Have you heard of The Road to Financial Wellness? It's a 30-day, 30-location campaign to raise awareness for financial empowerment. The goal of the team putting this on, a financial brand called Phroogal, is to help people learn about money by starting the conversation. We understand that local conversations can help bring about national awareness. The event takes place from June 1 to June 30th.
As part of the movement, the Phroogal team reached out to XY Planning Network and asked if we'd share our take on financial empowerment. Here's a little of what that means to us.
Financial Empowerment Starts with the Right Mindset
Many members of Gen X and Gen Y have difficult or downright negative relationships with money. Maybe you feel you'll never have enough because it's too scarce of a resource and there's not enough to go around. Perhaps you feel that money is evil and those that seek to make more of it are bad or greedy.
But this is us, as emotional creatures, placing feelings and creating stories around finance. In reality, you can use your money as a way to build the life you really want to live -- and that can include very selfless, meaningful, and fulfilling things like volunteering your time, giving to charity, or working in some way to help better the lives of others.
We can't do this if we believe money is bad or that our financial goals are simply out of reach because we don't have enough money. It may sound cheesy, but the first step to financial empowerment is a mental one. We need to believe and understand that we can successfully manage our money to reach our goals and live our idea of a great life.
Release your negative money scripts and embrace a more positive mindset. This might mean shutting down thoughts that sound something like this:
- "I will never have enough money."
- "I can't make more money."
- "My income and my savings are out of my control."
If you think that way, stop now! Instead, focus on thoughts that go a little something like this:
- "I can take action to change my financial situation."
- "There are solutions to what I currently perceive as problems with my money."
- "I have options when it comes to my finances."
This may not be easy to do at first. But stick with those positive thoughts! Combined with your next step, it's a powerful way to feel that you do have a say in what happens with your money.
Developing the Knowledge -- and Team! -- You Need to Reach Your Financial Goals
The most important thing you can do for your money: learn about it! Building your financial education is the next action step if you want to feel empowered to make the right decisions that will lead to success.
This may sound daunting, especially if you're building this foundation of knowledge from the ground up. But remember two things: everyone, even the financial experts, starts somewhere -- and it's easier than ever for motivated individuals to seek out and collect the information they need to make informed, empowered choices around money.
The internet gives us access to a wealth of information about personal finance, money management, and nontraditional concepts of how we can use our money (like financial independence). While you do need to use good judgment and seek out information from a variety of sources to verify accuracy of data and statements presented as facts, if you're willing to sift through what's out there you'll be rewarded with a rich base of financial knowledge.
Financial blogs and podcasts are a great (and fun!) way to start diving in. Lots of people blog to share there experiences in getting out of debt, investing more, reaching major financial goals, or finding new ways to earn money (and to earn more money). Reading along can provide you much needed inspiration and motivation -- along with a lot of education.
Of course, nothing beats getting one-on-one time with professionals to really learn what you need to know about money. Keep in mind that while lots of folks out there know their stuff, a certified financial planner (or CFP®) has gone through years of education, experience, and continuing training so they can provide others with the best advice and recommendations possible.
Hearing from CFPs and other financial pros is simple and easy with XYPN. Each Friday, we provide a roundup of our financial planner's blog posts -- and of course, you can check in on our own blog every Wednesday. We also send out a biweekly newsletter complete with a special money tip from an XYPN advisor. And of course, you can learn more about our advisors themselves by visiting the Find an Advisor portal. You can browse through to find an advisor by specialty, by age, and more.
When looking for a financial advisor, consider asking these questions to determine if they're a good fit for you:
- Are they a fiduciary? A fiduciary will work in your best interests at all times. If an advisor won't sign a fiduciary oath for you, you need to continue looking for a financial planner.
- What kind of experience do they have? Ask about a potential financial planner's background and understand the education, training, and work experience they have
- What are their qualifications? The gold standard for financial service professionals is the CFP designation.
- How are they paid? It's important to understand how an advisor receives earnings. Are they on commission? Do they charge by the hour? Fee-only advisors offer a flat fee for their services and don't make money off commissions -- and don't push products to try to force sales.
- What services do they provide? Your needs are unique to you -- and you should look for a financial pro who understands and respects those needs, along with what you want to achieve with your finances. Look for an advisor who specializes in clients like you, or has experience in helping others achieve big financial goals you want to reach for yourself.
Empower Yourself to Do More with Your Money
Financial empowerment starts with setting the right mentality, and continues when you choose to educate yourself and build a team of financial professionals to help you achieve more.
At XYPN, we're all about the idea of a nationwide movement to support financial education and literacy. Our financial advisors are able to support folks on a national level, too, regardless of where they (or their clients!) are based. That's because they all offer virtual financial planning services. Don't limit yourself by location -- get on the right track to financial empowerment with the support you deserve from an XYPN advisor.