Financial Wellness

paying bills

The below content is meant to be informational and not used as financial advice.

What is financial wellness?
February 23, 2023

Financial wellness is defined as a state of well-being in which you can manage your money responsibly, pay debts, be prepared for unexpected expenses, and plan for future goals such as saving for college or retirement. Financial education and guidance can provide the tools, knowledge and confidence to help achieve that state of well-being.

It’s not an easy place to get to. I think I’ve always managed my money fairly well. But I spent many, many years living paycheck to paycheck and having to borrow from my parents if something came up… car repairs, an emergency vet bill, the need for a new washing machine. I'm lucky (and eternally grateful) that they were willing and able to help.

In the early days of my career, my employer offered a 401k plan with matching contributions. No way could I afford to put money into that – as a single parent I needed every penny come payday. No one explained to me exactly how a 401k worked or what a valuable opportunity it was. I didn’t have the information needed to even consider participating. Do I regret not taking advantage of it back then, in my early 20s? Absolutely.

I feel confident saying that I have, finally, achieved a level of financial wellness. The constant stress over money has lifted, and I now have an emergency fund and savings accounts for specific goals. Oh – and a 401k (better late than never, right?).

But I really wish I’d started out with some of the tools, knowledge and confidence mentioned above. I might have made different decisions. I might have had the ability to see beyond every ‘today’ so I could plan for some of the ‘tomorrows’.

Next week I’ll share some of the ways in which OFCU supports financial education and offers guidance to local students. Encouraging financial wellness in our communities is important to us. And it starts with them.

Until then, feel free to check out (and share) this financial wellness assessment from our partner, Banzai.

Written by

Lisa Marston

Lisa has been the Marketing Director at Oxford FCU since December 2019 – which is also when she (happily) became a credit union member. Send her your topic ideas, questions and feedback.

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