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004. The Effect of Financial Wellness on Your Body

Our conversation today is with Lisa Hashem. Lisa is the moderator of the Muslim Women and Finance Facebook group. She has presented workshops for women regarding personal finance, finance before marriage and finance for small business. We discussed the effect of financial wellness on your body.

Episode Highlights with Lisa Hashem:

  • We explain the meaning of financial wellness
  • We discuss the effects of financial wellness on the body
  • 3 simple solutions for financial wellness

Connect with Lisa Hashem via instagram @hashed.fin

Show Transcript

Introduction (1s):
Welcome to the Wellness Surge podcast with Dr. Adeola Oke. Each week we discuss our wellness journey with real people like you and me. We have conversations about food, fitness, mental health, financial wellness, and much more. So you can get back to the real you to make sure that you’re up to date with this and other wellness topics. Visit wellnesssurge.com. Information presented here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease. Please do not apply any of the information presented here without first speaking with your primary care provider.

Introduction (31s):
Now let’s head onto the show.

Dr. Adeola Oke (36s):
Hello everybody. Welcome to the Wellness Surge podcast. I have the wonderful Lisa Hashem here with me. She is the moderator I’m presenter for the Facebook group, Muslim Women and Finance since 2017. She has presented workshops or women regarding personal finance, finance before marriage,and finance for small businesses. She has walked as an electrical engineer since 2000 and she resides in Phoenix, Arizona we’d have family. So today we’re going to be discussing the effects of financial wellness on your body.

Dr. Adeola Oke (1m 9s):
Alrighty, miss Lisa, take it away. Can you explain what financial wellness means to us?

Lisa Hashem (1m 17s):
Well, first of all, finance is everything that has to do monetary: with your income, with the way you live with what you spend on and financial wellness is making sure that you’re in a good place, making sure that you have peace of mind in all the transactions you do for your household. So before the pandemic, I would always teach that, you know, you need to maintain and focus on your financial wellness in order to have peace of mind.

Lisa Hashem (1m 49s):
But now with the pandemic, I’m more concerned about people having security, you know, having housing security, having food security, having medical security -and it in turn, then you’ll have peace of mind. When you have this peace of mind, when you have everything under control, you, you’re not stressed. You know, you can automate your billing and not worry about what bills are paid every month. You won’t have to focus on that because it’s automated because you have enough money to pay for those things.

Lisa Hashem (2m 24s):
And you’re not stressed. It’s not a stressor on your body. When, when we go through these, you know, life changing circumstances that puts stress on the body can really affect you mind, body, and soul. So my, you know, I’m really focused on financial wellness, especially for minority women, especially for Muslim women, because I think it’s important to have capital. I think it’s important to have access to resources, to make good decisions, to live a very good life.

Lisa Hashem (2m 54s):
And that’s what I’ve been focused on. And that’s what I teach. You know, I try to make that my sisters have good information to make good decisions for their own family.

Dr. Adeola Oke (3m 8s):
Okay. Alrighty. Very good. So what I’m hearing right now is to get financial wellness in this day and age of the pandemic, you need to have food security, home security, and what was the third thing?

Lisa Hashem (3m 20s):
Medical security..

Dr. Adeola Oke (3m 23s):
Medical Security.

Lisa Hashem (3m 23s):
So when you’re in a safe space, you can function very well. Okay. And the most important bill that we have every month is either our mortgage or our rent. And if that’s not taking care of a lot of things, just start falling apart. You know, if you don’t have housing security, if you don’t know where you’re going to live, if you don’t have a place to put your things, I mean, that’s not going to make it beneficial for you. You’re not going to feel safe. You know, you’re not going to feel you’re going to be stressed or going to be scared.

Lisa Hashem (3m 55s):
So having capital can help you feel safe. It can help you with this mortgage and rent or rent payments. And then for after that, utilities is important because you want to make sure that you’re warm or you’re cold depending on the weather. You know, we, we see what the pandemic, how important having internet is. We see based on the pandemic, how important it is to have a cell phone… cell phone coverage. And that’s all part of the utility package that you need to make sure that you maintain every month and then, you know, after utilities food, and some people, you know, that having access to good nutritious food is a problem.

Lisa Hashem (4m 36s):
You know, when you live in a lot of urban areas where they have these small convenience grocery stores, a lot of the food in there is processed. It’s not fresh and organic. And in turn, there are, they’re actually, it’s cheaper for them to have that type of system than to have the fresh foods and vegetables that are good for your health. So access to food and good food that is- it’s really important. And that helps you again, my body and soul. And after that, of course your bills, whether it’s the most important are the credit cards, the, the car payments, the student loans, and then, you know, paying down the mortgage.

Lisa Hashem (5m 18s):
Those are kind of the most important bills. And again, having security to make sure you can make those payments on time and in full.

