While financial literacy means having the skills to make smart decisions with money, achieving financial flexibility can make everyday life more affordable by making money go farther. Purchasing Power, a voluntary benefit company that offers a leading employee purchase program through the convenience of payroll deductions, is sharing tools that employers can offer in the workplace to help their employees achieve that flexibility.
Steps such as following a monthly budget, being a wise shopper and taking advantage of employer-offered financial wellness tools and voluntary benefits can help with managing expenses in a paycheck-to-paycheck reality. With 58% of Americans having less than $1,000 in savings for unexpected expenses, financial stress is high and spilling over into job performance, where a quarter of employees report that personal finance issues have been a distraction at work.
“Today’s employees want and need their money to do more,” says Richard Carrano, CEO of Purchasing Power. “Financial flexibility is the financial stage beyond living paycheck-to-paycheck, and the employers who are providing the tools that allow workers to pay their bills on time, take a vacation, have an emergency fund for unexpected expenses and perhaps splurge on something small occasionally are reaping the advantages of a workforce in that next stage.”
While financial education benefits can help employees with budgeting and debt reduction needs, employers can also adopt additional voluntary benefits that provide employees the opportunity to have some financial flexibility. Among these are:
• Employee purchase programs that allow workers to purchase consumer products and services through payroll deduction when they are unable or prefer not to use cash or credit.
• Low interest installment loans and credit that help employees avoid higher interest payday loans and cash advances from credit cards.
• Student loan repayment benefit programs in which employers are making contributions to loan balances or providing methods for employees to refinance their debt.
• Automated savings programs that encourage employees to save money each month from their paycheck.
• Bill payment programs that offer peace of mind by empowering employees with debt paydown strategies and the ability to make recurring bill payments on-time each month through payroll deduction.
To learn more about financial flexibility, read Purchasing Power’s recent white paper –
"The New Normal: Achieving Financial Flexibility".