Your First Wealth is Health

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“The first wealth is health.” Ralph Waldo Emerson penned these words recognizing that good health is essential to the prosperity of the American people. At NPHS, we refer to Financial Capability as Financial Wellness.  We believe financial wellness is holistic and defined by health, not wealth.

Through improving the financial wellness of individuals, we believe that all aspects of a person’s life are improved—including their physical health and well-being. It is easy to understand why financial wellness is interconnected and why it directly affects the other dimensions of life-wellness. Financial health and wellness can be defined as a “state”, “condition” or “quality” of a person’s financial health or wealth. Financial health and wellness can be created, conserved or lost and will fluctuate between changing circumstances. For instance, a couple’s budget will increase when they have children and decrease when their children leave home. It can also be defined as a state of being healthy, happy and free from any financial worries and stressors. Being able to live your desired lifestyle for the rest of your life without financial anxiety or fear. Some people define financial wellness as having a clear understanding of their financial situation and having the ability to live within their financial means. Financial health and wellness will mean different things to different people and that usually has to do with their situation, ambition and abilities.

“People are talking about their personal finance pressures more and more,” says Carlos Tena, Vice President of Programs and Services at NPHS.  “You could feel the initial tension when they come in for an individual educational session.”

It is important to remember that the goal of financial wellness programs is to improve the overall financial health of a consumer. At NPHS, we assist individuals and households by first conducting a Financial Health Assessment.

NPHS’ Financial Wellness Program has five main components:

  • Spending
  • Debt Management
  • Credit
  • Savings
  • Health, Wellness and Lifestyle

NPHS conducts Financial Wellness Workshops to employee groups.  If you are an employer and would like us to develop or conduct a Financial Wellness Workshop for your employees, please contact Carlos Tena at (909) 983-4921 or at carlos@nphsinc.org.  For more information of our Financial Wellness and Economic Inclusion programs, please visit us at: https://nphsinc.org/economic-inclusion/.

About the Author:

Clemente is the President and Chief Executive Officer of NPHS. He is a community and economic development executive with over sixteen years of experience in housing policy, community revitalization and affordable housing development. In addition to his role as CEO at NPHS, Clemente sits on the Board of the Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing (SCANPH), an organization that facilitates affordable housing development across Southern California by advancing effective public policies, sustainable financial resources, strong member organizations and beneficial partnerships.