By Joanna G. Burish
I hear people say, “Oh, I wish I had that person’s life” or, “I wish I had that person’s body,” — or whatever it is they believe they lack. By watching their actions though, it’s usually telling why they aren’t where they want to be. Let’s be honest: If you want to learn to ride a bike, it’s a good idea to start by watching others, or looking up how to do it on YouTube. But ultimately, you will need to get on the bike and try it out for yourself. It’s usually helpful to have someone there with you, to show you how and cheer you along the way. This works well for any new skill you’d like to learn — biking, swimming, rock climbing — whatever excites you! And we all accept that it is OK to hire a coach or trainer to help you get there.
Why then, do we believe that talking about money, or asking for help organizing our finances, is so taboo? This has become my life’s mission in my work, to help people shed this taboo and take more agency in their financial future. Growing up, my family didn’t have discussions around money or financial planning. (My parents are my heroes, and I reflect on how they raised four children as immigrants from Nazareth, Israel, and am in awe of their perseverance!) What my mom did tell me was to “have your own money,” and this stuck with me. What took me much longer to learn and fully understand was what to do with my money and how to plan for my future.
Let me share a few lessons with you that can empower your plan with Braud Power!
SEVEN WAYS TO EMPOWER YOUR FINANCES
- Understand your needs from your wants. Evaluate your expenses and live within your means. This is my No. 1 piece of advice to start with!
- Structure an automatic savings plan so you don’t have to think about it each month. Ask me how to set up a process which allows you to do this. One idea is to automatically divert part of your paycheck into your savings, retirement or investment accounts so you won’t see the money hit your checking account (thus avoiding spending temptation!). This makes saving seamless.
- Control your impulse spending. This is where knowing your relationship with money is key. We all have various saboteurs that sneak into our thought process to tell us to one degree or another that we are not “enough.“
- Invest in your future and create a holistic “lifecycle” financial plan. Some people only live for today. Those that do may need to work much later in life as a result. Be certain to set yourself and your family up for success by planning to live well in all stages of your life.
- Protect you and your family’s lifestyle. I know — you’re young and invincible, right? Remember: No one gets to choose or select if they are disabled or not able to work for an extended period of time. Or worse, are in a fatal accident. Both of these life events are the No. 1 reason families go into debt or bankruptcy. (Next in line is divorce, and I don’t believe people walk into marriage thinking it may not last.) But if you plan for these risks, you’ll be taking action to protect yourself and your loved ones.
- Understand your net worth and your credit score. Your credit score is the key to many optimal financial opportunities, so make sure you keep tabs on it. Learn the difference and set a plan with your advisor on how to prioritize eliminating bad debt. There are many ways to keep on top of this!
- You can build a fun money bucket and not feel guilty for spending it! Yes, go ahead and enjoy life because you work hard. Planning activities to relax and recharge are important to your holistic financial success. There are various ways, from the envelope system to apps, that can help you. Be proactive here, and you’ll find it can actually be fun!
If you’d like help in any or all of these areas, feel free to connect with my team and me. We’re here to help mentor, coach or train you to Braud Power your holistic, financial future!
Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee, WI (NM) (life and disability insurance, annuities and life insurance with long-term care benefits) and its subsidiaries. Joanna Burish is an Insurance Agent of NM. There may be instances when this agent represents companies in addition to NM or its subsidiaries.
While links to other websites are provided for convenience and information, please be advised that except for information related to Northwestern Mutual (NM), the inclusion of, or linking to, other websites does not imply NM endorsement of, nor responsibility for, those websites.