Depending on whom you ask, gauging the financial health of America ranges from “Look at the stock market! It’s great!” all the way to “Well, um … define ‘financial health!’”.
This is where many Americans are positioned on the topic of financial health and literacy. While it’s true that many older, college-educated, white, and higher-earning individuals have recovered the best in the last decade following the Great Recession, the recovery by many others including younger individuals, lower earners, individuals without a college degree, African Americans and Latinos improved more slowly.
As of 2020, more than enough studies in the last 10 years have solidified the fact America has a bona fide emergency on their hands when it comes to financial literacy. Financial Finesse found African Americans and Latinos scored considerably lower in financial wellness. CareerBuilder also found one in 10 workers making $100,000+ live paycheck-to-paycheck. It’s an ugly truth that wealth in 2020 does not equal financial wellness in totality. Rich or poor, financial education must be at the center of the change America needs, especially when it comes to the educational well-being of our children and grandchildren.
QCash Financial wants to be an essential contributor towards America’s financial education, and we believe credit unions are the most vital financial institutions in which that change can be nurtured. Credit unions’ very makeup makes them perfectly positioned to help consumers find their way out of the forest of financial instability and back on the path to financial wellness.
In the ever-continuing effort to do our part to further the financial education of America’s individuals and families, throughout this year we will be examining the “Five Pillars of Financial Health”:
- Borrowing: Thoughtful, calculated borrowing can be a key tool in improving one’s financial health, especially personal loans, which are often a good choice for consolidating existing debt, or dealing with emergency expenses.
- Saving: The pillar most struggle to achieve or follow through on day-to-day, the importance of saving for one’s overall financial health, cannot be overstated. That unplanned medical bill, broken-down car, or house repair make saving an essential part of this journey.
- Spending: A central aspect of financial health is developing a personal budget. Forming a monthly or quarterly budget is a primary tool in helping you managing financial priorities that may not even be obvious at the moment.
- Planning: Financial planning almost explains itself. It helps to resolve one’s short- and long-term financial goals while establishing a stable plan to achieve said goals.
- Giving: Part of a healthy financial outlook is charitable giving, a tangible benefit that elevates one’s personal morals, identification with the charities involved, and maximizes the financial and tax benefits of the gift itself.
By assisting your members with each of these pillars, not only will you be positioning your credit union membership for a better, more stable financial future, you are also positioning those who are parents to extend their newfound or reestablished knowledge to their young children. With a recent 2019 study by Boeing Employees Credit Union (BECU) showing 72 percent of parents are not talking to their kids about money, this is an important trend that needs to change.
We have the tools in QCash Financial’s financial wellness therapy platform and lending app and we have you, the great community of credit unions dedicated to helping members achieve the goals necessary to guide hardworking individuals and families back to financial health.