We know the struggle is real. Or is it?
Get ready to work out your finances.
The 7 Pillars are the backbone of our beliefs for young adults to have healthy and purposeful finances.
The mind has such a powerful influence on finances. Without a good foundation, it can be rather challenging to hit financial goals one after the other. To keep going, you need three things: self-awareness, willingness to learn and willingness to take action. Money can get very emotional. For that reason, it’s important to understand HOW you feel about money and WHY you feel that way. Also, you’ll need to look at what triggers your financial behaviors and money habits. Are you going on shopping spree to deal with depression? Do you keep spending money as you please because you had little or close to nothing when growing up? Do you buy things others are buying to fit in? Are you eating out so often because you don’t want to fix your time management? Do you feel insignificant because your friends ‘make more money’ than you? Are you tracking your spending, and are you happy with it? These are some of the questions you need to explore before putting a plan of action into place. 80% of money is behavior change, so how can you expect to change a habit you aren’t aware of?
Without income, you can't make a dent in the other pillars. As simple as that. However, people think they need to earn a lot of money in order to advance their financial health. By being aware of your money habits from the previous pillar, you can be way more efficient with your cash flow and you can make decisions to tackle your priorities and goals. Is most of your income going towards expenses that become liabilities (credit cards, loans), that lose value (car, clothes), or that are luxuries that don’t put money in your pocket (Starbucks, Coachella, name brand purse)? Or is a good portion your income going towards the unknown future (emergency savings, investing, retirement)? No matter how much (or little) you’re earning right now, the little money you put to work for you will have time to grow.
We believe that debt can be a tool used for better opportunities like education and business. We recognize it can be challenging to pay out of pocket for education as costs keep rising faster than inflation. However, taking on debt without a plan of action to manage it can hurt in the long run. Debt should always be the last resort, or be avoided altogether, especially when it comes to consumer debt like credit cards and even car loans. If you currently have debt, put a plan of action to get rid of it in a timely manner by budgeting in a fix amount. You will have to keep paying that same amount until ALL of it is gone. Debt interest is your worst enemy, and it will keep you in debt for many years to come unless you take action.
Believe it or not, after talking to many young adults, we’re pleased to see how many of them are saving. However, they usually don’t know how much to save and where to put it in. So how much should you really save? If you have zero savings, start by shooting for $1,000. It has four digits, sounds and looks sexy in the bank account, while not being to hard to attain. After that? Between 3 to 6 months worth of your income. No more. No less. Why? With the whopping average interest of 0.06% across commercial banks in the US, it’s hard to see how we can actually grow our savings. Emergency savings should be for emergencies. The rest should go towards the other pillars.