EASY MONEY

The Fruitful perspective on demystifying everyday finances

START HERE — FINANCIAL BASICS

QUICK TAKE

Just starting to get your finances in order? Here are the basics: (1) Purpose (2) Specificity, and (3) Guidance. Plus, we cover 3 things you DON’T need as well.

THREE THINGS TO GET YOUR 
FINANCES IN ORDER

1. Purpose


If you don't have a purpose for every dollar you earn, some simple organization can change your life. This is not an empty promise — I’ve seen it happen with many, many people!


First, understand the “time horizons” of each account — that means when you’ll need the money. Basic types of accounts you’ll have are:

  • Retirement — invested in the market and meant for 20 or 40+ years in the future, depending on your age
  • Taxable brokerage — invested in the market and meant for short or longer term needs, such as saving for a house down payment
  • Emergency fund — in cash (not invested but in a bank savings account) and meant to help with unexpected stuff. A good rule: save 3 mos of expenses for a 1- income household, 6 mos for a 2-income one. (Save even more if it helps you sleep better.)

Second, you can automate transfers so your money is saved and invested automagically when you get paid (ask one of us Financial Guides how).


2. Specificity


Once you’ve organized the WHAT of your accounts, the next thing is the WHY. What exciting savings goals can inspire you? Specific goals can inspire you to achieve more than you thought possible:

  • A special vacation somewhere you’ve always wanted to go
  • A 529 account to save for your child’s college
  • That emergency fund we mentioned earlier☝️for peace of mind

Here are some questions to get you started thinking about your financial goals:

  • What does my life look like in 10 years?
  • What’s the right amount of money for my emergency fund?
  • Where do my partner and I agree and disagree on finances?


3. Guidance


That’s what Fruitful is for! It’s important to get advice from an unbiased 3rd party, especially if you’re new to intentional money management.

3 things you DON’T need

  1. More credit cards
    Just 1 credit card is enough, especially if you have issues with debt. Financial simplicity likely outweighs any benefits more credit cards could offer. Don’t spend thousands you can’t afford for a few dollars’ worth of credit card points
  2. The latest financial trends
    Stop listening to market pundits and focus on creating good money habits. Long-term success doesn’t usually come from get-rich-quick schemes like “meme stocks” or crypto — but those stories get all the headlines. What doesn’t make the headlines? The millions of people earning millions of dollars by investing in boring (but highly effective) index funds.
  3. Day trading
    To repurpose the slogan of a popular sports equipment company, “Just don’t do it.” It’s extremely risky and most people do not make money at it. Instead, invest for the long term, and grow wealth with compound interest over time.

Ready to dig into the basics? Talk to a Fruitful Financial Guide.

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