At CESI, our mission is to empower people to overcome their financial challenges and lead financially healthy lives. Financial health encompasses both the ability to meet current financial obligations the ability to plan for the future. When consumers are financially healthy, they are better able to absorb an unexpected financial emergency.
We’ve partnered with the Financial Health Network to offer consumers access to a free financial health check. This quick and easy quiz can identify areas where consumers are financially healthy vs. other areas such as savings and investment where they may be more vulnerable.
Having a budget and understanding how you spend your money is an important factor in developing a financially healthy lifestyle. CESI’s certified financial counselors offer free financial assessments. To help consumers better understand where their money goes, a counselor reviews income, assets, and spending habits. Knowing where the money goes can help consumers meet their monthly and periodic obligations. It can also help consumers focus on making room in their budget for emergency savings.
Saving money is on most people’s to-do list but it isn’t always a priority. Leading a financially healthy lifestyle means making room in the budget to save. Understanding cash flow is critical to plan for savings. With a detailed budget as the foundation of financial planning, savings can become automated to ensure money is tucked away for emergencies. Over time, as debts and other obligations are repaid, savings goals can expand beyond emergency savings to include retirement and investments.
When consumers have strong credit scores and payment histories, borrowing money becomes less expensive. Financially healthy consumers typically have access to more favorable interest rates. This makes monthly payments more affordable. This is true for both secured assets such as mortgages and unsecured debts like credit cards. When borrowing money costs less, it makes it easier to leave a financially healthy lifestyle. Consumers have greater options for financing their purchases as well as more room in the budget to address planning for the future.
Financially healthy consumers plan ahead. This type of planning goes beyond simply having a regular savings target. Planning ahead for financial health includes insurance and investing and having a will.
Insurance can help control costs in the event of an unexpected event, illness, auto-accident, or death. Consumers who purchase insurance are able to mitigate some of the financial risks when things go wrong. Be sure to consider insurance purchases carefully. It is important for consumers to have a clear understanding of coverage and needs before purchasing any insurance policy. For example, homeowners should consider life insurance adequate to cover 1675a9the remaining mortgage and other future expenses the inheritor may incur. Automobile insurance should weigh not only collision coverage but also provide for physical injury. Understanding what is needed and what is affordable is key to making this work.
Investing in a 401k or an individual retirement account (IRA) can help provide future financial stability by allowing your money to grow over time. Small, regular contributions over a long period of time can lead to a large pool of resources to draw from 20-30 years into the future. Participating in an employer-sponsored 401k program can help consumers through additional matching contributions. Taking advantage of an employer match is a fantastic way to save even more for the future.
Financial health is determined by so many factors that it can be overwhelming to know where to begin. Find out how you’re doing with your money by taking the 2-minute financial health quiz. By answering a few basic questions, you can discover opportunities to improve your financial well-being. The quiz is free and afterward, don’t forget to take advantage of your free financial assessment with a certified credit counselor. There’s never a better time to start building financially healthy habits than today.
Consumer Education Services, Inc. empowers people to overcome their financial challenges and lead financially-healthy lives.
CESI is NOT A LOAN COMPANY