Financial Wellness in America - Are We in Trouble?
Updated: May 22, 2020
The way we access and interact with our money has changed a lot in the past twenty years. Technology has given us unprecedented access to our accounts and offers full transparency about our financial situation. Smarter ATMs, online banking, and peer-to-peer paying apps are just a few examples of how the landscape has changed in just one generation.
However, one thing that has not dramatically shifted is the way in which we should be approaching Financial Wellness. If we were to ask you what those two words mean to you, what would you say?
As defined by Financial Finesse, financial wellness is “a state of well-being where an individual has achieved minimal financial stress, established a strong financial foundation, and created an ongoing plan to help reach future financial goals."
It's an important subject. But how often do we hear about it? The answer is - not near as often as we should.
Of course, everyone is different. There are multiple approaches to how we handle our own specific financial situations. We all see and interpret finances through a different lens and what works for one person may not work for another. However, it's hard to debate the crushing toll that the average American feels on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
According to the 2017 Stress in America survey, “62% of Americans reported money was a
significant source of stress in their lives”. Regardless of the main source of worry in our lives, no one can disagree that financial stress plays a massive factor in it. Instead of being a minimal nuisance, financial issues are often the defining frustrations in the lives of many families. According to an article published by Forbes in 2018:
44% of Americans don’t have enough cash to cover a $400 emergency.
43% of student loan borrowers are not making payments.
38% of U.S. households have credit card debt.
33% of American adults have $0 saved for retirement.
Financial issues are, of course, not limited to just working individuals with families and mortgages. College students are greatly impacted as well. According to the Student Health and Counseling Services of UC Davis, “Financial stress is repeatedly found to be a common source of stress, anxiety, and fear for college students. Money plays a critical role in our lives and not having enough of it impacts health as well as academic performance.”
Did you know that, as of 2019, only five states require that high school students take at least a half-year personal finance course as a graduation requirement? How can we be expected to excel in regards to finances as adults without first being taught? It seems impossible, especially if you consider that a good majority of the population doesn’t have the right seeds planted at a time when we are the most impressionable.
Financial wellness in America is important to us, and we strongly believe it deserves much more awareness than it currently gets.
If you too care about your financial well-being, please continue to read our upcoming blog posts as we delve deeper into some of the aforementioned topics and other areas of discussion.