Achieving Financial Wellness in the New Year

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Achieving Financial Wellness in the New Year is a great goal. Welcome to January and a shiny new decade!

With 2019 behind us, it’s time to set our sights on our goals and aspirations for 2020. One area that often gets overlooked is our financial wellness. Financial well-being, simply means that your financial situation is well-managed, you are able to pay your debts, save for emergencies, contribute to retirement goals, and have money on hand for necessary future purchases.

Let’s take a look at a few ways you can tend to your financial wellness in 2020!

#1 DEBT REVIEW

If it’s been more than a year since you’ve done a debt review, it is time to readdress. This could simply be updating (or creating) a spreadsheet of current debt to income and debt payoff planning. Or, you may need to go further and consider debt consolidation. Either way, it’s great to make sure you are still on task and meeting goals to pay off debt consistently, and if you are not, see #2 below for professional assistance opportunities.

#2 LEVERAGE YOUR EMPLOYER’S EAP FOR HELP

If your employer has an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), there are nearly always Financial Counseling options. VSEBG members with UnitedHealthcare have access to Care 24, which includes financial professionals that assist you with questions surrounding money, debt, and financial goals. The Care 24 number for members is 1-800-828-1120. Interface EAP also offers financial professional assistance at www.4eap.com or 1-800-324-4327.

If you do not have either of these services with your current employer, check with your benefits or HR office to see if they do offer an EAP and what is included.
As an employer, you can always leverage your 403B or 457 investment vendors to provide presentations and workshops on financial wellness too!

#3 DOWNLOAD FREE TOOLS

There are several no-cost apps on the market that can help you track expenses, alert you of your spending, and help you stay on budget. You can also utilize your financial institution’s website for cost tracking, spending alerts, and even debt counselors, which are available at some institutions.

A few current apps are:

#4 PARTNER UP!

It’s important to realize you don’t need to do it all on your own. Teaming up with your spouse, partner, or a trusted friend can make the process easier and more manageable. Just like working out, eating healthy, or other self-help goals, engaging in them with someone you enjoy helps to bring levity to the process. It’s also a great way to share ideas on what works and what doesn’t, and to check in with each other throughout the year to hold each other accountable and to switch or tweak the plan if needed.

Valley Schools is the only nonprofit employee benefits consultant in the state that works with public entities. Our #1 priority is to provide best-in-class benefits consulting, plan administration, innovative wellness, and customized insurance options at the most competitive price. This adds up to predictable budgeting, plan and vendor stability, and happier employees!

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