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How to Measure Financial Well-Being (and Why It’s Worth It)

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One of the most challenging aspects of managing money is figuring out where you stand financially. After all, there’s nobody looking over your shoulder telling you whether the decisions you make are right or wrong. It helps to first have a framework for measuring your financial well-being — sort of like a report card.

The point of measuring your financial well-being against benchmarks is to help you get a sense of where you stand — and what actions you could take to bring yourself closer to your goals.

Here’s more on how to evaluate your financial standing and why it’s worth it to do so periodically.

Try the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Well-Being Scale

The CFPB has actually developed a scale to help consumers assess their financial situations. Users answer sets of questions to determine where they fall on the scale, then add up the point values of their responses to get an overall “financial well-being score.” Users can then compare their scores to U.S. averages, as well as access resources on common topics — like tracking expenses, dealing with debt, saving and investing.

From these questions we begin to see some of the categories that define financial well-being, like:

  • The ability to cover a large unanticipated expense without going into debt.
  • Having money left over at the end of the month.
  • The degree to which finances control your life and choices.
  • Having room in your budget to cover variable expenses (like gifts for special occasions).
  • Staying on top of bills and financial decisions rather than falling behind.
  • Planning for the future, as well as managing money in the present.

If you’re short on time, you can fill out an abbreviated version of this scale to get a general feel for where you stand. If you’d like to take a more in-depth look, there’s a standard version with more questions.

According to the CFPB, financial well-being encompasses:

Net Worth: A Broad Look at Financial Well-Being

Perhaps the quickest and most straightforward way to evaluate financial well-being at a glance is calculating your net worth.

1. Tally up the value of your assets — like savings accounts, investments, vehicles, etc.

2. Tally up the total amount of your liabilities — like credit cards, mortgages, other loans, etc.

3. Subtract the liabilities from the assets.

These days, you can even plug these values into a simple net worth calculator rather than doing the math by hand.

Improving Your Financial Well-Being

It can be quite frustrating to find your financial well-being currently falls short of where you’d like it to be. However, getting an honest feel for where you stand today is the first step toward attaining your ideal financial future; it will help you set realistic goals and measure your progress.

Here’s an example: Many people exist in debt denial. They know they owe money, but avoid sitting down and looking at exactly how much — let alone planning how to repay it. Assessing their financial well-being could be the push they need to finally take an honest look at their budget and debts. After figuring out where they stand, someone in this situation may decide to speak with a credit counselor who then helps them get enrolled in debt relief management. Under a debt management plan (DMP), the person is able to consolidate their debts through the agency and pay what they owe over the course of three to five years at reduced interest.

According to Michigan State University, there are four general behaviors which support financial well-being:

  • Living within your means by actively managing your money.
  • Conducting research and gaining knowledge about financial decisions.
  • Setting realistic goals and planning for the future.
  • Following through on all three aforementioned behaviors over time.

Measuring financial well-being means checking in across various aspects of money management, which is why it’s a good practice for anyone and everyone. Only by understanding where you stand today can you set goals and make effective decisions for tomorrow.

The idea of Bigtime Daily landed this engineer cum journalist from a multi-national company to the digital avenue. Matthew brought life to this idea and rendered all that was necessary to create an interactive and attractive platform for the readers. Apart from managing the platform, he also contributes his expertise in business niche.

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Lifestyle

Skin Design Tattoos and Robert Pho Take NYC

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For over two decades, Skin Design Tattoos has been a leading name in the tattoo industry. Recently, it opened its flagship studio in the vibrant Soho district of New York City. The launch, sponsored by Philipp Plein and Villon, attracted a glamorous crowd, including top figures from New York’s entertainment and tattoo scenes. Notable attendees included comedian Shiggy, members of VH1’s “Black Ink Crew,” and renowned tattoo artist Keith Hernandez. Photographer Josh Sobel elegantly captured the event, which was coordinated by PR professionals Shawn Germain of Tomorrow’s Group and Johnny Donovan.

The studio’s design, featuring sleek lines and raw brick, provides an elegant backdrop for the intricate black and grey realism tattoos that Skin Design is famous for. This aesthetic is echoed in the collections of sponsor Philipp Plein, known for his use of stark lines and intense shading to add depth.

Robert Pho, CEO and Founder of Skin Design, shared his artistic vision at the event, describing his designs as “not just art; they are narratives of life’s stark contrasts, capturing tales of survival, redemption, and transformation.”

The studio is also known for its comprehensive apprenticeship program, where artists like Reena Pho, now a seasoned tattooist at Skin Design, hone their skills under Robert’s mentorship. Robert also hinted at future philanthropic efforts through a non-profit aimed at supporting aspiring artists who face financial constraints.

Since its inception, Robert Pho’s dedication has driven Skin Design Tattoos to international acclaim and a respected position in the tattoo world. The opening of the flagship studio at 285 Lafayette Street in New York is a testament to the brand’s enduring influence and innovation in tattoo artistry. Visit the studio in person, book a consultation at skindesigntattoos.com, or follow their creative progress on Instagram via @robert_pho.

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