In the midst of the global pandemic, financial stress has recently been at an all-time high.
72% of employees report being stressed about their finances, impacting their workplace productivity as well as their mental and physical health.
From rising inflation to sufficient emergency savings to paying off debt, employees are still facing trying times, losing 11.4 hours weekly in productivity because of financial stress.
But financial wellness doesn’t just impact employees. It also impacts employers, who experience significant financial losses from lower employee productivity, attributed to financial stress.
How can employees and employers alike reduce the stress surrounding financial well-being? Read the eight tips below to learn how to improve your financial health.
The first step to improving your financial health is to create and stick to a budget. It’s difficult to achieve financial wellness if you don’t know what you have coming in and going out. With a budget, you have control over your money and can allocate part of your income to savings or investment accounts. A monthly budget also helps you keep track of bill payments and other financial commitments (e.g. college, holiday shopping, etc.).
Prioritizing an emergency fund is another key element to financial health. We all know that emergencies pop up, whether it’s a washing machine breaking down or a car repair that wasn’t anticipated. According to a 2022 study, 56% of Americans couldn’t cover a $1,000 bill with their savings – making prioritizing an emergency fund even more critical. Having an emergency fund reduces the stress of buying a new washer or replacing a car part. By setting money aside, you may experience less panic when something goes wrong. Clair can also help you experience peace of mind in the case of an emergency - read on to learn how.
Another effective way to achieve financial wellness is to automate your savings. Automating your savings means setting money aside without additional thought by automatically saving a portion of your paycheck (whether in a savings account, retirement plan, or both). This takes one task off your to-do list and allows savings to automatically accumulate over time.
In line with your last tip, automating your bills is a great tip to stick by to ensure you don’t incur late fees for missed bill payments. In addition, automating your bills takes this task off your plate – just like with your savings deposits. Of course, for bill and savings automation to be truly successful, you must have sufficient funds to cover all your obligations. Your budget and emergency fund will help you stay in the green.
You work hard for your paycheck, so why not access it as you earn it instead of waiting for bi-monthly or monthly paychecks? By accessing your pay as you earn it, you have more control over your finances, giving you the confidence to achieve your financial goals. Let’s look at some examples:
You have an unexpected expense. You access the money you need to pay this expense by advancing part of your next paycheck through on-demand pay.
You are an hourly worker with an unpredictable schedule. You can take the sting out of this unpredictability with on-demand pay, reducing your stress.
With on-demand pay, you can gain control of your finances, achieving financial stability and making your life a bit easier!
With consumer debt climbing to $15.6 trillion, Americans are facing stressful conditions from all angles. So, if you’re facing a mountain of debt, create a plan to pay it off. For example, you may prefer the debt snowball approach, where you pay the smallest debts first, creating momentum. Or you may prefer the debt avalanche approach, where you pay the highest interest rate debt off first, potentially saving you more money in the long run. Like with a monthly budget, creating a plan to pay off debt gives you control over your money, helping you establish financial wellness.
A proactive tip for financial wellness is to check your credit report annually. According to a recent Consumer Reports study, 34% of survey respondents found an error on their credit report, 29% found an error related to their personal information, and 10% found it challenging to access their credit reports. With this high rate of errors, staying on top of your credit report is critical as these errors could interfere with your ability to borrow money, rent an apartment or house, or even get a new job. Staying on top of your credit report with all three credit bureaus can also help you steer clear of frustration down the road.
Finances aren’t always clear-cut. To achieve financial wellness, you should continue educating yourself about finances. This may include listening to a financial podcast or reading financial-focused books. Additionally, you may choose to educate yourself by hiring a financial advisor. No matter your preference, continuing to learn about personal savings, the financial markets, loans and mortgages, budgeting, and more can serve you well as you embrace financial well-being.
Want to learn more about boosting your financial health? Visit getclair.com today.