Savvier spending post-pandemic
By Stacey Richards, Product Director at Blackhawk
November 24 2021 - Months of lockdowns have had an impact on many areas of our lives, but one of the most important is the effect on our pockets. According to the Bank of England, on average, household savings rose during the pandemic and of the households that did increase their savings, 70% said they planned not to spend the money. With a massive £192bn in lockdown savings accumulated, it would appear the general public have used this spending break to become more money savvy.
However, despite this, employers are missing this crucial opportunity to help better educate their staff on how to spend smarter. According to a poll by Wealth at Work, even after the effects of job losses and furlough, a significant 41% of organisations are still failing to offer employees any support to enable them to better manage their money. This lack of assistance comes after more than half (51%) of those surveyed said the pandemic had made them conscious of the need to save more, with more than a quarter realising their current savings were inadequate. As individuals seek to improve their financial wellbeing, now is the perfect time for employers to support them on this mission. There are numerous ways to help your employee's money go further and to support financial wellbeing like prepaid cards offering deals and cashback on everyday spending too.
In a professional environment, it may seem like your staff’s personal finances are none of the company's business. Yet, according to a recent survey conducted by Blackhawk Network, 92% of respondents said it was important that an employee benefit has a positive impact on financial wellbeing. And with 30% of employees thinking that an increased focus on financial wellbeing is the reward and benefits area that needs to change post COVID-19, it is clear organisations cannot afford to overlook it.
Additionally, studies have shown that a majority of workers are stressed about their overall finances, with many reporting that their financial problems are a distraction at work. These financial stresses are also the cause of many unneeded sick days, costing millions for companies annually. Therefore, improving financial literacy for employees, is not only a benefit for them, but can have significant benefits for employers as well.
However, the rewards of investing in creating a financially secure workforce can only be reaped if employees actively use their benefits and use them effectively. That’s where financial education comes in.
Creating a financially secure workforce
For businesses who want to educate their employees, it’s often difficult to know where to start. From budgeting to smarter shopping, there are so many areas of finances that organisations can support employees in. Whether it be through hosting workshops, providing free access to financial advice or running sessions on pensions. Providing these kinds of services that promote responsible spending are great ways to support employees, without costing more than a few pounds per employee, per year. In addition, it’s crucial to ensure there is effective communication from the HR teams around what is included in employees’ benefit packages and how they can utilise options like pre-paid cards to improve their finances. In doing so, businesses can make sure their employees are maximising their benefits to aid their personal savings.
Make your money go further with prepaid cards
Pre-paid cards such as bYond offer a simple, but easy way to help your staff stretch their money further. It is a great way for staff to earn cashback on everyday items. The cards can be used across a wide range of retailers, restaurants, and leisure experiences with up to 15% cashback with every shop. Allowing their money to really go the distance.
With regular use, this could enable employees to earn hundreds in cashback annually, simply from completing routine spending activities such as grocery shopping. Prepaid cards can also aid in budgeting because it limits spending as employees cannot exceed the account balance. Research by Blackhawk Network shows that 40% of employees identified ‘a prepaid card that offers rewards for everyday spending’ as one of the top three benefits that would be most valuable to them. Which showcases how prepaid cards can improve employees personal and work life.
As the world starts to slowly but surely return to some kind of normality, there is no better time for individuals to make this return, a financially mindful one. As such, there is now a perfect opportunity for employers to ensure they are supporting their employees to achieve this goal. Whether it be offering financial advice services to boost employee financial wellbeing or facilitating benefits such as pre-paid cards that help employees watch their spending and earn money back.
Employers can place themselves at the forefront of enabling employees’ money to go further as we continue out of the pandemic and into the future.
About Stacey Richards
Stacey is an experienced product professional with a focus on payments and employee benefit solutions, through the building of digital solutions that improve customer experiences and drive business outcomes. She is passionate about putting the customer at the heart of the business to deliver relevant and meaningful solutions that customers adopt and use to drive business benefits.