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By Katie Pins
When do we not think about money? Our daily routines are flooded with financial decisions and questions. Which gas station has the better price this morning? Should I eat the lunch I packed or treat myself to a lunch out? How much should I be saving for my kid’s college tuition? Will I have enough money to retire when I want to?
Chances are that these questions enter our minds while we’re sitting at our desks at work. If we are worried we’re not on the right financial path, the time we devote to solving those financial worries can distract us so much that our productivity could decrease.
Companies have started to take notice, and more employers are offering financial wellness benefits in addition to retirement plans. The goal is to decrease the anxiety behind employees’ financial situations and goals so they can focus on the work in front of them. Let’s look at the stats behind these decisions to offer financial wellness as a benefit, how it impacts productivity and what you can do to help ease any financial worry.
PWC did a recent survey of employees and found that more than ever, employees are stressed out about finances. The survey found that, regardless of income, cash flow and debt are making it more difficult for people to save.
People want to save more and are especially interested in increasing the amount of money in an emergency savings fund. In fact, not having enough money for an emergency is the top concern for millennials and Gen Xers.
As people age, their greatest concerns about finances shift from emergency funds to retirement funds. Baby boomers are most concerned that they won’t have enough to retire when they want to.
Thanks to surveys like the one from PWC, employers are seeing a need for financial wellness education. When we are stressed about finances, we can lose focus on our jobs and, as a result, our productivity could decrease. There is a real need for financial education for all income levels. So, employers are now looking at financial wellness benefits to help employees save and borrow smarter.
If your employer offers financial wellness, take advantage of it! You can be a money guru and still learn from a financial wellness program. If your employer doesn’t offer financial wellness, talk to your human resources department and share your interest in that type of program. Some programs offer financial wellness as a zero-cost benefit to the employer.
But you don’t have to wait for your company to get on board to make to real progress toward your financial goals.
Start an emergency fund right away! The PWC survey mentioned earlier found that people who have an emergency fund are less stressed about finances than those who do not have one. Put aside some money each month by setting up automatic payments to a high-rate savings account to build a nest egg.
Take advantage of your employer’s retirement match. Make sure you put enough money away in your retirement plan so you get the full match. If you still have some extra money, contribute to a Roth IRA.
Create achievable financial goals. Write down your goals and create a plan to get there. A budgeting app that’s safe and secure can help you plan and track your progress.
Finally, read our blog. (Yes, this could be a shameless plug, but we cover a wide range of topics that can really help increase your financial knowledge.) The more you know about money, the more confident you’ll be when making those daily financial decisions.
Katie Pins is a marketer fascinated with finance. Whether the topic is about the psychology of money, investment strategies, or simply how to spend better, Katie enjoys diving in and sharing all the details with family, friends, and Money Mentor readers. Money management needs to be simplified and Katie hopes she accomplishes that for our readers. The saying goes, "Knowledge is Power", and she hopes you feel empowered after reading Money Mentor.