Stress about finances has been identified as one of America's top stressors every year since 2007, according to the American Psychological Association's annual Stress in America survey.
Money anxieties affect the U.S. workforce daily and can impact overall staff wellness.
Debt, cost of living, and retirement savings are all contributing factors. Nearly everyone can relate to financial worries getting in the way of work.
Thankfully, your team can get financial wellness under control with tools for a virtual workforce to release financial workplace stress. Read on for some tips company leaders can give employees to help them cope with financial stressors.
Ways to Release Workplace Stress Over Finances
Here are 5 tips company leaders can share with employees to boost financial wellness at work.
- Create a budget
- Practice mindfulness
- Cancel unnecessary subscriptions
- Cut back on expenses
- Reevaluate money goals
- Bonus: Bring in a financial advisor to talk to your team
1. Create a budget
Creating a manageable budget and sticking to it is one of the best first steps employees can take to change their financial trajectory and lessen financial stress. Apps such as You Need a Budget (YNAB), Quicken, Mint, Personal Capital, and others can be helpful as employees create a plan.
It may seem unnecessary or overwhelming at first, but having a set budget will allow thinking about finances less instead of more. A budget will ensure expenses are covered and progress is being made toward saving goals. Having a concrete plan in place leads to less wondering and worrying.
When creating a budget, determine the percentage of monthly income for each spending category (food, housing, insurance, loans, etc.).
Learn more about providing financial wellness tools for your team.
2. Practice mindfulness and gratitude
It’s easy to get stuck in worry and a scarcity mindset regarding financial wellness.
Through mindfulness, employees can change their perspective and focus on gratitude, helping employees have a more positive outlook.
Here are some mindfulness and gratitude exercises employees can try:
- Keeping a gratitude or thankfulness journal
- Allocating monthly fun money and spending it on things you love
3. Cancel unnecessary subscriptions
The average American household has nine entertainment subscription services. If each of those subscriptions costs $10 per month, that adds up to $1,080 per year!
Cutting back on subscriptions is one of the quickest ways to increase savings and give employees a little more financial wiggle room each month.
Employees can try downloading an app that monitors what subscriptions they are paying for, so they can stay on top of them and cancel any that they don’t need. Apps such as TrueBill link to your bank account to show you recurring charges to your accounts and any increases in price. Employees can even cancel their subscriptions directly through the app.
4. Cut back on expenses
Now that employees have more tools to manage their finances and have gained some confidence in the area, employees can tackle other areas of excess spending. This doesn't mean that employees shouldn't treat themselves here and there.
Encourage employees to consider what items are essential to their health and happiness, and what can be cut out without having much effect.
Here are some ways that employees can cut their expenses:
- Reduce dining out or getting takeout
- Purchase fewer luxury items
- Do DIY projects (i.e., washing your car, repairing your household items)
- Use things for their entire usable life (i.e., wearing clothes until they are worn out)
- Buy in bulk
With all that in mind, employees will be saving more and stressing less in no time!
5. Reevaluate money goals
Now that employees have freed up some extra cash and reduced their immediate financial stress, they can revisit their money goals and stop living paycheck to paycheck.
Here are some money areas for employees to consider:
- Retirement savings and other investments
- Credit score
Encourage employees to meet with a financial coach. They will help employees create a roadmap to meet their financial goals.
Make sure to educate your team on the financial wellness and financial planning resources you provide, like a 401k.
6. Bring in an expert
It can be a lot of pressure on company leaders or HR leaders to talk about finances to their team. We recommend bringing in a financial coach to speak with your team about financial wellbeing.
You can find a financial coach through an employee financial wellness program or mental health program like Nivati.
Walk them through the topics you'd like them to discuss with your team, and set multiple lunch and learn times for employees to attend. Consider holding these once per year to remind employees of strategies they can use to boost their wellbeing.
For more on employee financial wellness, check out these articles:
- Understanding The Link Between Financial Wellbeing and Mental Health
- Why Financial Well-being is Critical for Employees
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