The economy has many individuals stressed when it comes to money. From investing in the stock market to navigating rising costs of food and shelter, finding ways to best manage your financial practices is vital if you can withstand current and future financial crises. A financial coach could be what you need to stay on track.
BrightUp connects employees with financial coaches, personalized financial education, planning tools, etc. As companies prioritize financial employee wellbeing in their workplace, BrightUp has created a financial wellness benefits platform to provide members with the tools and guidance they need to accompany them through their journey toward financial health.
Because we recognize that everyone strives to be financially healthy, but many face barriers to success. Financial health and wellbeing are intrinsically connected. Maybe someone has been forced to take on debt to make ends meet, or they didn't have access to financial education and equitable financial services. No matter the reason workers are financially struggling, a compassionate, personalized approach to coaching them through their challenges can significantly impact their ability to build wealth.
Financial coaching helps people feel better about money, remove self-destructive thought patterns and behaviors, and create a proper plan for the future. Just like personal training can help you reach your fitness goals, financial coaching can help you reach your financial goals. But what is financial coaching? How can it help you improve your financial wellbeing? This article will tell you everything you need to know about financial wellbeing and how to support a person's financial wellbeing with coaching and financial planning tools.
What Is Financial Wellbeing?
When you hear the word "wellbeing," your mind probably goes to personal health. However, it's a word that has begun to broaden over the years, and financial wellbeing is no exception.
Gallup research breaks wellbeing into five categories:
- Career wellbeing: liking what you do every day
- Social wellbeing: meaningful relationships
- Financial wellbeing: ability to manage money well
- Physical wellbeing: the energy and ability to get things done
- Community wellbeing: liking where you live
These concepts work together to create a thriving individual, which means lacking wellbeing in one area could negatively affect the other areas. This is especially true for financial wellbeing. For example, suppose you're experiencing financial stress. In that case, you may not feel fulfilled in your career, won't be able to afford to participate in social activities, might skip doctor's appointments to avoid more costs, and not feel fully engaged in your community.
Financial health can be defined as an individual's ability to experience life according to their values, goals, and objectives. Unfortunately, today's lifestyles can make it hard for people to have the time and knowledge to strike this balance despite their desire to do so. That's where the help of a financial coach can make all the difference.
Let's look at the three levels of financial wellbeing and discuss how a financial coach could help you achieve success at every level.
A Financial Coach for Financial Wellbeing
You can hire a coach to help you improve your golf swing, your tennis backhand, or your singing. But what about a financial coach?
Financial coaches are not like financial planners or investment advisers who focus on long-term investments or retirement planning. Instead, it's a relatively new practice that focuses on helping people cultivate financial wellness. For example, a coach might help someone manage day-to-day finances, set goals, create a realistic plan to meet those goals, or help them understand how their finances work.
A financial coach is an excellent option for someone who wants to work on their finances but doesn't know where to start. They also might be helpful for someone who has struggled with money management in the past and isn't sure how to move forward.
So what are the three levels of financial wellbeing?
- Managing day-to-day finances
- Setting and achieving goals
- Protecting against financial risk
Let's explore how a financial coach can help you tackle each of these elements.
1. Managing day-to-day finances
For many, managing day-to-day finances can be complicated or overwhelming – especially without a background of foundational finance education. Developing the skills needed to manage your money each day properly is one of the first steps you can take toward financial wellbeing. A financial coach can help you get started!
A financial coach is a great way to get an objective outside perspective on your finances. BrightUp provides human support with financial coaches that are accessible through text, phone, or video. Our financial coaches are trained to help you sort through the reasons behind your money habits and provide support as you create stronger, sustainable ways to build wealth. In addition, they help you separate yourself from the emotional baggage that comes from money management mistakes and help you develop the skills you need to improve.
Your financial coach can help you figure out strategies for managing your money more effectively. That could mean talking about budgeting and savings plans. It could also entail improving your credit score, understanding the best way to get a loan, or setting up automatic payments to make sure bills are paid on time. These are all things that professionals recommend anyway, but having someone who can walk you through them step by step can be a big help when it comes to implementing them in real life.
Even if you have a quick question in the moment before you make a purchase or sign up for a new service, a BrightUp financial coach can respond via text in a matter of minutes. It's support when you need it, at your convenience.
