40% of Americans spend more time thinking about money than hygiene. But for all that worrying, it seems like we’re all struggling to live within our means. Join us for an honest conversation about the challenges and opportunities that arise when we evaluate our financial health.
In this Episode
- CJ Anderson
- Shayne Gustafson
Why do we all struggle with money?
Shayne notes that Americans really began to struggle with debt as television rose in popularity. Being able to see what others had, and what was available to us, lead to a “gotta have it now” mentality. On top of that finances can be very complicated, even for experts. Yet most of us are nervous to admit what we don’t know, or to seek out someone we trust to help us interpret four financial situation.
You are in control
Mastering your finances is a matter of understanding the difference between needing and wanting. Just as willpower is important in eating right or developing effective exercise habits, willpower is key to financial health. Do you know what’s going with your finances? Do you know what your interest rates are, and if they are high or low for the types of debt you have?
Get to know your finances. Look at where you‘re at now, where you’d like to be and what steps you can take to get there. This honest assessment may (and likely will) include the realization that there are things you don’t know or understand. That’s an important part of the process.
Don’t Just Focus on Monthly Payment
Look at how much, for how long, and calculate what you’ll actually be paying (once you add the interest costs to the sticker price)
Ask yourself, if I had this amount of cash would I gladly pay the same price? Is this the top thing you would spend that money on, or is there something else you value more?
Be a smart and skeptical consumer
Look at the messages and promises presented in advertising. Does the actual value that’s delivered fit the price you’re being asked to pay? What is it actually worth to you?
Three key things to know
- Know your interest rate
- Know what you owe
- Know how much you’ll have paid by the time it’s yours
Author: LivingWell PDX Blog
Adventist Health is committed to creating a healthier Portland community.