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When it comes to Workplace Financial Wellness, one of the first questions asked by Benefits Administrators is, “How do I incorporate this type of benefit into my overall wellness plan…
article preview image How to incorporate financial education into your wellness program
When it comes to Workplace Financial Wellness, one of the first questions asked by Benefits Administrators is, “How do I incorporate this type of benefit into my overall wellness plan?”

Many HR and benefits practitioners struggle with this dilemma and rightfully so. If you ask even the most seasoned financial experts, they’ll agree - there isn’t just one strategy for incorporating financial education. However, there are best practices and crucial steps for setting yourself up for success. Here are 5 steps for integrating financial education into your benefits program:
 
  1. Identify providers who can help provide financial education resources
 There are most likely benefits providers you can work with or are already working with that can do the heavy lifting for you. Seek to identify who these professionals are in your arsenal of wellness benefits. Service providers such as Credit Unions, Retirement Plan Administrators and financial advisors can help with education, advice and coaching. There are even more specialized services such as debt counseling, financial coaching and loan assistance businesses that provide valuable resources for employees. Ensure that all companies have been properly vetted by your benefits consultant or internal management, and be sure to understand the difference between regulated and non-regulated service providers. Keep in mind that more than one provider may offer a similar service. This is not always a bad thing! It’s helpful to provide employees with more options so that they can self-select the provider that they feel is right for their needs.
 
  1. Identify financial wellness topics and how to deliver these topics
Once you’ve identified providers who can offer financial education and resources, create a list and categorize by specialty. Here is one use case: Company X would like to offer a financial wellness program. They already offer a retirement plan for their employees, but they see low participation and low retirement readiness scores. What can they do to create a more holistic financial wellness program to encourage healthier financial habits and improve overall financial wellness? Company X creates a game plan by first reaching out to their Retirement Plan Provider to ask that they provide employees with education on retirement and investment topics - not just retirement plan information. Company X then reaches out to their employees’ Credit Union. The Credit Union strategically fills in the gap with financial education around other topics like budgeting, debt reduction, behavioral finance and more. Finally, Company X remembers they have a debt counseling service and clinical professionals who specialize in money and finances in their EAP who they can add to this program. Company X decides to internally brand their program “Wellbeing with Money.” They begin to offer financial education seminars, live and on-demand webinars, self-paced curriculum, financial challenges and measurement tools.
 
  1. Identify platforms in which to add financial curriculum
Employees are more likely to use their financial wellness program if educational resources are accessible to them. Companies can incorporate content into their Learning Management Systems, intranets, benefits portals and more. The more platforms that showcase this benefit, the more likely employees will remember to use it. In our fictional case above, “Wellbeing with Money” can be found on Company X’s benefits webpage, their digital benefits brochure and their training platform. They promote “Wellbeing with Money” on their payroll website and their third-party employee perks webpage. Company X ensures that their Employee Resource Group promotes “Wellbeing with Money” along with other wellness campaigns throughout the year.
 
  1. Construct a communications strategy
Set up regular communications to employees about Financial Wellness. Create a communication calendar each month in which you focus on certain areas or topics of financial wellness. You may incorporate financial wellness topics into your overall wellness communications strategy. Don’t worry - most providers will provide you with an effective communications plan if you ask! You may also set up to receive regular communications from your service providers directly in order to pass on this information to your employees. Don’t forget to include your financial wellness providers in your annual enrollment events too!
 
  1. Incentivize
Lastly, you’ll want to provide incentives for employees to focus on their financial health. Providing a small token as an incentive to attend a webinar, participate in assessment surveys or schedule financial planning sessions is a great way to encourage participation. Company X decided to step up their game by offering a savings challenge for employees by encouraging regular savings into an emergency fund through payroll deduction. Their “Wellbeing with Money” savings challenge was offered to all employees and tracked through payroll deduction start and end date reporting into a designated account. Wellness points were awarded to all participants with bonus cash awards to those with the highest percentage of savings. Making activities like this more fun and interactive helps encourage healthier money habits in order to drive long-term behavior change.
 
Now that you have a beginner’s guide, start incorporating a variety of topical education into your financial wellness program. Employees who are continuously learning and working toward optimal financial health become more informed consumers leading to less financial stress and more financial success. Remember, you don’t have to do this alone. The best way to help your employees is to make sure that you have the support you need from the financial experts who are on your team. Like our Company X, you can now take these simple steps in order to create a more holistic financial wellness benefit for all.
You’ve decided on a college and sent in your enrollment deposit - now it’s time to organize your finances and prepare for your move. Moving away to college may be the first time…
college prep Your college prep checklist
You’ve decided on a college and sent in your enrollment deposit - now it’s time to organize your finances and prepare for your move. Moving away to college may be the first time you’re living on your own and making your own financial decisions every day. Here’s how you can prepare:

Preparing financially
  • Discuss finances with your parents to develop a financial plan and better understand your own responsibilities. Do you have scholarships, grants, private loans or savings?
  • Accept your financial aid offer if you received one. Remember, you can appeal your offer to increase aid if necessary. Don’t forget that you need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) every year.
  • Complete your student loan paperwork if you need a loan before the semester starts.
  • Call the college and ask about available on-campus jobs. There may be work-study opportunities or part-time jobs you can consider.
  • Create a budget to ensure your basic needs will be covered (books, food, events, fees, etc.).
  • Set up a checking and savings account if you don’t already have one. Some banks offer checking accounts with low fees and overdraft protection. Check out Advancial’s Ultimate Checking account for no monthly service fee and unlimited free ATMs.
 
