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5 Tips for Financial Wellness to Get Through the Winter


After a demanding year, it may be tempting to take off your shoes, curl up with a cup of hot chocolate, and turn your attention to 2023. However, it would be a missed chance to consider how to better your financial situation. This year, in addition to the joy (and spending) that the holiday season provides, there is also crazy inflation and a volatile market, making it a genuine balancing act to attempt to keep things joyful and bright while simultaneously trying to make ends meet.

With all of that in mind, now is the perfect moment to manage your finances so you may be better equipped to deal with the difficult economic climate of today without jeopardizing your financial future. Here are five easy measures you can follow to restore some control over your current financial stress and continue putting money aside for a better tomorrow.

1. Demand Assistance

You might be surprised to learn that many employers include access to financial tools, counseling, and education as part of their benefits package. If not, you're not alone: According to our second annual State of the Workplace study(opens in new tab), 47% of employees have either never considered asking their boss for assistance or are confused if they are permitted to do so.

Additionally, we discovered that 96% of HR leaders think that their organization must improve its efforts to assist employees in maximizing the financial benefits that are provided to them, and 90% of employees are prioritizing re-evaluating benefit packages this year.

This is good news in a way since it gives you a chance to be heard and because many employers are paying close attention right now. Businesses are emphasizing comprehensive financial wellness strategies beginning in 2023, including equity compensation, financial wellness initiatives, caregiver benefits (including flexible work schedules for workers who are caregivers), telemedicine, and mental health benefits (opens in new tab).

Spend some time today asking for assistance from your workplace. Ask your employer whether it provides any further financial benefits or support; you never know.

2. Learn for Yourself.

Give yourself the gift of knowledge before purchasing presents for everyone on your list. The year's end is a fantastic opportunity to improve your financial knowledge and skills, review your financial plan, or create one if you don't already have one.

A financial plan is what? It might be as easy as setting up a budget for the month or saving $10 per month, or it can be as difficult as working with a team of experts on everything from asset management to estate preparation. Numerous online programs can assist you in setting up your savings and budgeting objectives if you are unsure of where to begin.

Numerous workplaces also provide financial education materials on subjects like retirement planning, education costs, and the fundamentals of budgeting and investing. Some even provide access to financial advisers or coaches.

Employee resource groups and further training may be offered on more specialized themes, such as racial justice, climate change, gender equality, and others, to help you get the confidence and skills you need to handle your particular financial position.

Taxes are a subject that is also crucial because they are soon to be due. While it's unlikely that your employer can give you tax guidance, they might be able to connect you with resources or more knowledgeable financial experts that can.


3. Rock Your Office.

Companies frequently allow employees to choose their health insurance and other perks for the upcoming year after the current fiscal year. You're not alone if price and accessibility are top of mind this season: When reviewing their workplace financial perks this year, over two-thirds (60%) of employees in the State of the Workplace study(opens in new tab) said they are paying considerably closer attention.

The open enrollment period is an opportunity to become more familiar with the entire support network provided by your organization as well as the technology you'll be utilizing to manage your benefits for the remainder of the year. Use any training, webinars, and engagement campaigns your employer may be offering, even if nothing has changed. Additionally, it can be beneficial to sit down and consider how you used your benefits throughout 2022 and how your needs may change or remain the same the following year.

During open enrollment, you have the chance to get to know your company's comprehensive support system as well as the technologies you'll be using to manage your benefits for the rest of the year. Even if nothing has changed, take advantage of any pieces of training, webinars, and engagement initiatives your business may be providing. It can also be helpful to sit down and think about how you used your benefits in 2022 and how your needs might alter or stay the same in the upcoming year.

4. Consider Saving.

If we have any savings at all—a typical working family only has one month's worth of salary saved outside of a retirement account, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI)(opens in new tab)—saving might frequently be the first item we give up when times are tight.

Try as hard as you can to avoid using your savings to pay bills or other costs, even if it may seem illogical, and do your best to keep putting money away (even if it means cutting down on holiday spending). If you need to, start small and figure out what suits your lifestyle - maybe it's only saving $5 each month.

That being said, the most effective and efficient method to secure your financial future is to contribute completely to your employer's retirement plan to qualify for any company match that may be provided. Consider trying to contribute the maximum to your retirement plan in the final months of 2022: For 2022, you can contribute up to $20,500 to your 401(k) plan, plus an additional $6,500 if you are 50 or older, and up to $6,000 to an individual retirement account (IRA), plus an additional $1,000 if you are 50 or older.

5. Be your own closest pal.

Even when things happen in life, there are always steps we can do to help us better understand our financial situation (rather than letting our financial affairs get us in their grasp). Finding balance might be challenging, but put your financial security first now to make your future self your best friend.

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