#FinHealthMatters Day: Personal stories about financial health in America

Thursday, August 3, 2017

By Theresa Schmall, Financial Health Network

June 27, 2017 was the second annual #FinHealthMatters Day. On this day more than 900 individuals created nearly 10 million Twitter impressions explaining why financial health matters. This message is particularly important because 57% of Americans — approximately 138 million adults — are struggling financially.

At Financial Health Network, we see the struggle with financial health present itself in a variety of ways. For example, our US Financial Diaries research revealed that families are frequently financially squeezed with no slack — households face rising costs, stagnant incomes and are shouldering more risk, which makes it much harder to deal with volatility. Many families struggle to pay bills this week or this month, even if they have enough income over the course of the year.

#FinHealthMatters Day provides everyone with a platform to describe why financial health matters to them.

At Financial Health Network, we’ve been talking about Financial Health with our network for a long time. But on #FinHealthMatters Day, we bring personal finance bloggers into the conversation by asking them to write essays about what financial health means to them.

What did we see in 2017? People care deeply about this issue. They write about financial health from highly personal perspectives. They tell their stories in a high-quality way. While personal finance bloggers have different backgrounds, focus areas, goals, and voices — they’re still essentially writing about working towards something we know the majority of Americans are struggling with: Financial health.

Here’s a sneak peek at the work of this year’s winners:

Femme Frugality: “It’s not a convenient truth. But it’s a reality the vast majority of us face. You can’t always count on a raise. You can’t always count on a lateral move that pays more. Heck, if the Recession taught us anything, it’s that you can’t always count on having a job or a home six months down the line.”

Life Zemplified (social winner!): “Consumer debt and I had a thing. We started out on friendly terms. Early in our hookup, the fondness grew between us. Things got ugly a few years in.”

Military Families Learning Network: “Financial health gives people options, opportunity, and the capacity to bounce back from life’s inevitable challenges. Like unemployment or disability or a car breakdown…or breast cancer.”

Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners: “I don’t need this astonishing recent report to understand that white households have six times the wealth of Latino families, or that white wealth is growing 20% faster than for Latinos. I saw it for myself when I was fifteen and my mother was able to move me into a better school where I was the only Latina.”

Runnymede Blog: “How do we battle money as our public stressor #1? We need to get over the social awkwardness and shyness of talking about money. While we collectively bemoan paying taxes or dream about how we might spend lottery winnings, it’s the day-to-day things that we do that form the basis of our financial lives that remain rarely discussed.”

Keep an eye out for the full versions of these winning stories here in the coming weeks. And start thinking about your own financial health story — and how you’ll tell it in 2018!

Metlife Foundation is a major sponsor of Financial Health Network’s ongoing consumer financial health work.

Additional support for #FinHealthMatters Day and USFD provided by the Citi Foundation.

By Financial Health Network on August 3, 2017.

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