Beyond wealth: Nurturing financial wellness in 2024

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Senior Director of Research

Financial success, once synonymous with accumulating wealth through relentless self-reliance and hard work, is being redefined by the concept of financial wellness as consumers continue to deal with stagnant wages, inflation, and higher housing costs. This holistic approach views personal finances not just to accumulate wealth but as a crucial aspect of overall well-being, involving integrating mental, emotional, physical, and social health into an approach to money and money management and emphasizing the need for a healthy relationship with money. 

Let us delve into some of the key areas that are shaping the landscape of financial wellness that have been identified by conducting an in-depth analysis of consumer behavior and cultural shifts using Lux for Predictive Anthropology powered by MotivAi. 

Financial Literacy & Personal Growth

Many consumers believe that becoming financially literate makes them more confident and mindful in their purchases, allowing them to resist the social pressures that drive them toward frivolous spending and develop a better relationship with money. By conducting an anthropological analysis of the dominant meanings consumers naturally associate with the topic of wealth, we can see consumers believe that improving financial literacy is seen as a pathway to personal growth, instilling confidence in areas such as investing, debt management, and budgeting. However, access to financial education remains a barrier for certain populations, including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, women, low-income, and immigrant communities.

A notable trend is the reliance on online communities and social media platforms for accessible financial advice. Platforms like TikTok and Instagram provide a space where diverse voices share real-world experiences, making financial education relatable and inclusive. Younger consumers with student loans, for example, are gathering resources with those who’ve successfully paid them off so they can become debt-free. This democratization of financial knowledge empowers individuals from all backgrounds to take control of their financial well-being and feel like they have the knowledge and resources to make good decisions about how they spend and why.

Furthermore, some of these consumers see their commitment to financial literacy as part of their commitment to self-growth and personal evolution because it’s a key strategy in creating the life they aspire to, whether that means a budgeting for a luxury vacation or having the ability to help their neighbor in need.

Budgeting for Indulgence: Taking the Middle Path

Many consumers believe that budgeting gives them peace of mind knowing they are ready for unexpected expenses. They believe that the rhythm and routine of budgeting gives them comfort and stability while ensuring their long-term financial security. They discuss using budgeting apps to get a better sense of how they spend and ensuring they do not struggle to pay reoccurring expenses, like their mortgage, rent, daycare, and transportation. 

However, navigating the delicate balance between financial prudence and personal enjoyment is a common challenge in the face of inflationary pressures. Recognizing that overspending can lead to stress yet being overly frugal can diminish life’s joys, many are adopting a balanced approach. This involves budgeting for occasional indulgences, such as enjoying good food, treating oneself to luxury items, or planning local day trips, while still maintaining focus on long-term financial goals.

This middle path allows individuals to savor the pleasures of life without compromising their financial stability. It emphasizes the importance of finding joy in the present without sacrificing future security, creating a harmonious relationship between financial responsibility and personal fulfillment.

Mutual Aid & the Sharing Economy

The rise of the sharing economy reflects a growing recognition that individuals are better off when they work together. This trend encompasses a range of activities, from car sharing to clothing rentals or even a shift to communal living, making previously unaffordable assets more accessible. Beyond the financial benefits, participation in these initiatives fosters a sense of community and camaraderie.

Engaging in mutual aid groups or contributing to community-driven projects, such as community gardens that provide fresh food to neighbors, not only eases financial strain but also enhances social and mental well-being. The sharing economy is reshaping the way people interact with their communities, promoting a holistic sense of wellness that extends beyond financial considerations.


When you apply an anthropological lens to large data sets and focus on the meanings consumers are linking to their expectations of wealth, you can see that financial wellness is a multifaceted concept that transcends the traditional metrics of success. As individuals recognize the importance of developing a healthy relationship with money, consumers are increasingly focused on achieving financial literacy, balanced indulgence, and participation in the sharing economy as part of their commitment to financial wellness. The shift toward inclusivity, accessibility, and community-driven initiatives is not only redefining financial success but also contributing to a more holistic and sustainable sense of well-being in our communities. In the pursuit of financial wellness, individuals are discovering that true prosperity encompasses not only the size of their bank account but also the richness of their lives.

Further reading:

For more on the biggest trends that will shape the year ahead, see The Five Key Shifts that Every Organization Must Pay Attention to in 2024 

For more on how consumers are approaching money management and finances, see Consumers’ Approach to Managing Personal Finances.

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