University of Southern Indiana

Financial Wellness

What is Financial Wellness?

There are many definitions of Financial Wellness on the internet. The Merriam-Webster definition of Wellness is the quality or state of being in good health especially as an actively sought goal. Therefore, if we add financial to wellness, the meaning of financial wellness is the active pursuit of being in good financial health.

Financial wellness is about feeling in control of your finances and being able to cover expenses and pay bills on time. It also includes being able to absorb the shock of unexpected expenses or situations. Having the flexibility to make choices about how to spend money and being on track to meet goals that are important, like saving for a home or retirement.

Why do you need Financial Wellness?

Without financial wellness, a person can feel stressed and anxious; they may have a hard time focusing at work and in life, they may not be able to sleep, and it could affect their health, causing high blood pressure, psoriasis or even substance abuse.

NEED HELP? Contact Deaconess CONCERN for a consultation with a counselor.

How familiar are you with Financial Wellness and Retirement? 

How is your Financial Wellness? Click the button to take our Financial Wellness Quiz! These questions were developed to help you think about how ready you are  for emergencies or everyday life. 

The quiz is 100% confidential and the anonymous  answers we receive are used to help determine  our educational needs for future workshops. 

Are you ready for retirement? Click the button to take  our Retirement Quiz! These questions were developed  to help you think about how ready you are financially for retirement. 

The quiz is 100% confidential and the anonymous  answers we receive are used to help determine  our educational needs for future workshops. 


Money Management Tools

There are many applications and websites to help you manage and budget your money, below are a few of the popular ones. Using tools such as these can help you understand and track where your money goes. Armed with these tools you can make changes to help you save or meet other goals. Another resource could be your banking institution, some banks include a budgeting and tracking software already connected to your account.

Mint – Budget and Bill Pay App

  • See everything in one place
  • Simple and free to set up
  • Stay up-to-date as it happens
  • Custom tips and savings 

Buxfer – Budget App

  • Sync Bank Transactions
  • See budget reports
  • Forecasting
  • See Shared Expenses

GoodBudget – Budget App

  • Envelope budget method
  • Sync and share budget
  • Save for expenses

Credit Karma – Credit Monitoring

  • Get your credit score
  • Tips to improve score
  •  Alerts sent when score changes

Olivia AI – Financial Assistant

  • Connect your accounts
  • Receive insights on spending
  • You can ask her questions

 Creating an Emergency Fund

Financial experts say you need 3-6 months of expenses saved as an emergency fund. This type of fund would be for an unforeseen absence from work due to an illness or injury, or sudden job loss. It is handy for sudden unexpected expenses, like when your furnace stops working. Emergencies do not include birthday presents, property taxes or other nonessential items. Saving money may seem daunting, but it is possible. Where do you start?

  • *Set a goal reaching the first $1,000 as soon as possible
  • Set a monthly savings goal – get in the habit of setting aside cash each month
  • Open a savings account just for the emergency fund
  • Round up on purchases using apps like Acorns or Digit
  • At the end of your pay period, if there is money left move it to your emergency fund
  • If there is no money left, look over your expenses to see what you can eliminate, examples include; coffees, lunches or treats
  • Get supplemental income like a second job or selling items no longer used
  • Save your tax refund

NEED HELP? Contact Deaconess CONCERN for a consultation with a financial adviser.


Reducing Debt

Being saddled with debt may make life miserable. There are many reasons people get into debt. Some reasons are attributed to bad spending habits; some are just bad luck or health related. However the debt accumulated doesn’t really matter, what matters is your resolve to get rid of it!

*Strategy for reducing debt:

  • Create a budget that will work for you
  • Pay the minimum payments on all debt, except the debt with the smallest balance
  • Pay as much as you can on that debt – focus on it
  • Once that debt is paid off, add that payment to the next smallest balance payment, so you are paying the first debt’s payment plus the second debt’s payment on the second debt
  • Repeat until all debt is gone

*This strategy is adapted from Dave Ramsey's 7 Baby Steps to get out of Debt

A great book on getting out of debt: The Total Money Makeover, by Dave Ramsey

NEED HELP? Contact Deaconess CONCERN for a consultation with a financial advisor.


Retirement Planning

Saving for retirement should be a priority at any age. Learn about the retirement plans offered at the University by visiting the retirement page, attending a workshop, scheduling a consult with the TIAA or INPRS (PERF) representative or visiting the TIAA or INPRS (PERF) websites.

 

Another great resource to use is the Social Security Website, log in to view your wage history, see contributions and view your benefit amount at retirement.


Life and Estate Planning

Planning for the future is important for you and your family. Ensure there is no confusion as to what your wishes are for your health and finances, by planning.

NEED HELP? Contact Deaconess CONCERN for a consultation with an Attorney.


College Savings

The University has a great fee waiver benefit to help with the expense of education for the employee’s dependent children. The fee waiver waives 75% of the applicable tuition and fees. For the rest, Indiana CollegeChoice529 plan is a great savings option.  

CollegeChoice529


Financial Wellness Education

Outreach and Engagement offer personal finance classes under Personal Enrichment

Learn more about USI's retirement and financial tools at USI Savings/Retirement Workshops

Relieve stress and anxiety with group yoga or exercise classes at the Recreation and Fitness Center

Take advantage of USI's Time to Get Fit Program which allows you to use 1 hour of paid time per week devote to pre-approved fitness activities. This activity is subject to eligibility and approval. 


Community Resources 

Sometimes financial emergencies happen and leave people broke with no way to pay for the necessities. The following is a list of resources from financial assistance, to food and clothing.  

Archies Closet - Archibald Eagle's Food Closet is a service for all members of the USI community to promote the health and wellness of USI students and employees. Archie's closet is a place on campus where food and personal care items can be obtained by students or employees who may find themselves in need. All requests for assistance are confidential. 

Evansville Rescue Mission - The Evansville Rescue Mission provides, food, clothing, shelter, childcare and counseling. 

Christian Life Center - With the goal of moving individuals from a place of need to their potential, the Evansville Life Center helps with Food, Clothing, Shelter and more. 

HOPE of Evansville - First time home buyer Program, individual account development program, default/foreclosure counseling.

Community Action Program - A variety of home ownership programs directed at helping first time home buyers. Also energy assistance programs and summer cooling programs. 

FSSA Resource Guide - Indiana Family Social Services Association Resource Guide for Vanderburgh, Posey and Gibson counties.

FSSA Resource Guide - Indiana Family Social Services Association Resource Guide for Crawford, Dubois, Martin, Orange, Perry, Spencer and Warrick counties.


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