claim for taxes
  • create an income plan to manage what you make now and find ways to make extra
  • make a debt plan to prioritize what you owe and get it paid off faster
  • get and understand your credit reports and start to build or re-build good credit
  • know your insurance coverage (health, home, car) and how to get claims paid

Adapted from Four Cornerstones of Financial Literacy via Community Financial Resources (CFR). To contact CFR about training or materials to improve family financial stability in order to improve health outcomes, visit their website.