Dr. Adeola Oke (5m 27s):
Okay. Alrighty. So with the pandemic, a lot of people have lost their jobs, right? And so in the ideal world, when people have jobs, it’s easy to do all this and see, okay, let me take care of all this, the food security, the housing security and all that. What …are there any tips in this day and age of how people can at least secure something to help build for tomorrow or even for today, so they can survive?

Dr. Adeola Oke (5m 58s):
What can they do if they have no job right now? What a little small things here and there to do to at least get some money in their pocket

Lisa Hashem (5m 27s):
It’s really… the pandemic highlighted a lot of things. It highlighted that a lot of people don’t have an emergency fund. It highlighted that a lot of big companies have a lot of debt. You know, and they’re asking the government for a bailout. And you know, when a lot of small businesses had to close because they weren’t essential. A lot of people didn’t make any money . There wasn’t extra income to actually pay people to go on, leave without pay.

Lisa Hashem (5m 58s):
So based on that, you know, of course, unemployment from your state was the most important place. You know, you had to go to your state first to collect unemployment. You had to apply and then wait for those funds to get to you. People were waiting for the C.A.R.E.S. Act (in Arizona, USA) to be passed back on April 1st- so they could get some stimulus money depending on their income, their household income.

Lisa Hashem (7m 0s):
And then just, I saw lots of people create GoFund me pages and launch good campaigns for themselves and their businesses, so that they could get assistance from the public, from anyone, anyone that had extra money. Can you please, you know, send it this way because I’m in need. So a lot of small businesses had campaigns open and then just, you know, again, seeking state assistance going on those state webpages or even local County webpages to find out, are there food pantries available where I can go and pick up some food?

Lisa Hashem (7m 35s):
You know, a lot of the masjids and churches and interfaith organizations, nonprofit organizations do have, they do provide food from their pantry. And again, it’s all based on donations. So if a lot of people are unemployed, they’re not donating as much. So that’s another issue that we’ve come across and just actively looking for another job. I mean, you might have to take a job like food delivery or working at a grocery store.

Lisa Hashem (8m 5s):
We saw what the essential businesses were besides healthcare. It was a grocery store, right? It was food delivery. Our grocery delivery restaurants weren’t allowed to have customers, but you know, they could still do the takeout that the, you know, you can to go to go orders. So we saw what was really important during this time. And again, a lot of people went towards the grocery store. A lot of people were hired at like Walmart, Target, grocery store and the deliveries like Grub Hub, Uber Eats things of that nature, but it definitely rocked every single segment.

Lisa Hashem (8m 44s):
I would say, you know, transportation, the travel industry, including hotels. So it really rocked every single industry. And even for my company, you know, we, everybody had to work from home. No one could be at the physical company. And that changed things because he also had kids were home from school and, you know, trying to do…

Dr. Adeola Oke (9m 5s):
You can say that again. That’s my, I work from home and it’s like, gosh, man, stop.

Lisa Hashem (9m 14s):
Yeah, it’s a lot. And so what I try to do is get the message out that there was, there was unemployment assistance available, depending on where you worked. There was stimulus checks coming out. There was, you know, campaigns you might have to make for yourself. You might have to ask someone for a loan or for a good faith donation. So those were kind of things we’re seeing. But again, it went back to the basics. A lot of people didn’t have a savings for something like this.

Dr. Adeola Oke (9m 40s):
Okay. Alrighty. So this is in the COVID world so that this does not happen to happen to us again. Right. What can we do? And like, how can we start small and go from there? You know, like what can we do so that this does not happen that game because beat me, like, like do it to me one time. Like, and then I learned from my mistakes, but if you do it to me a second time and I go through it, then I’m being a fool, right. For not preparing for the future. So what can we do to make sure that this does not happen to us again?

Dr. Adeola Oke (10m 14s):
Do you have any advice in that respect?

Lisa Hashem (10m 16s):
I would say, take a deep breath and then just kind of analyze your household situation. You know, what’s my budget, how much money is coming in. That has to be very important. You have to know, are you getting checks every week or every bi-week and then find out what that amount is at least monthly. And then from there, figure out your billing cycle, you know, make a light- make on a sheet of paper, write down everything you owe, you know, your mortgage or rent your credit card bill. There’s so many, there’s so many fees. I mean, your student loan payments, your car payments, how much you pay for gas a month, if you are still driving to work and back, things like that. So make this whole spreadsheet or there’s apps that you could use. And then once you figure that out and get the, you know, figure out the due dates when things are due and see, what can you automate? What you may not want to automate?

Lisa Hashem (10m 47s):
Because a lot of people are living paycheck to paycheck. The automating may not be a good idea.

