What Does Financial Health & Well-being Actually Mean?
First things first. What is financial health and well-being? There are a lot of definitions out there. From the Foundation’s perspective, we use the term financial health & well-being to fully encompass both what folks do with their money and how they feel about their money.
Want to know more? There are two key definitions within the financial health and well-being space that you should consider. Take a look at the CFPB’s definition of financial well-being. And, take a look at the Financial Health Network’s definition of financial health.
The important thing to remember is financial health is deeply connected to every other aspect of a person’s life – their access to healthy food, health care, housing, etc. More on that in the “Development Issues” section below.
40% of people struggle to cover a $400 unexpected expense.
More than 1 in 5 (21%) of workers don’t save any of their annual income and 78% of us live paycheck to paycheck.
Nearly 3 in 4 workers say they are in debt today – more than half think they will always be.
of credit union members are struggling financially.
of credit union members are unsatisfied with their current financial situation.
of credit union members ran out of money before the end of the month at least once last year.
1. Start at Home - Measure
The journey starts with measuring where your employees and members are in their financial lives. We’ve used our expertise to bring you the two most effective tools. Either will give you insights on the financial health & well-being of your members and/or employees.
- CFPB Financial Well-being Score
- Financial Health Score
- Want to know the financial health of adults in your state? Look at the CFPB State-by-State Report on Financial Health of Adults
2. Make the Case - Align
- Once you’ve measured, look at your products and services and align them with the measurement results. Learn more about financial health and your credit union’s culture.
- Understand that you are in the financial health business and there is a solid business case that supports that. How do you make that case? The Foundation is a member of the Financial Health Network and it is a great resource to walk you through the steps of analyzing your business case for financial health & well-being. Take a look here.
- Understand that every interaction with a member is an opportunity to advance that member’s financial health and well-being.
3. Document Results - Adjust
Rigorously evaluate whether you are making a difference in improving your members’ and employees’ financial well-being. The Foundation funds evaluation efforts by credit unions. Here are three resources you can review:
Wealth & Health
We know that health and wealth are intrinsically linked – explore more on why this is so important to understand when it comes to meeting members where they are in life:
We know technology does and will play a big role in meeting members where they are in life. The Foundation collaborates with Members Development Company to examine the intersection of fintech and financial well-being. In 2019, working with the Financial Health Network, we explored five emerging technologies and the implications for credit unions.
What happens when a member is dealing with one or more of the 12 credit union development issues such as food insecurity or transportation?
Biz Kid$: Financial Health for Kids
Biz Kid$ helps you empower the next generation to care about their financial futures through the award-winning series that provides education on finances and entrepreneurship.
The Foundation annually funds innovations within the credit union system to advance financial well-being. Here are a few examples:
- Financial Reality Fairs: Reality Fairs provide hands-on, experiential learning for teens to help them prepare for their financial life after high school. The Foundation funded a grant to the RMJ Foundation – one to build a financial reality fair app and more recently, a grant to insert key analytics into the app to measure the result of the experience on kids’ attitudes about money pre- and post-reality fair. Learn more.
- Measuring financial well-being: We funded six credit unions to do financial check-ups with their members and employees leveraging the methodology of the Financial Health Network. We learned that credit union members and employees struggle with their finances just as all the national statistics indicate. Here are the results.
As part of our catalyst mission, we serve as a convener of credit unions, national partners, researchers and others to advance financial health & well-being. CU FinHealth™ is the premier credit union conference that examines how credit unions are measuring their members’ financial health, working to improve it and documenting the results. The conference also explores the connections between financial health, physical health, technology and advocacy.
The Foundation held a convening in January 2020 of system partners, researchers and credit unions to examine the state of financial well-being in credit unions.
Get in touch
For more information on financial health
Contact Gigi Hyland, Executive Director