2. Setting and achieving goals
Most of us want to save more money, pay off loans, and plan for retirement, but it's hard to know how to get there. A BrightUp financial coach can help you figure out where you want to go and how long it will take to achieve short-term and long-term goals. From there, they'll help identify what you need to do each day, week, or month to reach those goals.
Short-term goals are the easiest to achieve because they're closer to the present. Examples of short-term goals include planning for an upcoming vacation or buying Christmas presents. These can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to accomplish.
Medium-term goals fall somewhere between your short-time and long-term aspirations. These can include paying off credit card debt, making home improvements, or funding a down payment on a house or car. This type of goal usually takes one year or more to achieve.
Long-term goals are more focused on saving for retirement or your child's college education. This is where generational wealth-building will come into play.
Our financial coaching program becomes especially effective when workers utilize the BrightUp app. With the help of financial planning tools, personalized financial education, and uplifting messaging, users can grow their net-worth and improve their self-worth at the same time. For example, our Valculator helps users understand how saving just $5 a day can compound millions over the years. This tool encourages workers to save more and predict how much their own wealth can grow over time.
"Huge amount of ease to use the app," says user Ali Khajeh. "I enjoyed the articles being related to the issues I reported. It was very helpful to be able to digest the information at my own pace."
Whether you feel like you have a grip on managing your finances but want a little guidance along the way, or you're looking for someone who can help you get back on track after struggling to meet your goals in the past, a financial coach may be right for you.
3. Protecting against financial risk
Once you have a better handle on your day-to-day financial management and know what goals you'd like to achieve, you'll want to make sure you don't jeopardize your progress with financial risk. A financial coach can help you assess your current situation and identify areas where you might be at risk for financial trouble. Some risks they can help you with include:
- Identity theft
- Unmanageable debt
- Emergency expenses
If you're struggling with debt and have no savings, you may be looking for a quick fix like a payday loan. Before you send in that application – PAUSE. A coach can help you figure out whether this is the right path for you or if there's another option that might work better. They can help connect you to more compassionate capital and help you set up an emergency fund so that unexpected bills don't throw your budget off track.
With all of the recent identity thefts and massive data breaches, everyone is looking for ways to protect themselves from identity theft. And a financial coach can also help you learn how to protect yourself from identity theft and fraud.
Why Financial Wellbeing Is Important
Financial wellbeing is important because everyone deserves stability, peace of mind, and security. Financial security is also essential in helping you achieve your financial goals for the future. You'll be able to concentrate on building up your business or getting out of debt.
Being stressed about money impacts your life profoundly, both at work and home. Those with financial stress are more likely to experience anxiety and depression. They're also more likely to get divorced and even commit domestic violence.
In addition, there's a connection between physical health and financial wellness. Lower-income workers often have worse health because they struggle with affording healthy food options or going to the doctor regularly.
Finally, financial distress can make it harder for you to do your job well. An employee with financial stress is less productive and, therefore, a less valuable employee than one who can work without such stressors.
The above are all reasons BrightUp encourages workers to take control of their finances and plan for a brighter future. Talking about financial wellbeing contributes to mental and physical wellbeing. When we share with others, we can help each other find solutions to problems and feel less alone. If you're uncomfortable talking about your finances with your family, friends, or coworkers, a financial coach could be the answer.
How to Support Your Financial Wellbeing
You already know your finances are a critical element to your overall wellbeing. Unfortunately, society tends to be individualistic, and many feel that they're on their own when it comes to navigating financial challenges. But we all need and deserve help sometimes.
You should find help for your financial wellness because you are worthy of support, guidance, and growth. When you're experiencing financial stress, it can be challenging to make sound decisions. By engaging with a financial wellness benefits provider like BrightUp, you can work toward building generational wealth for you and your family.
Doesn't that sound great?!
At BrightUp, we approach our financial wellness program from a few different perspectives. One is that everyone deserves access to the knowledge, tools, and support one needs to become more independently successful with their finances. We deliver these as financial wellness benefits in our platform and products.
Second, we recognize the importance of pairing these tools with mental health support. So we combine behavioral science with our platform to bring a holistic approach to wealth-building. With compassionate messaging and tips on keeping a positive money mindset, our users can feel good about how they're learning to manage their money.
Financial Coaching & Education
Personal finance is a complex subject with many layers to it. In the same way that you might go to a doctor for physical health concerns or talk to a therapist or life coach for emotional health concerns, it makes sense to seek out a professional for financial health concerns.
