(BPT) - When Broadway theaters lowered their curtains due to COVID-19 in March 2020, it was not immediately apparent how long the stages would be empty. As a cultural and economic engine for New York, Broadway's 18-month closure not only impacted the more than 293,000 workers it employs, but also the hotels, restaurants and transportation across the city that rely on theatergoers. As one of New York City's largest industries, the cultural sector generated $110 billion in economic activity prior to the pandemic.
With COVID-19 restrictions lifting and Broadway reopening, the intersection of financial and overall well-being remains at the forefront for many people. According to a new poll commissioned by Prudential, 2 in 3 Americans say that arts, entertainment and cultural events positively impact their mental health (68%) and overall well-being (66%), and the quality of life in communities (64%). At the same time, Americans consider their financial security (92%) equally important to their mental (93%) and physical health (92%) when it comes to overall well-being.
Prudential supported Broadway's return with its sponsorship of a 3-day festival in Times Square, donation to the Black Theatre Coalition and The Actors Fund, and launch of a free financial wellness digital hub that provides financial tools and resources for the performing arts community.
As the theater community and people across America get back on their feet, here are a few tips to support financial resilience:
- Conduct a financial wellness assessment: Take advantage of free tools like this financial well assessment to help you create a plan to reach your financial goals. From retirement planning to household budgeting, you can see where your finances currently stand and how to plan ahead for the future.
- Dig out of debt: Focus on small, achievable goals rather than overwhelming balances so it feels more doable. For example, if you owe $5,000, pay off $500 and then $1,000 so that paying off the overall sum feels less overwhelming. Consult a financial professional and consider a free consultation with an organization like GreenPath to help create an action plan to tackle debt.
- Make saving automatic: Once you set your financial goals, stay on target by automating your savings. Set up recurring transfers each month from your checking account to your savings account (or to multiple savings accounts for separate goals). If you pay off a debt or no longer have to pay a bill (you cancel a membership or subscription), put that money into savings before you can spend it.
These simple steps and others can help you stay focused on reaching your financial goals and, as it turns out, your overall well-being.