As one year ends and a new year begins, it’s often a time of reflection and deciding what improvements we can make to boost our happiness or how we can better set ourselves up for success in the coming months. Financial wellness plays an important role in our overall well-being because the more in control we feel of our money and financial situation, oftentimes the more empowered we feel about being able to reach our goals and live our life to the fullest. We’ve asked employees to share how they improve their financial health and what habits have been the most effective in boosting financial wellness.
Just like making any positive change in your life or learning a new skill, practice makes perfect. Moving the needle in a positive direction, especially when it comes to financial wellness, often takes adopting good financial habits that support your overall financial well-being. Even small actions can add up and shift your financial standing to a place you feel more confident and less stressed.
“I’ve found using cash instead of a card for a lot of my purchases helps me avoid buying little things I don’t need and that can add up over time,” shares Melissa Metcalf, Project Consultant.
“I try to only make online purchases one day a week,” adds Kate Long, Senior Marketing Content Strategist. “Otherwise, it’s so easy to lose track of how much you’re spending online. I save items to a list and this gives me more time to decide if I actually need each item. I’ve found that I always end up removing things from my cart.”
When it comes to balancing income and expenses, many employees use their budgets to avoid overspending and keep their goals on track.
“My husband and I use a budgeting app and in doing so, we were able to pay off $45k of my husband’s student loans in about two years,” says Emily Westergaard Case Manager.
“Budgeting is key to finding where each dollar is going, and each dollar needs to have a designated place.” Ryan Thomas, Manager in Life Office Services, adds, “Set a budget and stick to it. Find a way to be transparent with yourself and understand where every penny you spend goes. I use a budgeting app that links to my bank account and it makes the process very easy!”
Using a budget has helped Lisa Williams, Advanced Agency Specialist, to lower money stress and save for activities they enjoy. “We have separate accounts set up for Christmas, camping, hockey, and so on. We put $25 to $100 out of each paycheck into each of these categories. Then when it comes time for holiday shopping or to pay annual fees, we already have the money and are not sweating over how we are going to pay for it; letting us still enjoy the things we like to do.”
The steps you take today to improve your financial well-being often have a ripple effect and can have a positive impact on the road ahead. Saving for the future is a simple, yet valuable step that can help you improve your financial wellness in the coming months and years.
“Remember to save for the future!” says Amanda Chilson, Financial Systems Analyst.
“Contribute to an investment portfolio, Roth IRA, or another retirement account every month. Do this outside of what you have set up through your employer. You’ll be amazed how adding $50 per month to each of the accounts adds up.” Becca Dolan, Manager of Graphic & Digital Design adds, “I set up a separate account at a completely different bank than where the bulk of my paycheck goes. Through my budget, a specific amount of my paycheck goes automatically to this account, so I don’t have to see or transfer it. If you’re able, find a high-yield savings option that works for you; a little higher interest adds up over time.”
Valerie Bunnell, Imaging Document Specialist, agrees that thinking about your future today can help you be more proactive about saving money for planned and unplanned expenses. “Spending money is easy, but you will need some in the future, especially after you stop working. When you’re thinking about your costs of living, determine what is needed at this current time and what you will need to live comfortably in retirement. Your future self will thank you!”
Your satisfaction with your current and future financial situation will likely ebb and flow, but the more steps you take each year to fine-tune your budget, put more toward savings, and adopt healthy financial habits, the more likely you’ll feel financially fit throughout the year. As you find a better balance between meeting today’s financial obligations and preparing for tomorrow, you can reduce stress levels, make confident financial decisions, and have the resources necessary to live your life and build a more secure future.