Posts Tagged ‘money management’

Let’s focus on Financial Wellness for a minute! 

Are you one of the almost three in four Americans surveyed recently by the American Psychological Association who said they are experiencing financial stress? Financial stress can affect people physically, emotionally, and psychologically and result in unhealthy coping behaviors.

Financial wellbeing includes being fully aware of your financial state and budget and managing your money to achieve realistic goals. When you analyze, plan well, and take control of your spending, you can make significant changes in how you save, and ultimately how you feel resulting in living a more hopeful life. 

Ohio State University Extension designed an Accounting for Your Money Hope Chest to “help people help themselves” as we work to achieve financial wellness during this time of rapid social and economic change. Managing and controlling our spending and saving is needed to build hope and manage emergent financial stress.

The purpose of the Hope Chest is for individuals and families to –

  • Prioritize spending by separating needs from wants
  • Identify realistic/SMART goals
  • Gather current financial spending and saving information
  • Locate emergency resources
  • Analyze their current budget
  • Develop a “new” Accounting for Your Money calendar
  • Take control of spending resulting in more saving for family goals

Work through the steps of the Accounting for Your Money Hope Chest with your family members and/or co-spenders as you and your family adjust to changing basic needs and wants. Determine how to best spend your money during this period of rapid social and economic change. Your family will be empowered to meet the new challenges brought about by the change, reducing financial emergencies and easing future financial stress.

Written by Margaret Jenkins, Assistant Professor, Family and Consumer Sciences, OSU Extension Clermont County

Reviewed by Nannette L. Neal, Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources, OSU Extension Clermont County


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Do you plan on getting your spending under control in 2016? We know we should accounting-761599__180set a budget, cut back on expenses, and monitor purchases, but somehow it doesn’t work. We try and yet we tend to fail.

What causes us to overspend even when we know what we should do? Researchers are finding answers which lie in psychological impulses and blind spots that are tough to recognize and overcome in our day-to-day lives. Here are some blind spots:

  •  We all know we need a certain amount in savings. Do you manage to save a certain amount each month? One survey found 68% of the people saidrestaurant-727992__180 Dining Out kept them from saving each month. Clothes/shopping was the answer for 37% with Entertainment for 35%. Hobbies 29% and Travel 24% also made a difference.
  • Don’t shop when you are hungry, even for other purchases besides food. Research shows we spend more when we are hungry, even if it isn’t food.
  • Some people view “willpower” as limited and will reward themselves with unhealthy items like junk food, procrastination and overspending. Better ways to reward ourselves would be to engage in sports, go work out at the gym, meditate, or take a nature walk. Avoid being put in tempting situations if rewarding yourself is common after a stressful event. Don’t go shopping after a bad day; instead, go to the gym.
  • Unhappy people tend to save less and spend more, focusing on the short-term. Whereas, happy people tend to be more future oriented and pursue goals saving more and spending less now. They believe they will benefit from cheaper prices in the future. Thus, wait until you are in a good mood to make financial decisions.
  • We are really good about forecasting future income but not realistic on future expenses calarge-home-389271__180using us to set uncontrolled budgets. We think about income growth but don’t think about rising expenses, so we end up thinking we can afford the more expensive house or car when we can’t. We know expenses will go up, but we ignore those expenses when making the decision.
  • Many people have a financial blind spot when it comes to their home. The more the house is worth the more people think they have extra money to spend. Of course, the more their house is worth the more money they can borrow against it. However, until they sell the house they don’t have that actual wealth. It is recommended we view our homes as a place to live and not as an investment or financial asset. It is dangerous to max out the home-equity line of credit.

Being aware of what makes us less financial savvy can help us. Now, we just need to follow the advice. What changes are you going to make?

Author: Pat Brinkman, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension

Reviewer: Dan Remley, Field Specialist, Nutrition and Wellness, Ohio State University Extension


Goldsmith, B. (2012). 7 Tips About Money and Emotions, Psychology Today.com, Available at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/emotional-fitness/201209/7-tips-about-money-and-emotions

Wells, C. (2015). The Hidden Reasons People Spend Too Much, Wall Street Journal, November 2, 2015 Available at: http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-hidden-reasons-people-spend-too-much-1446433200

Wells, C. and Rivero, T. (2015). The Hidden Reasons People Spend Too Much, Wall Street Journal Video, November 2, 2015 Available at: http://www.wsj.com/video/the-hidden-reasons-people-spend-too-much/982B7006-8CBA-424D-980F-19F1D5DB2627.html and also available at YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wBwVKroQTY

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