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


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



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

As crazy as it sounds, a new school year is right around the corner. Have you and the students in your life prepared for upcoming expenses? We have some tips to help. First, be realistic. Two, look ahead to potential larger ticket items like field trips or textbooks. Third assess your transportation costs. Finally, be ready to refine your budget regularly as expenses change.

Check out these back to school budget tips.

Find out how to avoid four common budget mistakes.

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.

For many of us, it’s the first time in our memory that inflation has become so pervasive. In fact, it was more than 40 years ago that price increases reached the levels we’re seeing today. That has more and more experts talking about the likelihood of a recession. But even if a prolonged downturn happens, no one knows what it might look like. If so much is unknown, what can you do to protect your short- and long-term financial goals? First, figure out what’s important to you. If you want to buy a house, do higher mortgage rates mean a shift to a smaller place? If you’re not saving for the unexpected, can you increase your emergency fund allocation now, before you need it?

Most real estate experts predict the housing market will stay strong for the remainder of this year. If you’re thinking of buying a new home, carefully consider what you can afford. Start by digging into your debt, housing budget, and credit score. Next build up a down payment and emergency fund. Then plan for your financing. Finally, do a quick emotional check to make sure it’s the best decision for you and your family.

Do you still have items on your summer bucket list? We want to help you soak up a few more memories without breaking the bank and sacrificing long-term financial goals. For starters, try turning a night on the town into a fun night at home. Or, get out of the house and let nature keep you entertained. If retail therapy is on your summer list, revisit your budget to see if you have any wiggle room.

As summer blazes on, it’s a good time to check in on how your shopping habits impact the planet and your wallet. Eco-conscious options often get a bad rap for costing more than traditional ones, but that’s not always true. It turns out changing some of your shopping habits can not only save money, but the environment too.

Stocks often lead the headlines. But what is a stock really? It’s essentially a share of ownership in a company. As an investor, you can typically buy and sell stocks from a company when the market is open. Companies in turn issue, sell, or buy-back stocks to control income. But why all the hype? Many investors like stocks because of their potential to grow and increase in value over time. But keep in mind Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal.

The subject matter in this communication is educational only and provided with the understanding that Principal® is not rendering legal, accounting, investment or tax advice. You should consult with appropriate counsel, financial professionals, and 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 Company®, a member of the Principal Financial Group®, Des Moines, IA 50392.

Principal®, Principal Financial Group®, and Principal and the logomark design are registered trademarks of Principal Financial Services, Inc., a Principal Financial Group company, in the United States and are trademarks and service marks of Principal Financial Services, Inc., in various countries around the world.

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

View Alexa skill terms and conditions (PDF).