Getting (Financially) Fit

The Motley Fool encourages everyone to keep up with financial wellness. “Helping the World Invest – Better” starts from the ground up, so the Fool provides employees with plenty of resources. Setting aside a workday for employees to make time for personal finance solves the root of many issues. Our annual Financial Health Day sparks a much-needed sense of urgency – and before tax season, too! Money doesn’t have to be a tough subject to tackle in the workplace.

On the job, shouldn’t employees be thinking about the job? Everyone needs breaks, plus money is a known trigger of stress. One study revealed that “80 percent of employers say their firms would benefit from financial wellness programs that would help employees with basic personal finance like budgeting, emergency savings, health care expenses or planning for retirement.”

Financial Health Day at The Motley Fool is organized by the People Team annually, in close collaboration with the Investing and Financial Planning teams. This year, 7 well-attended classes were hosted and recorded for remote employees. The Travel Hackers session, a yearly staple, included a live demo of how anyone in the room could combine credit card points, airline points, and more to go on a free European vacation in the next couple of months. Seriously!

Internal resources are key to planning low-cost events, but incentives are also important. This year’s hourly challenges asked Fools to wrangle receipts, download our healthcare app, and obtain credit info. Not only did Fools learn about personal benefits, but also company ones. This year’s grand prize was a $500 personal brokerage deposit!

Perhaps the best benefit of Financial Health Day is collective knowledge that keeps on giving. A few tips included in this year’s “Best/Worst Financial Advice” Slack channel:

1. Use Money-Saving Services

“When shopping online, use a cash-back portal like Ebates or MrRebates. Sometimes it is small percentage back but it can add up, especially if you are buying things anyway or a big items like home appliances or hotel bookings.”

“If you use Chrome, DL the Honey extension!!! It finds any and all electronic coupons and automatically applies it to your purchase. I’ve used this for Target, Rent the Runway (saved $50 one time!), pizza, + more.”

2. 401(k)illing It!

“Each time I get a raise at work, I automatically start putting that money into my 401(k) – I’ve been slowly growing my deduction, but don’t feel the pain of it since my take home doesn’t change!”

“Maxing out 401(k) contributions (assuming no debt) and just learning to live on whatever is left. Then letting those investments run.”

3. Every Little Bit Helps

“For those of us who still use cash: at the end of each day, put the loose change into a small jar, like a pickle or jelly jar. When it’s full, wrap it up and deposit it into your checking account, then make an extra payment for that exact amount on any loan you might have outstanding. When I did this back in grad school for several years, I knocked one or two monthly payments off my car loan.”

If you’re benefiting from this info, consider what a Financial Health Day could do for your company!

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