What Does Financial Dignity Mean to Us Today?
Financial Dignity is the promise of the American Dream.
It is the promise for every worker to achieve employment and educational opportunities, and an overall sense of financial security.
But for all those that have acquired this success, there have been a great many who have been left behind to struggle with debt, past-due bills, and the stress of insolvency.
One of the pillars of PayActiv’s business is to provide services to low to moderate-income employees so that they can achieve this financial dignity.
Financial dignity leads to financial security and savings
Nima Abu Wardeh, in an article for The National, cites a quote from Benjamin Franklin as a summation of financial dignity.
“Let honesty and industry be thy constant companions, and spend one penny less than thy clear gains; then shall thy pocket begin to thrive; creditors will not insult, nor want oppress, nor hungerness bite, nor nakedness freeze thee.”
This quote comes from a series of miscellaneous aphorisms on political economy that were compiled in various Franklin memoirs from the late 1700s well into the following century.
And though the language may seem archaic in a modern day economy dominated by more contemporary issues such as wealth inequality, the rise of technology, and diminishing employee financial security, the root meaning is still valuable to us today.
A worker with the means to access their income, be prepared for unexpected financial obligations, and save what they earn, will ultimately achieve financial dignity.
Once that financial dignity is maintained, a worker can look forward to securing even greater financial security.
And the list of financial issues Franklin referenced still has relevance to workers today.
“Creditors will not insult” means an end to a reliance on predatory payday loans and obscene interest rates.
“Nor want oppress” means you will be prepared for your upcoming financial obligations, or spend your earnings on anything from a birthday gift to a vacation with your family.
“Hungerness bite, nor nakedness freeze thee” means you will have the resources necessary to provide basic necessities such as food and shelter for yourself or for your family.
Financial dignity is a concept whereby an employee can protect their interests in the workplace while also remaining private about their finances. When an employee can more acutely understand how their finances work, they are better prepared to manage and navigate their financial life.
“Financial dignity boils down to the controlled use of all the money that you have in your life with the aim of achieving the life and lifestyle that you want for yourself,” Wardeh maintains in her article.
PayActiv is the mechanism by which an employee can pursue and achieve financial dignity and all the benefits that accompany it.
The PayActiv savings tool allows an employee to track their paychecks and savings over time. When money can be monitored and put aside, an employee can eventually afford to provide better benefits and security for themselves or their family.
Employees with access to their own money on their own schedule can save significantly. Avoiding fees, interest, penalties, and payday loans increases their take-home pay by an average of 10%.
Empowering Employees to Succeed
Empowering employees to control their finances is a benefit that is far-reaching in its scope.
“Financial dignity is closer to what I call the ‘universal language of money’ that the whole world actually speaks,” wrote John Hope Bryant, a philanthropic entrepreneur in an article about teaching financial literacy to young generation whose future will be complicated by issues of inequality and money management.
Employees invest time, effort and labor in their employer. When a company invests in the dignity and productivity of its employees they are investing in the greater success of their business.