What we learned from #FinHealthMatters Day
Considering how much it matters to all aspects of our lives, we as Americans aren't always quite as astute regarding our financial health as we could and should be. Nobody's perfect, of course, and there are sometimes unavoidable circumstances to blame for money troubles. But given the advantages so many of us in the U.S. have on an everyday basis, we could stand to do better in certain areas.
That is precisely what #FinHealthMatters Day - April 25 - is all about. Devised by the Center for Financial Services Innovation, this holiday serves to raise awareness regarding valuable money management tips and best practices, as well as intriguing innovations like alternative credit. Let's quickly look back at how this year's third annual celebration turned out:
"57% of Americans consider themselves to be struggling financially."
Focusing on students and young adults
College students in America constitute one of the most beleaguered demographics in the nation as far as financial well-being is concerned. As such, they served as a major topic for the latest #FinHealthMatters Day.
CFSI research found that 75 percent of these individuals didn't think they'd be able to come up with $1,000 over the course of the next month. (By comparison, 57 percent of Americans overall characterize themselves as struggling financially.) Those working to attain associates' degrees at community colleges had particularly significant difficulties. Sixty-three percent of such students live paycheck to paycheck, and of those who ultimately drop out, 71 percent did so out of financial necessity.
Efforts to spread the word
In conjunction with a wide variety of businesses and other organizations, CFSI created a flurry of attention on social media and elsewhere across the internet. Final figures for last week's iteration aren't yet available, but based on combined numbers from the first two #FinHealthMatters Days - approximately 4,000 tweets from 1,800 organizations and individuals, more than 170 news stories and blog posts, over 19 million impressions overall - it's safe to say that many people were reached.
CFSI founder and CEO Jennifer Tescher was quite pleased with the outreach efforts.
"We were delighted to see such support for #FinHealthMatters Day 2016 and 2017," Tescher said in a release. "It's an annual day to draw attention to Americans' financial health - one of the most pressing issues of our time, and one that affects nearly everyone in some way."
A partnership between CFSI and the financial wellness resource website Phroogal led to connections with even more individuals, via a marathon 17-hour video conference carried out over Facebook Live. Over the course of this period, Phroogal founder Jason Vitug conducted interviews with 29 financial experts on a wide range of topics.
"Whether you're lacking money or you have a lot of money, [it's important] that we have an open dialogue about it, and that we address any stress around our finances," Vitug said during the live event. This served as a notable summation of the #FinHealthMatters Day mission, one that can resonate with people of all ages and situations.