One of Filene’s very first Centers of Excellence—the Center for Consumer Decision-Making—offered a deep, unfiltered look at consumer preferences, trends, and behaviors in money management to help credit unions understand how people make decisions in the face of financial needs and challenges. My heart may be a romantic, but my head understands nothing puts more pressure on financial situations quite like love.
Beloved Filene Fellow Dr. Hope Schau of the University of Arizona stated in her popular Generational Money Chatter report on the different ways each generation views money and finances, that "Millennials are very nervous about debt because they've taken on student loans. We need to give them the confidence, knowing what the pressure points are."
This quote resonated powerfully with both my head and my heart. I'm excited to share that I married my partner Bryan in the summer of 2022! As newly married professionals in our 30s, we discussed if and how to combine finances and what the next step should be.
Before getting hitched, I followed a strategy that Filene’s research has encouraged credit unions to offer to support the financial well-being of members and I paid down high-interest-rate credit card bills through a personal loan at my credit union. That put me on the right path. Next, Bryan and I started a joint emergency savings account. But I knew the pressure wasn't off yet, and that I would need more guidance.
We aren't combining everything we own yet, and I wonder if we ever will, but we already share a mortgage, and both have low-interest student loan debt from graduate school. People have always searched for resources and guidance at significant transition moments, like buying a car, purchasing a home, or saving for retirement. Today, they are increasingly going to social media and digital channels for this information. I, too, feel this in my head and heart, so again, I turned to the wisdom of Filene's body of work.
My role at Filene allows me to grow, learn, and gain greater financial well-being as I work to deliver value to our member credit unions. For example, recently, I've been helping implement Filene's newest member benefit, the HerMoney program. HerMoney gives credit unions straightforward digital content on financial topics that deepen engagement between members and credit unions while improving members' financial well-being in an accessible, educational, and fun way.
Jean Chatzky leads the content strategy. She is a former financial editor of NBC's TODAY Show, bestselling author, award-winning personal finance journalist, and advisor to major media companies & financial firms. Jean and her expert team at HerMoney confirmed (via their own 530,000+ followers on social media) that their financial wellness posts receive the highest engagement metrics across all forms of social content – podcasts, articles, books, videos, and more.
When I saw Jean's videos about budgeting strategies for the new year starting to appear on my credit union's social media channels, it gave me peace of mind because I knew Bryan and I were doing things right. Having that reassurance has been a huge relief. My husband and I agreed -- we knew we were on the right track toward the future we both see for ourselves. Pressure released!
The Next Step
Imagine if all credit unions were to use their social media feeds to answer those life-changing questions. Doing so would build trust and meaningfully increase member satisfaction and loyalty, as it did for me. And Filene Research has shown that once you create a foundation of trust, you can authentically offer new products and services to fulfill your members' needs. It's a win-win.
So far, nearly 60 credit unions across the country have raised their hands to participate in Filene's HerMoney social media program. These credit unions receive 40+ white-labeled social media posts per month to use across different platforms, four articles, and best practices for each social media platform.
Is your credit union interested in changing members' lives through this new modern approach? Please provide your contact information, and someone from my team will reach out with more details.
Happy Heart-Day, everyone!