People are often under the misconception that financial coaching is only for people with lots of money. But this couldn't be further from the truth. For employees of companies who partner with BrightUp, financial coaching is available to everyone, regardless of their income level or net worth.
Your finances are often the least stressful when you aren't managing them alone. This is why so many people who have made it a goal to improve their financial wellbeing have benefited from getting support from a financial coach.
Research shows that personalized financial coaching and education results in incredibly effective progress. One study from Northeastern University found that through a credit building program for low-income adults aged 18-29, the mean credit score of participants with pre-existing credit rose by 18 points during the first six months of the program.
Another report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that clients who received financial coaching were able to improve in the following areas:
- Using a budget
- Confidence in achieving financial goals
- Having an emergency fund
- Avoiding a late fees
- Balancing expenses vs. income
- Improving financial capability scale score
It's clear that financial coaching can increase an individual's financial capability, especially when the individual is equipped with personalized education and financial planning tools.
For maximum effectiveness, we provide financial coaching in three different formats:
- You can text a financial wellness bot for in-the-moment advice on simple financial matters.
- You can set up a phone call with a financial coach when a challenge warrants more discussion.
- You can use a video call to work face-to-face with your financial coach to set goals and create financial plans.
It's support when you need it, at your convenience. For additional help, anyone who has access to our coaches will also be able to use the BrightUp app to access our financial planning tools. Employees will work with their coach to set up their budget tracker and pinpoint insights they'd like to track. Finally, they are served financial wellbeing articles catered to the financial challenges they've identified as concerns.
"The language [in the app] was for everyone, and it made me think of things that I hadn't thought about before," says user Sarah Ballard. "Like what are my goals and what I am doing to get there. I thought that was super useful."
An Emphasis on Mental Health
While many financial wellness benefits providers focus on the functional, tangible benefits of financial wellness, BrightUp takes a different approach. Our content is aimed at helping you understand the foundations of personal wealth AND relieve stress around money.
As noted by Gallup's elements of wellbeing, financial wellbeing plays a critical role in your mental wellbeing. It's the top cause of stress for most Americans. So for any financial wellness program, the focus should always be on improving the mental health of the people they serve.
"True financial wellbeing is when we can feel so aligned with our sense of self that we are able to detach our sense of self away from money," says Catherine Morgan, author of It's Not About the Money: 3 Steps to Become a Wealthy Woman, in a Forbes Magazine interview. "Most beliefs we carry about money do not belong to us. They have been passed down the generations through behaviors and language, specifically about money. These behaviors inform the stories or narratives that we then go on to use with ourselves."
We couldn't agree more.
Strategies like encouraging people to read books, meditate, or do yoga are not complementary to financial instruction;they are foundational to financial instruction. Instead of only teaching people how to use a budget or be a saver, improving mental health gives you an overall picture of your finances. It gets you in the right frame of mind for successful financial behaviors. With BrightUp, you're empowered with both.
Once you've started this internal wellness journey, a certified financial coach can help keep you accountable and advise how best to manage stress related to money matters. When it comes time for major life decisions like purchasing a new home or planning for retirement, you'll have the skills and knowledge necessary for making sound choices that support your financial and mental wellbeing.
A Brighter Future with BrightUp
Our mission is to improve financial wellbeing and help employees build financial wealth. Having a financial coach can change your life; we've helped thousands of people, now it's your turn.
We work with employers seeking to uplift their employees with financial wellness benefits with the following products and services:
- Financial coaching: Employees can seek support and advice when, where, and in the format they want with our financial coaching options. You can access our coaches via text, phone, or video with personalized advice suited to your financial situation.
- Financial planning tools: Our financial planning tools provide employees with planning for today and tomorrow. With tools like account summaries, budget trackers, and spending alerts, we empower individuals to take control of their finances. Don't forget the uplifting messaging!
- Personalized financial education: We write and curate easy-to-understand financial education on various topics. They're curated with money mindfulness and mental wellness in mind!
- Compassionate capital: We provide compassionate, low-cost financial assistance for those who need it most. This debt consolidation or loan refinancing program offers single-digit interest rates regardless of an employee's credit score.
- High-yield savings: Put anything you can save in our high-yield savings account and you'll earn more interest than traditional banks!
If your company doesn't already have an employee financial wellness benefits plan, recommend BrightUp to your leadership!
Interested parties can contact a BrightUp representative on our website today. You can also call us directly at (833) 513-1302 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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