Just ask Alexa

Listen up as Alexa helps you gain insight—without lifting a finger—through weekly retirement planning and financial wellness tips from Principal®.

Get the Principal® Flash Briefing skill now
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Enable

It's pretty quick and simple. Enable the skill by saying, “Alexa, enable Principal® Flash Briefing."

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Create

Just say “Learn my voice” and follow the instructions to create a voice profile. This way when Alexa recognizes your voice, Flash Briefing skips the tips you’ve already heard.

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Ask

Ask her, “Alexa, what's my flash briefing?” This way, each week you'll get tidbits that can help you in the moment.

Want even more financial insights? Check out the Principal® Financial Tips skill.

This week's tip from us

The new year is the perfect time to reflect on money habits and build a plan for the future. Need help creating a budget? Consider the 50-30-20 rule. Here's how it works. 50% of your income goes toward essential living expenses—think housing and food. Then, 20% goes to building your savings—this is your emergency fund and retirement account contribution. Then, the last 30% goes to personal wants—this is for things like online shopping and TV subscriptions. If you overspend in certain categories, simply adjust by spending less in other categories that may not be as important. Make a budget to see where you stand today.

Get started with our step-by-step guide to building a realistic budget.

Read tips to start the year off right.

Previous financial wellness tips

Miss a tip from a previous week? Or just want to check it out again? See all our tips from previous weeks below.

As we close the door on 2021 and ring in the new year, it’s a great time to give your finances a fresh look. Start by identifying and prioritizing goals—think short, mid, and long term. Then back into your budget. Having a spending plan can help organize your cashflow to include both saving and investing—but don’t forget, investing involves risk. If you’re coming up short, don’t worry. We have resources that might help inspire you to think about your budget in new ways.

Talking about money can be hard—even with the ones you love most, like your parents. But as they age, these are important conversations to have. These tips may help. If you have siblings, talk with them first. Have the one closest to your parents start the conversation. Try to start with a broad topic, like their plans for retirement. Next, offer to take something off their plate such as helping with income taxes, which may open the door to talking about their finances. Finally, volunteer to find out if they qualify for financial help.

As you gather with friends and family this holiday season, you may think about the legacy you want to leave behind someday for the people you love most or a charity that means a lot to you. Where can you start? Review your retirement account beneficiaries—meaning those who will receive your funds when you’re gone. If you want to specify how your money goes to those you select, consider a trust. When naming a minor, designate a custodian to manage the money until the child reaches a specific age. You can review and make changes by logging into your account.

As you do your online holiday shopping this year, take steps to keep your information and financial accounts safe. When shopping, double check the site is secure before providing any information—you can do this by looking for an "s" behind "http" in the web address. When offered, don't store your account information with retailers. If possible, try to use a payment method that requires biometrics such as Apple or Google pay. And if you don't already have alerts, now might be the time to turn on notifications of activity on your accounts.

Thanksgiving is a common day to overindulge. While your waistline can likely forgive one day of overindulgence, that isn’t always the case for your budget. Before you snatch up those Black Friday deals, calculate how much you have available to spend this year. You can look back at your statements from last November and December and adjust from there. Do you remember stretching your finances a bit thin? Then try to find ways to trim this year. Were you under budget? Great! Maybe you can squirrel away any leftover cash for your 2022 financial goals.

Principal® does not make available products related to health savings accounts.

The subject matter in this communication is educational only and provided with the understanding that Principal® is not rendering legal, accounting, investment advice or tax advice. You should consult with appropriate counsel or other advisors on all matters pertaining to legal, tax, investment or accounting obligations and requirements.​

Insurance products and plan administrative services provided through Principal Life Insurance Co., a member of the Principal Financial Group®, Des Moines, Iowa 50392.

Amazon Alexa is a trademark of Amazon.com, Inc​.

View Alexa skill terms and conditions (PDF).

Asset allocation and diversification do not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.

The value-added resources provided through ARAG Services, LLC (ARAG®) and iGrad, Inc. (Enrich) are not a part of any insurance products and plan administrative services provided through Principal Life Insurance Co or affiliated with any company of the Principal Financial Group®. All resources may be changed or canceled at any time.

The use of resources provided by ARAG Services, LLC or Enrich should not be considered a substitute for consultation with an attorney or advisor. Principal® is not responsible for any loss, injury, claim, liability, or damages related to the use of the ARAG Will & Legal Document Center or Enrich resources.

Please remember that the ARAG legal documents are accurate and useful in many situations. Whether or not the document is right for you and your situation depends on your circumstances. If you want specific advice regarding your situation, consult an attorney.

Information is intended to be educational in nature and is not intended to be taken as a recommendation. Enrich and ARAG Services, LLC are not an affiliate of any company of the Principal Financial Group.