What happens if we snooze a national alarm?
Not long ago - news broke that a record number of people paid their rent with a credit card.
Recently heard on All Things Considered by NPR, and reported by Chris Arnold:
“There's been as much as a 70% percent increase from last year in people paying rent on a credit card, according to an analysis by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.”
No alarms have sounded yet.
I sense that we have a deep problem here, and while we are working hard at Ortus Academy on a solution, I’m really worried that we’re too late for many - and that the sound of our alarm isn’t loud enough to be annoying.
Like the NPR article above suggests, there’s some beeping happening in regards to personal finance at the national level -- but not at the personal level.
If student loan debt hitting $1.5 trillion, or rising credit usage for rental payments, isn't an alarm we could probably look at the numbers of people without savings, living paycheck to paycheck.
While there is a significant number of available resources when it comes to online education - two things matter more than ‘is it available?”
It’s all about when and where.
If the place that we get our money - work, banks, credit card companies - aren’t a part of the delivery of these resources or education, and yet individuals don’t have an alarm system, it’s hard to expect significant change.
There’s no beeping when you overspend on your credit card [unless you choose to set it up].
There’s no alert when you’re spending more on a PlayStation console or game than on healthy food in a month.
There’s no warning when you sign on for a car that costs 40% of your monthly income.
For some tips to set up alarms for your own personal finances, check out our blog: 5 Ways to Stay on Track With Your Financial Goals in 2021
Yes - we should all be responsible for our own choices. Alerts don’t negate responsibility.
Yet - I also believe that we should have some education in schools, at work, and in our communities that act to prepare someone for budgeting in the new age, the ease of online spending, and digital currency trends.
While I’m hopeful that Ortus Academy’s work with employers to install Financial Wellness Programs will help the select few (relative to the population overall) that they employ, I’m aware that we will need systems and technology to help more people develop financial awareness and emotional depth to sense the alarms if they aren’t in their living room.
“If you're putting your rent payments on to a credit card, that shows you're really at risk of eviction," says Shamus Roller, executive director of the nonprofit National Housing Law Project. "That means you've run out of savings; you've probably run out of calls to family members to get them to loan you money."
This was a scary quote to read. It indicates that a possible ripple effect is coming, meaning MANY (as in, masses) are facing eviction.
The time for change is now - and it starts with each of us.
For those of you reading that have teams, employees - now is the time to engage in some tough conversations. We all want to get paid well for our work. But many have been noted to stick with an employer that shows that they care even if they are offered a better salary elsewhere. Bottom line: What you do to invest in your employee's matters, aka - what benefits you provide.
It’s a good time to consider financial wellness. In fact, there’s never been a better time in history to do so.
If you’re an employee, ask your HR manager or your CEO/COO for a financial wellness program. You can share personal stories or not, but if you are sure that other employees may be experiencing financial challenges that are affecting the workplace, it’s appropriate to suggest a solution.
We’re happy to serve your financial wellness program needs. We’re also just as happy to help you find the right fit - even if it’s not us.
We’re committed to helping your business or your fellow employees grow and develop financial stability, learn about stocks and investing, and build good credit, for starters.
Aaron Velky is the CEO & Co-Founder of Ortus Academy
If you would like to know more about our Employee Financial Wellness Programs, visit: www.OrtusAcademy.com/business