Lifestyle | August 09, 2022

Financial Wellness

By Rory Coulter
Financial Wellness
When you think of wellness, the first thing that comes to mind probably isn’t financial wellness. And yet, money is the no. 1 source of stress for most Americans. So we went to our Friends at Atmos Financial (the world’s most climate-positive bank) to learn more about financial wellness, find out how to stress less about money, and feel more empowered by practicing conscious consumerism.

Ned: What is Financial Wellness?

Team Atmos: Financial wellness can be explained conceptually as the status of our individual financial health that allows each of us the capacity to feel secure in our future while making financial decisions that bring us joy today.

Ned: Sounds ideal! But definitely easier said than done, especially in these tough economic times.

Team Atmos: Achieving financial wellness isn’t that easy for many of us. It may seem out of reach based on any number of circumstances and situations out of our control. The good news is there are still many factors in our control! Attaining a balance between life and work and present and future can be stressful for many people, but it doesn’t have to be.

Ned: Why is financial wellness important?

Team Atmos: Money is stressful for everyone, especially in these tough economic times. Many people find themselves unable to relax in the wake of an unknown future. Financial stress can influence other spheres of your life, including family, friends, and work. Being mindful with your money will result in better financial health, physical health, and mental health now and down the road. It’s recommended that you start investing time in your financial wellness in an effort to lessen the impact of financial stress.

Ned: How do you get on the path to financial wellness?

Team Atmos: To get started, it's usually a good idea to think about what financial wellness means to you. We’re all different and follow different paths, so there isn't necessarily a one-size-fits-all prescription for financial wellness. Asking yourself simple questions and giving honest answers will help serve as a guide to creating the right path for you.

What does money represent for you?
What has been your relationship with money in the past?
Do you have concrete goals you want to achieve?
Have you ever set and kept to a budget? Are you able to live within your means?
What activities, hobbies or other things do you love and want to prioritize for now?”

Ned: Once you’ve taken stock, what’s next?

Team Atmos: There are four main elements of financial wellness. Incorporating these four concepts into your financial planning and decision making is the foundation for financial wellness and a productive, happy, and secure you!

1/ Financial security in the present.

Financial security in the present signifies your ability to feel reasonably comfortable meeting your day-to-day financial needs. Financial security in the present isn't about living lavishly or spending beyond your means. It's actually the opposite! The goal is to achieve some sense of comfort and security today that helps you build towards the future you want as well. This element is the cornerstone to achieving financial wellness.

2/ Freedom of choice in the present.

Freedom of choice in the present is all about living your best life. Financial wellness incorporates the freedom to take on exciting adventures, explore hobbies, practice self-care, have fun and make decisions without the extreme stress of its impact on your pocketbook today. Of course, this doesn't mean you have a free pass to kick all responsibilities to the curb. Freedom of choice in the present doesn't mean we're sacrificing our ability to attain our future financial goals.

3/ Financial security in the future.

Financial security in the future means you’re effectively managing your finances today in a way that you’d be able to absorb a change to your finances in the future.

4/ Freedom of choice in the future.

Freedom of choice in the future means knowing what you want and working toward it. Setting the right financial goals can make or break your financial wellness journey.

Ned: Now that we know what financial wellness is, how do we achieve it?

Team Atmos:

1/ Think about your short, medium, and long-term goals.

Think about some of those questions we posed earlier, and write down what financial wellness means to you. Incorporate your goals and try to prioritize them. Keep this list handy. You'll want to come back to it from time to time to see if your priorities have changed, to make adjustments, or to simply to celebrate milestones when meeting your financial goals.

2/ Establish a budget.

Take a look at your incoming money and outgoing expenses. Once you have a clearer picture, settle into a budget that helps you make the most of your money. Your budget can be whatever you decide it to be, but the crucial thing here is that you do not go over it. That said, don't go overboard with the budgeting either. Budgeting is meant to support you and stop you from spending too much, not stop you from enjoying the magic of life!

3/ Have a plan for financial emergencies and save some money for the future.

Life is full of surprises – some good, some bad. It’s a good idea to have a rainy day fund that you add to when you can.

4/ Donate money.

This might sound counterintuitive considering we've just been talking about saving your money, but this is actually exceptionally good for mental health. Financial wellness isn't just about what you do for yourself – it's also about what you do that can impact the world and others around you. Studies have shown that the simple act of giving has a very positive effect on your mental health.

Find out which causes Ned donates to. >

Ned: Let’s chat about conscious consumerism, because this is so important. Let’s start with, what is conscious consumerism?

Team Atmos: A simple definition of "Conscious Consumerism" is the effort of a consumer to be aware of the social, economic and environmental impacts of the products and services they buy. It’s an opportunity to vote with your dollars by supporting businesses and products that seek to provide benefits for all stakeholders, people and planet. Conscious consumerism is an effective way to have a positive impact on the environment and society at large. There are lots of ways to practice conscious consumerism, but it all starts with taking a deeper look at your relationship with money and the products you purchase. There are a number of certifications and resources to help you explore the many facets of the values-aligned economy. 

All Ned blends are made with the highest quality USDA certified organic full spectrum hemp and the finest organic and wildcrafted botanicals. But it’s not just what goes into your products that matters – what doesn’t go in is just as important. See Ned’s “no” list. >

Ned: What are some of the benefits of conscious consumerism?

Team Atmos: Actively exercising your purchasing power is extremely powerful. Each time you buy a product, you send a signal back into the marketplace. When you shop with your values and actively exercise conscious consumerism, you help value-aligned businesses continue to provide their products and encourage other businesses to adopt better practices.

As a member of 1% for the Planet, Ned donates 1% of all sales (over $100K to date) to social and environmental causes aligned with our mission. Learn more about what Ned does to give back. >

Ned: How does conscious consumerism benefit the environment?

Team Atmos: Environmental benefits of conscious consumerism are incredibly important because it sends a signal to businesses that consumers want products that are less harmful to the environment. This incorporates issues like biodiversity as well. As consumers substitute better, more conscientious products for conventional versions, the collective environmental benefit can be immense.

Greenspark helps earth positive brands maximize their environmental impact. As one of Greenspark’s founding partners, Ned has had a positive impact on people and the planet since the very beginning. See all that we’ve achieved together. >

Ned: How does conscious consumerism benefit society?

Team Atmos: Conscious consumerism goes beyond the environmental footprint of a product. Conscious consumerism helps cut down on unethical work practices that have exploited committees of people along the supply chain. Societal benefits are also realized at the point of consumption by increasing health and well-being for consumers. The agricultural industry and increasing presence of certified organic products serves as a great example that has been shown to generate significant health benefits.

Ned works directly with the most vibrant, certified organic, regenerative farms across the country to source our botanicals. It’s good for people, good for the planet – and good for you! Learn more about the Farm to Ned Alliance. >

Ned: How do you practice conscious consumerism?

Team Atmos: 1/ Simplify. Making a conscious effort to purchase only what you need, only what aligns with your values, only what supports your goals, and only what you will use over and over again is a great way to reduce your footprint and practice conscious consumerism. 2/ Consider the entire lifecycle. Considering the impacts for the entire lifecycle of a product is incredibly important when making consumption decisions. An easy example is to swap out a reusable water bottle for those harmful single use plastic bottles. 3/ Research your most frequent purchases. Whether it be food, clothing or household goods, make an effort to research the manufacturing and production processes behind the brands you shop for most. Start with your favorite brands and most frequent purchases to get to know those products more closely.

‍Learn more about Atmos, financial wellness, conscious consumerism, and ethical banking. >