While mental and physical health are important, GreenPath Financial Wellness believes financial health should also be a topic of discussion for New Year’s resolutions. Visit www.greenpath.com for more information.

While mental and physical health are important, GreenPath Financial Wellness believes financial health should also be a topic of discussion for New Year’s resolutions. Visit www.greenpath.com for more information.

Photo provided by GreenPath Financial Wellness


GreenPath financial expert provides tips for new year

By: Zachary Manning | Farmington Press | Published February 11, 2021

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FARMINGTON HILLS — When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, better physical and mental health are among the most common.

But according to GreenPath Financial Wellness expert Jeff Arevalo, working to improve financial health can be just as important, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whether it be working to get out of debt, catching up on payments or just getting a better understanding of an individual’s current financial situation, getting advice from experts can go a long way.

Arevalo said the call volume generally increases at the start of the new year, and the pandemic has increased the need for financial wellness experts.

“Financial health, it can’t be ignored, especially with all the different things that are going on,” Arevalo said. “If people need help, make sure that they explore those resources that are available. Here at GreenPath, we’re happy and ready to help those people.”

It can be hard for people to talk about finances. From fear of judgment to lack of knowledge, it can be an overwhelming area of life to get a handle on.

However, there are certain steps people can take to get a handle on some aspects of their finances. Arevalo notes that people often have bigger goals, such as getting out of debt and buying a house.

While those are good goals, deconstructing those bigger goals and making smaller ones can go a long way to helping achieve those bigger results.

“The truth is, unless you deconstruct those a little bit and determine, ‘Are those realistic? What steps do I need to take to get there?’ Sometimes that’s not fun to sit down and work those things out,” Arevalo said. “People want results quickly, and that’s just the type of society that we have these days. It’s not a bad thing, but to put in the work to get to those goals, it can become discouraging for people sometimes.”

In terms of what to do with funds like stimulus checks and unemployment benefits, Arevalo said it’s a good idea to catch up on priority bills and necessities before buying nonessential items, such as gifts.

Outside of putting resources to good use, there are also steps to take in terms of playing it safe with finances. With a heightened digital age, scammers have taken advantage of people and put them in tough situations.

Arevalo noted that getting as much information about the person on the other end can go a long way to saving yourself from these scams. Scams have become very sophisticated, and it’s good to understand who is on the other side before relaying important information about credit and housing, among other things.

Some recent scams include stimulus checks and relief funds due to the pandemic. As a general rule of thumb, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

“As a consumer, you want to make sure if someone’s calling you, you do your due diligence and figure out, ‘Who is calling me?’ Write it down and get their contact information,” Arevalo said. “If you have the ability to look things up online, look up that agency, see what they’re all about.”

The nonprofit GreenPath has locations across the country, and has Michigan offices in Detroit, East Lansing, Farmington Hills, Grand Blanc, Grand Rapids, Southfield and Traverse City.

For more information or to request a call, visit greenpath.com.

“It can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days for a person to form a new habit,” GreenPath CEO Kristen Holt said via a release. “GreenPath’s certified counselors are ready to help people seamlessly adopt financial wellness practices, and make debt management and saving a new habit. Many of our clients often say they wish they had sought help sooner.”

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