Intertwined: Your Social Life and Your Financial Life are Connected
While many people often look at their social life with a very different lens than their financial life, you might be surprised to know how closely connected they really are.Kathy Longo, CFP®, CAP®, CDFA Wednesday, 19 June 2019
While many people often look at their social life with a very different lens than their financial life, you might be surprised to know how closely connected they really are. This connection applies whether you are highly social or not social at all – if you prefer meeting friends for dinner or going on a sunrise bike ride alone. Your social nature is directly related to how and what you spend money on and what your true relationship with money is. In this article, we will explore this theory and help shed light on how, perhaps, some tweaks to your social habits may have a positive impact on your financial life.
Lack of social interaction can have a substantial negative impact on your physical health. According to the American Psychological Association, loneliness poses a greater threat to public health than obesity. In a New York Times article, psychologists and psychological studies were reported to have found that loneliness can impair health by raising levels of stress hormones and inflammation, which in turn can increase the risk of heart disease, arthritis, Type 2 diabetes, dementia, and even suicide attempts. With any health problems comes a cost, therefore, maintaining a healthy and active social life (especially as you age) helps to maintain your physical and mental health which in turn protects you from unwanted healthcare expenses.
Who you spend time with and what you choose to do with that time has a direct impact on your spending choices. If you surround yourself with people who are constantly “keeping up with the Joneses” or seem to find pleasure in spending as a social activity, then you will likely have the same negative habits. By choosing to spend your time with people who can enjoy life and experiences in a prudent way, you are making a social choice that can help you stay on a strong financial track.
You Shouldn’t Have to Impress Your Friends
Much the same as social spending, feeling pressure to dress a certain way or have a certain car or house to feel connected to your group strongly suggests that the group is pretty shallow. It also suggests you may be spending too much time thinking about what others think of you. Relationships that make you feel negatively about who you are, what you have, or give you negative self-worth are likely toxic. They also likely play a major role in some negative spending habits. Making a choice to spend time with friends that value your relationship over possessions may be a more rewarding option, and definitely better for your financial situation.
Friends Who Help
Having strong friendships with people who are willing to help you with a yard project or can loan you their Shopvac when you want to clean out the garage are great folks to have around. Not only are they willing to give you their time and resources because they genuinely care about you, but they are saving you quite a lot of money at the same time. In turn, they will reach out to you for help from time to time and you will be doing them the same financial favor.
A strong network of loyal and generous friends who will stand by you in hard times and celebrate you in good times is an invaluable part of the human condition. When there is a void in this aspect of our lives it can lead to loneliness or poor physical and financial choices. It is important to develop a strategy for maintaining healthy social relationships and have activities that keep you engaged and energized, especially as you age. Here are a few recommendations:
- Make time for social activities – block off time on your calendar each week for social events.
- Make opportunities to meet people – whether you volunteer, join a group or take a class, be proactive in your endeavor to stay social.
- Plan social events – have a cookout and invite your friends, plan a trip to your local farmers market with your neighbors, find a concert or play you want to see and invite a few people to join you. People like to be invited and they will likely think of you the next time they have something planned.
- Help your friends – if a friend or acquaintance needs help (and you are capable of providing the help they need) make the offer. They will appreciate it and likely reciprocate.
A person’s social life is a cornerstone to personal happiness, physical and mental health and, as we have outlined, one’s financial well-being. Nurturing your social life can have a lasting impact on your overall well-being. Giving time and attention to maintain a healthy social life is the best way to live your life to the fullest.
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About the Author
Kathy Longo brings over 25 years of expertise and experience to Flourish Wealth Management. Kathy is wholly dedicated to improving the life of each client and finds joy in making complex matters simple and easy to understand. She excels at asking the right questions, uncovering new possibilities and implementing the most advantageous strategies for success. Playing such a pivotal role in her clients’ lives remains an honor and a privilege. After earning a degree in Financial Planning and Counseling from Purdue University, she began her career at a small firm in Palatine, Illinois where she worked directly with clients while learning to build a viable, client-centric business. Over the years, she gained extensive knowledge and wisdom working as a wealth manager, financial planner, firm manager and business owner at notable, various sized companies in both Chicago and Minneapolis.