Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Finally Balancing my Financial Goals with Betterment

So I did it. I finally bit the bullet and opened a Betterment account (and using that link will gain me referral credits).

While I liked dipping my foot in the water with Acorns, I didn't like that I didn't know how much or when they'd be withdrawing. I also didn't like their direct access to my accounts.

I've got Betterment linked to my online savings account. I've directed it to withdraw a certain amount on a certain day. The account I've set up is a Safety Net so it's not too aggressive, and Betterment actually recommends it as an Emergency Fund. I will not feel any difference monthly since the money was already being automatically transferred to my savings, but at least some of those dollars will be working for me instead of essentially losing value due to the low interest rate.

I've also noticed that I tend to find uses for that money if it's just sitting in my savings account. Went there once for my car, then again for the washer and dryer when I moved, and while I don't regret paying cash for them, I am not aggressively saving. It's just not in my nature.

I know enough to know that once that money's invested, the absolute best thing I can do is leave it alone for at least 20 years. And I've never had a problem leaving my 401k account alone, so I think the same can hold true for my Betterment account.

My portfolio is on the conservative side, and I'm okay with that. It's taken me this long to invest, I'm certainly not ready to go crazy with it!

In the meantime, I'm still funding my short-term savings goals, with the hopes that I can continue to stay away from my long-term savings. I'm also putting just a touch more towards my student loans than the minimum payments. Once these short-term savings goals are met, I will probably get more aggressive with the student loans.

A little bit in a whole lot of different buckets. That's diversification, right? It's working for me right now, anyway.

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