When we first decided to include a financial wellness component with our service, we wanted to see how the experts describe this;
Financial education: General and broad-based information on topics like asset allocation, diversification and risk-reward continuum. For most companies, the focus is tied to investment and overall retirement planning.
But we think it ought to be much simpler than this, so we developed “Your Money Lab.” When we looked around we found no shortage of resources offering, no doubt good advise about what to do with your extra money. But we see this as a solution in search of a problem. If “extra money” is not your problem, then you are who we had in mind when we put together Your Money Lab.
For starters, you will need to stop thinking of it as extra money; think of it as the hammer to break the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck. As you experiment with these Your Money Lab tools you will quickly learn what works best for your situation.
PayUback: the payday loan that pays you back.
- Contingency Savings: if you have to borrow, borrow from yourself first.
- Targeted Savings: make your wish list come true.
If this sounds like we’re setting you up to make mistakes, you’re right. It’s okay to make mistakes; that’s the way we learn. That also why Your Money Lab experiments start out with small amounts of money. We all make mistakes including the experts; how do you think they got so smart? Too often the alternative is doing nothing for fear of making a mistake. When we get so much conflicting advice from friends, relatives, financial consultants, inspirational speakers, books and other media, it’s no surprise we can suffer from financial paralysis.
The focus of Your Money Lab is to master short-term financial goals, to experience the satisfaction of accomplishment and to gain the confidence to tackle long-term goals. You will face thousands of short-term financial challenges in a lifetime. Chipping away at these challenges one by one will provide the kindling for your investments for the future.
Some of your efforts will fail. What comes to mind for me was selling pots and pans by evening appointments for extra money. I think my only sale was the demo set I bought. But by tackling my financial problems head on before they grew out of control, I remember this as just one of many blips on the road that left me a little smarter.
Financial advice is abundant; financial understanding is scarce.