If you had to choose between a healthy bank balance or a healthy body, which would you prioritize? In other words: your money or your life? A recent survey by TD Bank asked a thousand people that question, and – perhaps unsurprisingly – people were more likely to put their physical health ahead of their financial health.
Diet and fitness goals took priority over financial goals like putting money into savings and reigning in spending. Fifty-four percent of survey respondents said eating better was their biggest goal, while 39 percent said they'd like to save more and spend less. However, when asked how confident they felt about meeting their goals, people felt that getting in better financial shape was likelier than getting in better physical shape. Still, they were more inclined to ask for help with money than with fitness or nutrition.
Everyone makes mistakes
None of us are perfect when it comes to either physical fitness or finances, and most of us are willing to admit it. Seventy-three percent of those surveyed confessed that they'd made a money mistake sometime during the past year – and for Millennials (people ages 18 to 35) that percentage is even higher. Eighty-three percent said they've made a financial blunder in the last year, with the biggest one being racking up credit card debt and failing to pay it off.
Perhaps the reason they don't pay it off is that 21 percent of Millennials don't think that paying down debt is a priority. They'd rather build up their emergency savings account or invest their funds for the future, than get their credit card balance down to zero.
Which comes first, the fitness or the money goals?
It's a chicken-or-the-egg question – kind of. If you're satisfied with your financial health, are you more likely to be in good physical shape, or will getting into shape physically help you to get your finances together?
Most respondents (87 percent) felt that the financial fitness should come first, and that once they have their financial house in order, they'll be more able to tackle their exercise and nutrition goals. The data shows that this is likely true: of those folks who are happy with their financial lives, 75 percent are also satisfied with their physical health, 85 percent said their emotional wellness is satisfactory, and 87 percent said their family life is satisfying.