Achieving Financial and Personal Well-Being

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Have you ever wondered why companies invest so much money into background checks on potential new hires? Does it seem weird that most want to pull your credit report as a means for determining gainful employment? Well, if you consider that on average, there is a $2,000 per employee cost that a business incurs annually as a result of their employees’ financial stress, then it shouldn’t be a surprise that employers know it’s important to do their due diligence in ensuring financially stable workers.

For background, there are many ways that an employee’s poor financial situation can result in losses to a company. Businesses could be prone to financial improprieties like theft. Or perhaps employees spend so much time worrying about their own financial situation that they are unable to focus on their work—taking away from their productivity and engagement which is never good for an employer. You might even be applying for a financial management type position, in which case, poor management of your own finances could reflect poorly on you. In any regard, it’s good to know you are not alone. Nearly 85% of the American working population report that they feel some sort of financial strain and stress. That said, strength in numbers doesn’t mean we should sit around and not try to tackle the issues of financial stress head on. It’s becoming increasingly important that employers understand the cash constraints of working Americans and that we, as the employees, look to work for businesses that offer some level of financial wellness programs. While it may sound cliché, it’s these types of programs that can help people get on track with their finances and not in a spiral of debt.

Truth be told, debt is burdensome and acts much like quicksand. The harder you fight to get out of it the quicker you dig yourself deeper into it. According to a recent debt study performed by NerdWallet, the average US household has over $130,000 in debt. Over $15,000 of that is in credit card debt alone. We have heard the struggles of the millennial generation as they struggle to find jobs and the ability to move into their own places. It’s no wonder that 40% of these millennial have used various forms of financing like pawn shops, payday loans, and advance loans on tax returns to fund their lifestyles over the past five years.

Fortunately, there is a company stepping in and partnering with employers to aid their employees toward fiscal responsibility and well-being. That company is Zebit. Zebit is a free financial wellness benefit that employers can sponsor—at no cost—and offer to their employees. The benefit is two-fold. First, it offers financial wellness education so you can learn everything from basic financial literacy to how to create a rainy day and retirement savings plan. The library is packed with tools and resources to give employees financial assistance. There is also an app called the Zebit Instant Budget App, which you can download and use on the go. By using the app, in a matter of minutes, you can receive a recommended budget to see how your expenses compare to others in your area.

The second part of the Zebit program gives employees access to an interest-free and worry-free credit option, called a “ZebitLine.” This is basically a line of credit that can be used to purchase items from a Zebit marketplace containing thousands of products and services at competitive prices. I’m not advocating that you utilize such a service to go on a spending spree, but it provides employees a better payment option when they make an unexpected purchase. With Zebit, employees can pay with their ZebitLine and pay it off over time, while never paying any interest or fees. Perhaps you need a new washer or dryer because your old one finally broke down and you can’t afford one. Maybe you just want to buy a new TV, but want to do so in a responsible way without accruing interest on a credit card. It’s great because you can shop in the Zebit Market, pay with your ZebitLine, and obtain the item while paying for it over time via credit or debit deductions until the product is paid off. You might call it a zen moment knowing all you ever paid for was the price of the product without any ridiculous interest or fees attached to it. Some people might otherwise be forced to take out a payday loan or put it on their credit card and carry a balance, or even worse, open a store card and carry a balance. Store cards have some of the highest interest rates out there.

I encourage employers to take a look at this free benefit for their employees, and for employees to bring this benefit to their attention. Check out all that Zebit has to offer, and make sure to download their free Instant Budget mobile app I mentioned earlier—available for download at the Apple App and Google Play stores—which takes the guesswork out of budgeting by automatically creating a customized budget based on income, where someone lives, and the number of people in his or her household.

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