Attracting new members is great, but what makes them want to stay with you? At Service Credit Union, we’ve long believed that making our members more financially well should be our ultimate goal. After all, a financial institution that empowers you to make better decisions that ultimately lead you on a path to success is one that you’ll always want to keep in your corner.
So what is financial wellness, and how do you create a financial “fitness” plan? Being financially well means that you can feel secure both in your current and future financial obligations. This includes paying your bills and monthly expenses, having money set aside for emergencies, saving for the long-term future and having a debt payoff plan (if applicable). Financial wellness also encompasses your overall attitude towards money, including how talking or thinking about money makes you feel, whether you have a budget and if you stick to it, and whether you have short or long-term financial goals.
As you may imagine, financial wellness can play a major role in your mental wellness, and even your physical well-being. While it can be easy to get overwhelmed by your finances, it should be the job of your credit union to make financial wellness more approachable and achievable.
Just like squeezing in a workout for your physical health, with all the other obligations in life, it’s hard to carve out the time to make yourself “financially fit.” That’s why we recently partnered with Pocketnest, a leader in the financial wellness space, to bring their gamified app approach to Service CU members through an app called Fin-Life. Pocketnest’s philosophy is to bring financial wellness to the masses through a free, personalized coaching experience. They partner with financial institutions to create white-label apps that cover a variety of financial wellness themes in just a few minutes a week, and offer a friendly approach toward achieving financial goals. To create a unique experience, users are asked a variety of questions to uncover their personality type and approach to finances, as well as questions on their current financial status. They also have the option to integrate their accounts from participating financial institutions.
Whether or not partnering with an organization such as Pocketnest is right for you, there are some undeniable aspects to their approach that anyone putting together a financial wellness plan can borrow from:
Use positive reinforcement: Like anything in life, we could all use the occasional nudge to keep going. Whether it’s a push notification, email or text to your member, encourage them to keep working on their financial goals and congratulate them when they have achieved a victory.
One size does not fit all: Your financial goals are not the same as your friend, spouse or coworker’s. Ask your members what their priorities are and help them solve their most pressing concerns.
Keep it short: Talking about finances can be overwhelming. Doing it in short bursts, in conversational bursts, helps cut down on stress and makes “finding the time” to think about your finances more attainable.
Most importantly, keep it fun: Even though student debt and mortgages are serious business, the way we talk about these topics doesn’t have to be. Take a look at what you typically engage with on social media in your own life, and bring that approach to your financial wellness content. For example, create polls, ask trivia questions or make fun explainer videos. You could even set a challenge or contest around financial fitness.
Personal finance should be just that – personal. Think about what motivates your members and what their needs are, and start developing your financial wellness plan today.