The pursuit of increased knowledge regarding personal financial planning topics is a worthy one, but financial education alone will not change financial lives. Financial education opportunities have been around for decades but we still have poor financial behaviors in the US. The personal saving rate, calculated by the Federal Bureau of Economic Analysis, recently dipped to 2.8% in April 2018. Bankrate’s Financial Security Index revealed that only 39 percent of Americans have $1,000 in savings to cover an emergency expense. A Gallup poll found only about 1/3 of Americans (32%) maintain a personal spending plan (a.k.a. “the budget”). Only 30% of Americans have a long-term financial life plan that includes savings and investment goals that match their financial resources with what matters most to them in life.
Financial knowledge must support measurable action steps. The underlying goal is to achieve a positive sense of well-being backed up by actual financial behaviors that help us instead of create stress. It takes something extra to bridge the knowing – doing gap…confidence. Perceived financial knowledge (think confidence) has been shown to be a better predictor of completing important financial behaviors such as budgeting, saving for emergencies, eliminating problem debt, and setting aside funds for retirement.
Financial education as a standalone offering is not enough to move the collective financial wellness needle in the right direction. Authentic financial wellness requires action and the ability to connect money-related decisions to our lives.
Building your Financial Wellness Foundation
Course Modules are scheduled to go live on the LivePlanThrive.com site in January 2021. The course content is managed by LifeSpan Financial Planning. The content is designed to help bridge the knowing-doing gap and inspire lasting change. The best indicator of the success of a financial wellness education program is NOT how participants score on financial literacy quizzes. That is a great benchmark. But the ultimate measuring stick should be the financial health and well-being of these agents of change.
A Few Examples of Course Topics
- Building a Financial Wellness Foundation
- Never Budget Again: The Power of Purposeful Spending Plans
- How to Assess and Improve Your Money Mindset
- Financial Wellness Capital: Thinking Your Way to a Better Life
- Couples and Money
For more information on the financial wellness education available through the LIVE PLAN THRIVE project, visit https://www.liveplanthrive.com.