Lisa Hashem (11m 21s):
You know, once they get the check, then they’re going to figure out what they need to pay first, which I would hope would be your mortgage and then utilities. And then, you know, you can kind of see how much you’re spending on food and maybe make some adjustments like eating in a bit more kind of stretching food items. Like for, for example, if you buy a case of eggs, you can do hard boiled eggs, omelets. You know, you can, you can use a lot of that for a lot of different recipes. They’re kind of stretching that out and being mindful of what you’re putting in your body.

Lisa Hashem (11m 55s):
So those are a few key things. And then, you know, if you just want to hunker down and create an emergency budget for yourself, I think a thousand dollars is a really good place to start. I was reading the Pew Trust in November, 2015 was saying that most household emergencies cost around $2,000 and that includes, car repair, a medical emergency things of that nature. So we just have to be prepared that even if we’re not going to ever go through a pandemic again in our lifetime, there’s still little emergencies that would come up that, that are a shock to your budget.

Lisa Hashem (12m 34s):
So you need to make sure that you have some money aside for that. And again, that’s all going to depend on how much income is coming in.

Dr. Adeola Oke (12m 41s):
Okay. Alright. So, because if you say a thousand dollars, that’s a big number. All right. So how can I take like baby steps? Right? Like still, I’ve always thought like, you know, pay yourself first right. Pay yourself first, but that’s what I usually go by: pay myself first, before I actually see the money. I want to make sure I have paid myself and put the money where it should. Investing and trying to save for the emergency fund. Right. So like what’s a good amount of money to start saving every paycheck so that we can get to that 1000.

Dr. Adeola Oke (13m 14s):
Is that like a good number? Like she just average person, right? How much is like $50, $20, every paycheck. What is a good number? Is there, or is there such a thing?

Lisa Hashem (13m 26s):
Yeah. Once you do the budget, you will figure out, do I have any money leftover after I pay my essential items? Do I have any money leftover, whether it’s 50 bucks or whether it’s 1% of what’s coming in or 2% and I would start small. I, you know, you can start with, okay, let me save 25 bucks for three months and see how that impacts my budget because I’m trying to build an emergency fund here. And then if you can go up, you can go to 50 bucks, you can go to a hundred bucks.

Lisa Hashem (13m 58s):
You know, you can increase that way, but any money I get, even if it’s a gift or a bonus from work, anything, I get even the tax refund, for example, it’s going to go towards my emergency fund or my savings. My rainy day fund, whatever you want to call it. And that’s not going to be touched unless I have an emergency. So you definitely wouldn’t touch that if you want, you know, nice pair of shoes or something, that’s just for, in case something traumatic happens. And they do recommend…

Lisa Hashem (14m 28s):
a lot of experts recommend having like a three month or six month or nine month savings. And that covers like all your billing and that’s kind of hard to do. And that is because of cases like this, when you lose your job, you’re not frantic into getting a job right away. You know, you’re taking your time and you’re being a little bit more mindful of the choices you make, but you have this money here that can help you through paying your mortgage and rent. But I think an emergency fund isn’t, it’s something that people should definitely work on.

Lisa Hashem (15m 0s):
And remember that it cannot be touched.

Dr. Adeola Oke (15m 2s):
Okay. Alrighty. So what I’m getting from all this is this, right? See, look through your budget, see how much you’re spending every month, see how much you can put aside. Right. So a good number of me be maybe you can start with little like, $25 every paycheck. Right. All right. And then the goal will be to save for at least three months and have that in the bank account. And, and I think possibly put it in a place where you can, you don’t have easy access to it and it’s not something you can easily spend. Right. So because, gosh, man, if I won those pairs of shoes, I really want them to so cute.

Dr. Adeola Oke (15m 38s):
Let me just use that extra money here. So I guess it’s not for things like that. It’s money where you don’t have…you have access to it, but you’ll have to do a little extra work and like self-discipline kind of thing to get you to that point. Right? That’s what I’m getting from this.

Lisa Hashem (15m 53s):
Yeah. And, you know, treat yourself sometimes, you know, back in the day, you know, when I used to watch Oprah, they would give us advice. You know, if you stop buying coffee a day, you’d save $5 a day and that’s like $25 a week. And that’s kind of like a hundred dollars a month. You’re saving if you don’t drink coffee, but you need the psychological wins. Some people really need coffee to function, to work. And that’s, you know, that’s understandable. That’s like their breakfast in the morning. That’s how they get through their day.

Lisa Hashem (16m 24s):
That that’s rewarding for them. So I don’t really like cutting out those little things, but you know, excessive spending, you really have to be mindful. You know, you really have to kind of ask yourself, so is this a want or a need? I mean, do I really need another cardigan? When I have like five cardigans in my closet? You have to kind of think that way, what is being wasteful and what is being essential to your every day. So yeah, you definitely have to see what you can pull out and put in that budget.