Preparing for your move
  • Start shopping and packing. Think about what you’ll need to bring, where to purchase items and how you’ll pack it.
  • Get to know your roommate in advance and coordinate with them about who’s bringing what.
  • Make a shopping list. Most colleges have move-in must-have lists on their websites.
  • Consider stores that ship to dorms so you don’t have to pack items that take up a lot of space, like bedding and refrigerators.
Do you have questions about student loans, checking and savings accounts or any other financial matters? We’re here to help. Visit us online at advancial.org/dineroteens for helpful information.
 
Money management tips for college
  • Use a banking or budgeting app to keep track of your spending.
  • If you were offered financial aid in the form of loans, you don’t have to accept the entire package - you can take out a smaller loan.
  • Always ask for a college student discount!
  • Work to earn extra cash. If you can manage work and your studies, you can earn some money to put toward early loan payments.
 
 
All accounts subject to approval. Restrictions and limitations apply
Buying souvenirs on a family trip can be fun, but it's wise to use money for something meaningful. The next time you travel, don’t just buy what’s at the gift shop. Instead…
vacation memories Make the most of vacation memories

Buying souvenirs on a family trip can be fun, but it's wise to use money for something meaningful. The next time you travel, don’t just buy what’s at the gift shop. Instead, try to think of a creative way to remember your trip. Here are just a few ideas:

Create a memory book or keepsake box. Collect a few postcards, add ticket stubs, maps, menus and notes about new experiences and other little items from your trip. This is a great way to remember what was special, memorable or funny.

Make a playlist. Download your favorite and most-listened-to songs and local music from the areas you travel. Your playlist will bring you back to your vacation anytime.

Create your own magnets. Use your travel photos, maps or even business cards from the hotels or restaurants you visited.

Send a postcard to yourself. Classic postcards are a great way to preserve your travel memories. Try getting creative with apps like MyPostcard that allow you to use your own photos to create and send unique postcards right from directly your phone!

Create a memory video. With online video makers like Animoto, you can use your vacation photos to create personalized videos with text and music. You can also export and share them with friends and family!

Don’t forget to save your money throughout the year so that you have it to spend on your fun vacation! Make a deposit to your Dinero Teens savings account at Advancial today to get started.

Pets are as “paw-pular” as ever! About 67% of U.S. households own a pet, which equals 84.9 million homes.1 That’s a lot of paws, tails and beaks!
benefit of pets The benefits of pets

Pets are as “paw-pular” as ever! About 67% of U.S. households own a pet, which equals 84.9 million homes.1 That’s a lot of paws, tails and beaks!

If you’re trying to convince your family to get a pet, you might have some luck by sharing a few benefits to owning a pet. Here are some facts to help you make your case for a dog, cat or other pet:

  • Children who grow up with pets tend to feel higher levels of self-esteem and self-importance
  • Teens who own a pet may have reduced symptoms of depression.
  • Pet owners are less likely to feel lonely.
  • Owning and caring for pets is linked to increased responsibility.
 
  • Walking or playing with pets can help improve heart health.
  • Pet ownership and pet care encourage independence and self-reliance.

The best way to convince your family to get a pet is to offer to help pay and care for them! Start putting away money in your Dinero Teens savings account at Advancial today.

1 Source: American Pet Products Association.

 

Volunteer to help animals

Is having a pet at home not an option? Another way to connect with animals is by volunteering at animal shelters. Older teens may be eligible to help:

  • Give shelter animals care and attention.
  • Assist customers through the adoption process.
  • Shadow staff members who work in animal care or veterinary services.
Visit the website of your local Humane Society to learn about volunteer opportunities.

A checking account is an essential part of managing your finances and adulting. It’s useful for paying bills, depositing checks and keeping track of your money. Checking accounts come…

are you ready for a checking account Are you ready for a checking account?
A checking account is an essential part of managing your finances and adulting. It’s useful for paying bills, depositing checks and keeping track of your money. Checking accounts come with a debit card for convenience, so there’s no need to carry a checkbook. You can also use mobile banking to deposit checks remotely and manage your account balance on the go.

Taking on the responsibility that comes with a checking account is part of growing up and proving that you can make wise financial choices. But how do you know if you’re ready to manage your own account? To start, you need:


 
  • A source of income (for example, a job). You need to be able to deposit money regularly into the account in order to have money to spend and save.
  • Your parents’ permission. Your parents must agree that you’re ready to handle a checking account. If they say no, respectfully accept the decision. Show them that you can save money and spend within your budget consistently, and they may reconsider.
  • Responsible spending habits. A checking account doesn’t give you the freedom to spend money however you want. If you make smart choices about money — like spending on a budget and saving for future expenses — you may be ready for a checking account.
  • Commitment to tracking your account balance. Spending more money than the amount in your account can be an expensive mistake. It’s important to keep track of your transactions so you know your balance before making a purchase.
Managed right, a checking account can be a great way to keep track of your money and set a budget for saving and spending. When you’re ready, check out a Dinero Teens checking account at Advancial to learn more.
 
Dinero Teens checking account
Our teen checking program helps you gain experience in managing your money responsibly. Account features include:
  • No monthly service fees
  • Unlimited check writing
  • Debit card rewards
  • cuAnywhere® online and mobile banking
  • Free debit/ATM card
  • Unlimited free ATMs
  • Automatic reimbursement on other banks’ ATM fees
Visit advancial.org/checking-accounts/dinero-checking to learn more about opening your first checking account at Advancial.
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Make the most of vacation memories
Buying souvenirs on a family trip can be fun, but it's wise to use money for something meaningful. The next time you travel, don’t just buy what’s at the gift shop. Instead, try to think of a creative way to remember your trip. Here are just…

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