Skip to main content
Full Menu Close Menu
Your Well-being

Building financial wellness

You Should Know
woman budget finances generic

Wellness matters, and it’s not just about yoga, meditation and stress reduction. Financial wellness is an important, though often overlooked, component of your overall wellness. Financial wellness is the ability to meet one’s basic needs and manage money for the short and long term. It includes skills like saving, budgeting, borrowing and planning.

The goal is to have your finances in order and manage your money well, which can improve your overall quality of life both now and in the future. It includes planning so you are on track for long-term goals such as retirement.

Here are a few of the habits that will help you build your financial wellness:

  1. Saving and investing: Get into the habit of saving a portion of your paycheck weekly and you will be on the way to achieving your financial goals. You’ll have the money to put toward big-ticket items like a vacation or computer and will have an emergency fund to better cope with some of life’s surprises. Read up and consider using a financial adviser for a better understanding of investments and your risk tolerance.
  2. Indulge, within your means: Once you have established a habit of savings, you will have the ability to enjoy an experience you have prioritized and saved for.
  3. Pay off debt: Prioritize reducing and eliminating debt. There are debt-counseling services to assist. If you are an educator with student debt, don’t miss out on the union’s debt relief program. Many nonprofit credit counseling agencies offer their services free of charge. Check the agency’s accreditation status—and the credit counselor’s certification status—with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling or the Financial Counseling Association of America.
  4. Look for monthly recurring charges you can curtail: Sometimes it’s just a matter of paying more careful attention to your monthly credit card bills and eliminating subscriptions and streaming services you no longer use. You may be surprised at the money leaks you discover.
  5. Invest for retirement: Is there a 401(k) plan your employer will match, a tax-deferred annuity (TDA) program you can take advantage of or a pension program you can join? All of these will make an enormous difference when you reach retirement age. As a union member, you have access to a pension and TDA, valuable benefits most employees do not have. And if you don’t have these options, invest in a tax-advantaged individual retirement account (IRA).
  6. Keep learning about finance: There are books, podcasts and financial newsletters. Continue your financial education for lower stress and greater life enjoyment.