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Get Help and Be Accountable   arrow

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Self-Study Guide


Want to improve your health or personal finances?

Get help and be accountable. In other words, find people to support you and help you reach your personal goals.

Sometimes we need a little help and people to motivate us and hold us accountable for our actions. Supports for health and financial behavior changes include other people, employers, support groups, professional advisors, and, yes, even pets.

Your dog or a friend can make a great walking companion. Your spouse can cook you healthy meals, and your employer might provide a wellness program or company gym. All of these are examples of helping relationships that can help you reach your health improvement goals.

Helpers who practice positive behaviors themselves provide the best helping relationships. A good helper will tell you whether you’re “walking your talk,” or not, and give you critical feedback. Studies have also found that people who exercise with a dog are more likely to take weight off and keep it off. Pets can be loyal walking partners- rain or shine- and make exercise fun.

Many employers provide valuable support to people trying to improve their health practices. In addition to providing company gyms, some employers pay their workers a cash bonus or grant time off for making positive health changes. Employers do this to try to contain current health insurance premium increases and to save even more in the long run by avoiding or delaying health-care costs associated with smoking, diabetes, and obesity.

Employers also provide many supports to help workers with their finances. Some examples are personal finance seminars, financial planning services, workplace credit unions, direct deposit, and retirement savings plans.

Another financial support is employer matching of workers’ savings in retirement savings plans such as a 401(k). Employer matching is “free money” that should not be passed up. A 50 percent employer match is like receiving a guaranteed 50 percent return on your money. No other investment can promise a guaranteed 25, 50, or even 100 percent return on savings like an employer match can.

Some employers go even further. They enroll their employees automatically in a retirement savings plan unless the worker opts out. Some even raise their employee’s savings plan contribution automatically each time a worker receives a raise.

Ready to get started on the path to good health and increased wealth?  Get help and be accountable to others who support you.