When thinking about your future, dreams of a lavish home, stylish wardrobe, and exciting trips may come to mind. However, achieving these aspirations depends on your financial wellness.

Financial wellness is crucial for your overall well-being, according to Holly O’Neill, the President of Retail Banking at Bank of America. Just like regular checkups for your physical and mental health, it’s important to consistently assess your financial health. O’Neill defines financial wellness as the ability to fulfill current financial obligations, feel confident about the future, and be ready for unexpected financial hurdles.

Managing your finances gives you the ability to handle tough situations without compromising your lifestyle or future plans. It also reduces stress and gives you the freedom to enjoy life’s pleasures. In this article, O’Neill provides valuable insights and strategies to boost your financial wellness, helping you achieve your financial goals and secure a stable financial future.


Holly O’Neill

President, Retail Banking

Holly O’Neill, President of Retail Banking at Bank of America, is a respected figure in the financial industry known for her dedication to client care and community involvement. She offers financial solutions to millions of clients and has been recognized for her contributions to finance and customer service.

1. Focus on Paying Off Debt

While credit cards can help build credit, excessive debt can lead to stress and hinder your ability to save. Getting rid of debt is a critical step in enhancing your financial wellness. O’Neill recommends two effective approaches to tackle debt:

  • The “snowball” method: Begin by paying off the debt with the smallest balance first and progress upwards. As you clear each debt, the amount available for the next one increases, creating positive momentum.
  • The “high-rate” method: Prioritize paying off debts with the highest interest rates first. By focusing on high-interest debts, you can save money in the long term.

2. Establish and Follow a Budget

To maintain good financial health, O’Neill suggests creating a budget tailored to your needs, wants, and savings goals using the 50/30/20 method.

  • Allocate 50% of your income for needs like rent, utilities, and groceries.
  • Assign 30% to wants such as entertainment and personal treats.
  • Dedicate 20% to savings for emergencies or future goals.

Following a budget doesn’t mean depriving yourself but being mindful of your expenses and income. Adjust your spending based on priorities and cut back on non-essential expenses as needed.

3. Establish an Emergency Fund

Life is unpredictable, and unexpected expenses can come up at any time. O’Neill suggests setting up an emergency fund to handle unforeseen financial challenges without relying on credit cards.

Automate regular contributions from your paycheck into a savings account to build a fund equivalent to at least three months of living expenses. This safety net ensures financial stability during emergencies.

4. Monitor Your Finances Closely

Once you’ve implemented strategies to manage debt and save, it’s crucial to regularly review your financial situation to ensure your plans are effective. Spend time monitoring your expenses, savings, and financial goals to stay on course.

Use financial management tools like Bank of America’s Erica® to simplify tracking your spending and identify any irregularities. By staying informed about your finances, you can make well-informed decisions and progress towards your financial objectives.

5. Safeguard Your Future

Securing your future involves more than just retirement planning; it also includes saving for personal goals and enhancing your financial knowledge. Discuss finances with friends to gain insights and strategies for financial success.

By educating yourself about finances and managing your money wisely, you can improve your financial wellness, reduce stress, and build a stable future with peace of mind.

Additional Resources

  • Erica® From Bank of America

Bank of America’s virtual financial assistant offers real-time help to manage your finances efficiently.

  • Bank of America Better Money Habits®

Access a variety of financial guidance, budgeting tips, and educational resources to boost your financial literacy and money management skills.

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This content is sponsored by Bank of America, but the opinions expressed are those of The Everygirl editorial team.


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