Tips from our Foolish Financial Health Day

KerraBudgeting

In addition to physical and mental wellness, we strive to keep Fools’ financial health on the upswing. Thanks to our Foolish Learning and Development team, Fools recently celebrated “Financial Health Day” by budgeting their workdays to learn more about our employee benefits, attend educational workshops, and participate in office hours with Foolish financial planners.

Classes on the agenda were all Fool-taught and included How to Buy a Home, Couples & Cash, Foolish Family Finances, and Estate Planning: Wills, Trusts, and Health Care Powers of Attorney – Oh, My! One of the most popular classes was Living Cheap, which was hosted by Rule Your Retirement advisor Robert Brokamp.

Here are 3 tips from this session that can help you, too, cut your expenses:

1. Monitor your spending every day. One Foolish reader wrote, “If you do this for 30 days, it can change your life. Also, that feeling of being in complete control of your finances is a real self-confidence boost.”

2. Food is one of your biggest expenses. Make a master list of what you absolutely need every week, and try not to stray from it when you’re shopping. A wise Fool told us during the class, “It’s not a value if half of it goes bad.”

3. “Use Stuff You No Longer Want to Buy Something You Covet.” Take a look around your house and make note of what you don’t use anymore. Consider selling an item on Craiglist or to a friend, then put the profit toward purchasing something you need.

It could be difficult to host a similar event at your own organization, especially if you don’t work in the finance industry. However, a few of the quick challenges that were introduced throughout our day would be easy to recreate. Tasks that were completed in exchange for raffle tickets included signing into your 401K account and confirming or adjusting the contribution; accessing your free credit score; developing a strategy to get out of debt; downloading our expense system’s app; and confirming correct personal information in our HR platform.

Learning more about your HR tools will help employees understand all of the benefits your company has to offer. Encouraging a dialogue about personal finance – whether it’s providing helpful website links or hosting a full-fledged Financial Health Day like us – will only profit your employees’ well-beings.

Set Aside a Day for Financial Planning

Financial Planning Day

Financial Planning DayLast week, The Fool held a company-wide financial health day. Fools had the opportunity to attend classes on subjects like retirement planning and negotiating, and could meet one-on-one with our in-house financial planner, Robert Brokamp.

Robert blogs for Get Rich Slowly, and wrote a post about how your company can encourage employees to take a day to iron out their finances (or how you can set aside a day for this on your own). Check it out here!

By setting aside just a few hours to set up automatic payments, plan for emergencies, create a budget, and start saving for retirement, you can rest easy knowing your finances are taken care of!

Make Saving for Retirement Fun and Easy

401(k)s

401(k)sWhen you’re an adult, you get to do awesome things, like occasionally eating ice cream for dinner. But with that freedom comes responsibility – paying taxes, taking out the trash, and saving for retirement. And you should save for retirement! Every ten years you wait to start can cut your potential future nest egg by half.

Like many companies, the Fool offers a 401(k) program to its employees. What’s a 401(k)? It’s an investment account that allows you to contribute to your retirement directly from your paycheck before taxes are taken out. You pay taxes once you begin taking that money out of the account after you retire. Many companies (the Fool included) will match your contributions – if you set aside a certain percentage of your salary for your retirement, your employer will kick in a matching amount. It’s free money!

So why would people choose to miss out on the employer match? Some just aren’t able to save at that moment, some never get around to filling out the paperwork, and some are so confused by 401(k)s that they put off getting started. Many companies try to counteract the confusion with thick information packets and boring annual informational meetings, but the Fool refuses to make anything boring.

Enter Robert Brokamp: Rule Your Retirement advisor, personal finance expert, and wearer of amusing Halloween costumes. Bro (as we affectionately call him) teaches a monthly 401(k) class for new employees, funny-ing up his presentation with photos from Awkward Family Photos. Thanks to our investing-minded culture, 87% of Fools contribute to a 401(k) (compared to 77% of eligible workers in the U.S.). Bro aims to increase that number of Fools and non-Fools alike by making saving for retirement simple and accessible.

What are some things your company does to teach employees about their 401(k) options?