What Is Financial Wellness?

July 25, 2018

Piggy Bank

You may hear about financial literacy, financial capability, or other similar terms. Jason Young, founder of MindBlown Labs, prefers “financial wellness” because it’s both positive and holistic.

“Wellness is such a positive word. Financial literacy, financial capability—those sound a little bit technical. Who doesn’t want to be well? We all do. Financially, is a person well? Are they resilient? Can they deal with shocks that may occur within their lives? Are they able to achieve their goals? Are they emotionally in a good place where they feel okay with their finances and they’re not waking up in the middle of the night?” asks Young.

MindBlown Labs focuses on developing financial planning tools that reach people emotionally and get them to take actions that lead to positive impacts. Paradoxically, achieving financial wellness often means learning to make fewer choices based on emotion.

“When we talk about people saving, we’re really talking about day-to-day and even the moment-to-moment decisions,” says Young.

For example, in the moment a person may want a new dress or pair of shoes. They may feel like they need a certain type of home or to live in a particular neighborhood to send their kids to a good school.

“I don’t mean emotional in a bad way. It’s simply that that is a driving element. It’s great to give people knowledge, but you do have to bridge that emotional gap,” explains Young.

MindBlown Labs uses gamification techniques to help people train themselves to make decisions that are beneficial for them in the long-run.

“You have to have something on the other side that says maybe I shouldn’t do this. That reason doesn’t have to be as much emotional, in my mind, as logical,” says Young.

Tune into the Does College Matter? podcast for the full interview with Jason Young.

Listen to this and past episodes, or subscribe to future episodes of Does College Matter? on iTunesStitcher, and TuneIn.

Does College Matter? is produced by the San Francisco Fed Education & Outreach team and hosted by Director Jody Hoff as part of its college and career readiness initiative.

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Quotes have been edited for clarity. Views expressed are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco or of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.