Being an active participant in your finances can help you capitalize on your strengths, repair your weaknesses, and seek opportunities.
Mindfulness is a hot topic in health and wellness today. Experts say that when practiced regularly, it can help reduce anxiety, lower stress, and improve sleep, among other benefits. Simply put, mindfulness is bringing attention to the present moment; it’s being aware of what you’re doing and what is around you.
From my perspective, financial mindfulness can reap many similar rewards. Debt and inability to access funds can cause great stress, both personally and professionally. Being an active participant in your finances can help you capitalize on your strengths, repair your weaknesses, and seek opportunities.
The numbers tell an unsettling story. The average American household carried $135,768 in debt in late 2018, according to a report from NerdWallet. A 2016 study from Experian reported that the average U.S. small business owner carries about $195,000 of debt. Debt and overspending are heavy burdens that can only get worse if ignored.
Financial awareness can help you better understand and, if necessary, improve your financial situationby capitalizingon your strengths, repairingyour weaknesses, and seekingopportunities.
Having a healthy financial profile can empower healthcare professionals with better access to funding, more competitive rates, and an improved ability to forecast and respond to the inevitable ups and downs.
The credit team at Bankers Healthcare Group processes over 2,000 applications per month, and I’ve seen a few common areas where applicants could have more awareness and control. Here are areas in which physicians can be more financially mindful.
When receiving a loan application, lenders want to know about any outstanding tax balances you have and can perform searches to uncover balances that have been outstanding for a long time. Sometimes applicants aren’t even aware there are tax liens against them. Not paying your taxes-whether intentional or not-can cause serious issues for your finances, credit score, and your practice.
How to be mindful about taxes:
2. Resolving credit card debt
I would estimate that the average doctor we work with has about $25,000 to $75,000 in credit card debt. Maybe they charged some high-ticket items; or maybe they took advantage of a good interest rate, wanted to rack up travel miles, or get cash back on purchases. These are great card incentives, but you should exercise caution with how you use any line of credit.
How to be mindful about credit card debt:
Any time of year is a good one to create a budget so you have a clear picture of how much you’re taking home and paying out.The remainder is your spending money and your savings.
How to be mindful about budgeting:
I caution you to not run on autopilot when it comes to your finances. As a healthcare professional, you worked hard to get where you are today; being more mindful of your financial picture can help you get to where you aspire to be.
April Brissette is chief credit officer for FundEx Solutions Group and Bankers Healthcare Group, a leading provider of financial solutions for licensed healthcare professionals. To learn more, visit https://bankershealthcaregroup.com.