Back to Basics

This week we’re starting a new Bright Ideas series: BrightDime Basics. Over the past year we’ve talked about credit scores, taxes, financial goals, money myths, retirement accounts and more. Now we’re going back to basics; what are the everyday topics we need to understand to have a simpler, healthier financial life? What would we need to learn if we were starting from scratch?

We’re going to start with assets. An asset is essentially anything you own that has a positive value: cash in a savings or checking account, stocks, bonds, a car, a home, even a sweatshirt if you think it’s worth something. It may help to also define what isn’t an asset: your credit card balance or mortgage aren’t assets (they’re something you owe, not something you own.) There are also intangible assets like a college degree, professional certification, or the reputation of being a hard worker. These don’t have an easy to define dollar value like a stock does, but they clearly do have value. Generally, you want your assets to grow over time – that’s how to build a safety net and work towards your future goals. There are different ways to go about that; we’ll cover those soon!

Is there a money issue you’ve always wanted to know about but been afraid to ask? Let us know and we’ll include it in a future Bright Idea.