Helping Employees Develop a Budget

Organizational wellness may be cultivated through an amalgamation of good business strategy, flexible and period-sensitive management and, most critically, healthy and hard-working employees. A workforce that enjoys investment into their financial security and bodily wellbeing is better able to return the investment back to their employer with metrics like increased retention and positive productivity. Therefore it is in the best interest of your company to offer financial support, education, and money management resources to your employee base.

If your organization is in the beginning stages of building an employee financial wellness program, great! Initiating a meaningful financial program can be as simple as helping your employees develop a personal budget.

So let’s talk about why this is important, to employees as well as your business, and how you can make it happen.

The business benefit of financially-fit employees

Demonstrating your appreciation to employees should go beyond simply issuing them a fair paycheck. Of course a thriving wage is critical to provide, especially when cost-of-living is at an all time high in many parts of the world while the minimum wage continues to lag. But this must also be bolstered with benefits and resources that help workers to build a financially stable life for themselves and their families. 

And – surprise! – your company will reap gains from a workforce that is confident and secure in their financial futures. 

  • Productivity soars as financially confident employees experience less of a stress burden and are less distracted by financial concerns at work, allowing them to complete tasks better and more efficiently.

  • A positive work culture may also be cultivated through financial wellness. Happy employees invested in organizational success act as motivators to their teams and can boost performance more broadly.

  • Attendance and retention enjoy a rise in their metrics as employees take fewer sick days to address financial concerns or stress-related illness, and fewer employees leave in search of more robust wages and benefits.

Employees like and deserve to be recognized as people with complex lives existing outside of the office. And your organization can give them this recognition by investing in their continued financial wellness.

Elements of a smart budget

…and all financial wellness starts by sitting down, looking at what you have, and making a plan. To a financially literate individual, budgeting can feel like a no-brainer. But if you’ve never done it before, there can be a myriad of surprise elements which may be easily left out of consideration. The result can mean over-spending, under-saving, or a wasted surplus which could otherwise be put to work. 

Here are a few critical features of a comprehensive budget to which employees must be oriented.

  • Income.
    This will include all sources of regular, anticipated income which an individual can easily predict in the day-to-day. Significant, unexpected income such as an inheritance can be incorporated, but only after the money is actually received. Understanding income will ultimately determine how an individual can manage all other aspects of their financial reality.

  • Benefits.
    These can include government benefits and employer-provided supports such as healthcare, financial assistance, nutritional assistance, etc. Especially any benefits that mitigate day-to-day costs to employees should be included to give a more accurate idea of an individual’s financial flexibility.

  • Day-to-day expenses.
    These are the obligatory expenses your employees cover during an average month – rent, utilities, groceries, gas, etc. Weighing obligatory costs against an individual’s income can help them to better understand and strategize their financial lifestyle and any actions they may need to take to support a more financially secure future.

  • Savings.
    This can include both emergency savings as well as retirement savings such as are contributed to IRA and 401K accounts. Based on their income and day-to-day expenses, an individual should find a dollar amount or a monthly percentage they can realistically contribute to either a retirement account or an emergency nest egg (or both!) For the emergency account, an individual should also determine what their cost of living for a period of around 3 months might be, and set that as a goal for their savings.

  • Debt and credit.
    To most individuals, cultivating financial wellness means eliminating debt. However debt is a reality with which most of us live, and building good credit can open doors to better financial stability, and so it is something we can engage carefully and with intelligence. Debt and credit payments can fall under day-to-day obligatory expenses, and it is important as part of budgeting to factor in a long-term strategy to pay off especially large sums of debt to work towards the goal of elimination as well as avoid getting deeper in.

Building financial wellness first means getting really, really familiar with our finances, and we can begin to do this through budgeting. One employee’s financial situation may look different from the next, and it’s important to provide expert support so your employees know they are incorporating all aspects of their personal financial reality into their budget.

How to get started

The very first step is to get your employees on board. Take a poll, ask pointed questions, and get a sense of the engagement potential of a financial wellness program – the first question may be as simple as, “Would you like expert budgetary advice from a financial professional?” 

You might begin your program with a broad seminar that helps workers to get started with their budgets on their own. But to provide really impactful service, the resources you give should be as individualized as possible. 

And Origin makes this easy. Our programming gives employees a holistic view of their finances, including all elements listed above, so they can make better and more informed decisions regarding saving, investment, and day-to-day expenditures. Our program also offers one-on-one financial counseling so employees are able to cultivate lasting financial literacy and an organizational culture of wellness.

Book a demo with Origin today.


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