Conceptualizing financial wellness can be tricky for many people – especially if they’ve experienced hardship related to money in the past.
And actualizing whatever monetary dreams they create for themselves can be even harder. Often, we might imagine the road to financial security paved with hefty investments and 401K accounts the release of which feels a long way away, not to mention expensive.
In reality, financial well being can be cultivated on a daily basis through simple and even fun intentional activities.
Tasks, projects, exercises, or undertakings which directly build up an individual’s financial well being can include a range of different processes including goal setting, account building, budgeting, and strategic saving, among others.
Less obvious, although equally impactful from a holistic perspective, financial wellness activities can also include other supportive practices such as exercise or healthy eating, which can positively impact an individual’s financial situation over the long term.
Whether designed for immediate or eventual effect, the idea behind financial wellness activities is always to cultivate stability and security for the individual and their dependents.
The definition of financial wellness additionally incorporates a sense of comfort and control over one’s finances and financial future, and so fostering this sense is another goal supported by these same activities. Different financial wellness exercises may be taken on depending on the precise need of the individual.
Financial wellness isn’t built overnight, especially if the person wanting to achieve monetary well-being is emerging from a state of concern or difficulty. If one is struggling with debt, for example, it can be hard to see how the goal of comfortable retirement or investment may be reached.
Financial wellness activities offer critical, accessible steps towards individual goals, regardless of where the start point may be. They allow us to make and track deliberate progress towards the better financial futures we want to build for ourselves and our families.
And from a business perspective, pursuit of financial wellness at the employee level can support increased profitability and productivity for the organization through reduced monetary stress which in turn fosters better retention and engagement.
Here are a few financial wellness activity ideas individual employees can take on to build up their monetary well being.
This is a multi-fold activity that establishes which tools you have, and need to have, in your financial wellness box.
Start by getting a clear picture of your own current financial situation: all income sources, current debt level, and monthly expenses. This should tell you what you need and what your basic options are.
Next you should investigate all financial benefits offered by your employer: this may include financial education programs, debt relief programs, health and other benefits, and financial counseling. By utilizing these advantages you can begin to build financial literacy and competency which can be a keystone in any financial wellness journey.
It’s difficult to build towards something if you don’t know what that something is. Creating financial objectives gives you a sign post to work towards, and also allows you to define financial well being based on your own needs and circumstances.
If you’re just getting started, try setting scaled goals that span from the day-to-day to the distant future: for example, your goals may include saving $300,000 for retirement, paying off your student loans, funding your child’s graduation party, and contributing a specified amount to your IRA per month.
This is an activity which for most will reach completion over the long term, but having a weekly or monthly practice which addresses our debt allows us to take concrete steps towards complete elimination.
Take a look at your consolidated debt – ideally with a financial advisor – and come up with a monthly amount you can safely pay towards each account that will help you eliminate your debt within an established timeline.
Think audaciously about your future financial goals. Now, how can you utilize your current finances to support those objectives? You can start small with your monthly savings contributions if that’s what your current income allows, but you should begin to save as soon as possible nonetheless.
Similar to the debt purge activity, you want to take a look at your consolidated income in contrast with your monthly expenditures and see what of the leftovers can go towards a nest-egg for the future. This can be a set number, or a percentage value if you have variable monthly income.
Organizations can support the financial well being of their employees by providing work-sponsored activities which help build monetary stability and comfort. Here are a few you should consider offering.
One of the most effective things and organization can do to support employee financial well being is to provide a solution that empowers workers to take a holistic hold of their finances and financial future.
Origin is one platform designed to build financial wellness through comprehensive educational programming, supportive tools, and access to professional financial counseling and advice. Origin allows engaged workers to perform all of the activities listed above and more – understanding one’s finances, setting goals, budgeting, saving, eliminating debt, and even defining financial priorities is a simple task with our program.