Lisa Hashem (16m 54s):
But you know, I really want people to think longterm too. I want them to think about retirement. I want them to think about, you know, having a will. So when they pass away, their children will have some type of inheritance. I want them to think about endowments. And I know that sounds crazy and, and time of a pandemic, but I want them to think long term because for too long minorities and women of color have not been able to pass down generational wealth to their children.

Lisa Hashem (17m 28s):
I mean, there are people who live in this country, you know, five generations and they’ve lived five generations in poverty. And that that’s not only because of not saving, it’s also because of systemic oppression and things that have prevented people to progress. So what, you know, emergency fund is something that, you know, you will, that you should consider having after that the three month, six month or nine month savings. And after that, I want particularly women of color to think about, you know, generational wealth and retirement and, you know, do I want to work till I’m dead?

Lisa Hashem (18m 6s):
Or do I want to retire at 57 or 63 and have that retirement money that I’ve saved for all these years pay for my living.

Dr. Adeola Oke (18m 17s):
I think we’re going to have to have another session about generational wealth because I’m like, huh, what is she talking about? Yeah. But absolutely I do have my whale. And so to make sure that yes, if something should happen to me, my kids get, get it instead of the government. Yes. So that’s really important. But yes, I think that’s a, that’s a conversation for another day, a very important conversation because the whole goal of this is to reduce poverty, like systemic poverty and the oppression and to reduce and put a little dent on that.

Dr. Adeola Oke (18m 47s):
However, however we can do that, right?

Lisa Hashem (18m 50s):
Yeah. And you have to teach your kids. Now you have to let them know, you know, I’m not going to be here one day. I don’t know when that is, but I love you dearly. And I’m going to do whatever I can in my power to make sure that you will be okay, that you know, that you have your goals in place because you know, some people inherit and then they just kind of blow it off, you know? And we don’t want to teach our children that we want to tell them that whatever I, am passing down to you, I worked really hard for.

Lisa Hashem (19m 21s):
And I want to make sure you use it to give for your kids and too, for you to be comfortable and to give back to society and your community, you know, it doesn’t only have to stay within the family. And I think that’s why when we think of people who do the success of spending, they’re only thinking about themselves, you know, in the pleasures at that moment because you know, things go out of style. There’s always a new iPhone coming out. There’s always a new technology, new fashion, new, new everything, right. We just have to be mindful of those things and think about what is really important to me.

Lisa Hashem (19m 55s):
I have children. I want them to be okay when I’m gone and this has to be a serious conversation. So I need to do whatever it takes to make sure that they will be okay.

Dr. Adeola Oke (20m 6s):
Okay. Very good. Thank you so much. Alrighty. We’ve talked a lot today. All right. Is there one thing you want to make sure that if you do not get anything from this conversation, do you have a one -want to make sure that you have one thing that people take away from you today?

Lisa Hashem (20m 6s):
I would say take a deep breath And just know it’s going to be okay. When you were making a plan for yourself, you have to go step by step. Okay. And so the steps may be long to get to your end goal. That’s okay. You know, real wealth doesn’t come overnight. It’s hard work. It’s grit. It’s a process that takes time. It can take many years and you just have to have patience and realize that, you know, you will get to your end goal as long as you have something in mind, but it is going to take a very dedicated and careful plan.

Dr. Adeola Oke (20m 58s):
Okay. Very good. Alrighty. So if people wanted to get in touch with you after the show, so they call like.. Sometimes it’s good to have someone to hold your hand, right. Listening to all this. It’s all good. But please, can you tell me exactly what to do? A, B, C, D? How else? How can people get ahold of you?

Lisa Hashem (21m 18s):
Okay. So I am on Instagram. My Instagram name is at @hashed.fin. H a S H E D dot F I N. And that’s a public page night. I usually do a lot of, you know, quotes. I share some things finance related and not, but that’s a really good way to get in contact with me. I also on Facebook have a closed group. It’s called Muslim Women in Finance. So it’s geared towards Muslim women only, but it’s a platform where I share articles and resources in relation to finance and economics.

Lisa Hashem (21m 55s):
And we basically have a lot of discussions about them. And I like sharing resources because I like for people to have something to read and to, I want people to kind of think about how can this help them in this, in their household. So those are two really good ways to find me. I’m also on Facebook. Lisa Hash is my name.

Dr. Adeola Oke (22m 17s):
Okay. Alrighty. Thank you so much. Lisa, Lisa Hashem, I really enjoyed having to spend them this like half hour a year. So thank you so much. It was a pleasure having you. You have a wonderful day. Okay.

Lisa Hashem (22m 17s):
You too. Thank You.

Ending (22m 29s):
Join our Wellness Surge Facebook community so that you can implement what we learned together. I am because you are thank you for listening and sharing your precious time with us. If you enjoy the show, then follow us and subscribe on iTunes, YouTube, or any app Macquarie’s podcasts. Have an awesome week. Best wishes to see you thrive.