More and more people are telling their story of problems they are having staying financially afloat. Not only is it impossible to get a zero down, zero interest car lease, but some car companies no longer offer car leases. To buy a car today, you need cash, or really good credit to qualify for a loan at a substantially higher interest rate than you would have had to pay 3 years ago. Mortgages are much more difficult to get and many of us find ourselves going back to school to work in a field totally foreign to us. The poor financial state of the country has caused many organizations to teach employees what they should know to stay ahead of the downturn.
Financial Literacy in the Workplace
It's not difficult to see that some Americans make poor financial decisions. We've been bombarded with reports of the so-called sub-prime mortgage credit crisis--mostly because borrowers didn't fully understand what they were getting into and the possible consequences. Depending where you are, you see ads for "car title loans," Payday loans, and "refund advance loans" on your anticipated income tax refund. All of these incur, on an annual basis, astronomical interest rates, but are sold as putting cash in your pocket for "just a few dollars." What about the person who accepts paying a $2.50 fee to withdraw $10 from an ATM once a week? Some companies will spend plenty of time discussing financial management with their employees. Other companies may spend minimal time or even no time at all.
Financial Crisis and Work Productivity
If you are dealing with personal financial issues, your productivity at work is likely to be affected. Research by the Personal Finance Employee Education Foundation has shown that distress over personal finances can lead to lower productivity, as well as illness and absences from work. If you find yourself or your employees in financial difficulty, or would just like to prevent future issues, employers should consider some options to assist employees with financial issues and education.
Here are a few examples of programs you may want to consider offering to your employees:
Microenterprises defy a definition. Street venders, carpenters, machine shop operators. seamstresses and peasant farmers---micro entrepreneurs come in all types, and their businesses in many sizes. This diverse group requires a variety of support to grow and improve. Many of these men and women and their employees are poor and have limited access to services. But they do not lack potential. Microenterprises contribute significantly to economic growth, social stability and equity. The sector is one of the most important vehicles through which low-income people can escape poverty.
Community Development (Asset Building)
It is important that we begin to consider local assets as the primary building blocks of sustainable community development. Building on the skills of local residents, the passion of faith communities, the power of local associations and the supportive functions of local institutions, asset-based community development draws upon existing community strengths to build stronger, more sustainable communities for the future. We are entrepreneurs, artists, builders, innovators, musicians, teachers, and parents; regular people who love life and desire a better future for ourselves, our fellow people, our children and our planet.
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