Stress related to a financial situation often creates or exacerbates chronic medical conditions like digestive issues, back pain and diabetes. Financial stress can increase rates of smoking, alcohol use, overeating, substance abuse, violence and job loss.
COVID19 has forced us to look at our finances as never before. A new survey from the National Endowment for Financial Education finds that nearly 9 in 10 (88%) Americans say the COVID-19 crisis is causing stress on their personal finances.
The need financial literacy training is every so painfully obvious. With 7 out of 10 American workers stating that their financial problems are their most common stressors and 39% admitting that before COVID 19 they were spending at least 3 hours a week preoccupied or distracted by their financial issues while at work, where can you turn for help to get accurate, practical no-nonsense advice? What do you suppose those numbers look like now?
If you are lucky, your employer has already incorporated financial literacy into the workplace. Many corporations and employees have been reaping the many benefits, including increased productivity and retention. Financially literate employees tend to have greater focus and less stress, making them more effective. Lower stress levels, i have been linked to lower health care costs and absenteeism. Literate employees also have a much better understanding of their total benefit package. They understand the value of their 401(k) plans, health and disability benefits, tuition and profit-sharing plans etc. These workers even have an easier time managing within high-deductible health insurance plans or no company insurance plan. Financial literacy carries through to employees’ everyday jobs, as well, in terms of increased business savvy and loyalty. During COVID, these employees, although stressed, are in a good position to whether the storm.
Other employees have not been so lucky, they feel defeated, lost, and confused. There are others who have an idea of what to do but just don’t have the time to be an expert at money and do life!
There are a multitude of resources to help you get started…but don’t get overwhelmed; it may feel like almost too much information. Be careful not to drown in a sea of information and float from advisor to advisor seeking the latest and greatest shiny thing or get out of jail free card.
Of course, you are the exception, but realistically, many never start. Over 70% of American say they don’t even have a budget because they claim its too hard to do. If you are ready to find the time to develop the expertise to navigate the waters, here are a few places to get started.
- MyMoney.gov: Learn about the five building blocks for growing and managing your money.
- MoneyManagement.org: This resource lists 30 steps designed to help employees identify their financial weaknesses and turn them into strengths.
- ConsumerFinance.gov: This site offers a number of steps employees can take to help protect themselves or their loved ones financially, in both the short and long terms, from the impact of the coronavirus.
- Debt.org: Some of the relief services employees might be able to take advantage of at specific banks and credit card companies are described here.
Although financial literacy cannot predict the end of the COVID crisis or predict when life will get back to normal, it will play a pivotal role in your economic recovery. Don’t know where to start? You may want to work with a financial coach. Harmoney Financial Literacy has helped people just like you to build and structure budgets, build financial plans and will hold you accountable throughout the process. We have found that often, clients have deep-seated emotions around money. At Harmoney we have partnered with Salus Vita, LLC to help people identify, understand and work through those emotions.
For many, working with both a financial coach and a mental health clinician, provides a holistic approach which has resulted in an more efficient, effective, timely increase in overall profitability. Connect with us at Harmoney Financial Literacy to start your journey to being financial literate or reach us on WhatsApp 808.218.5282 to set an appointment.
Would you rather be managed by your stress or manage your stress?
Grisel Saez,Harmoney Financial Literacy
“Money is a terrible master but an excellent servant.” …