I’m SO excited to introduce this new series “Financially FIIT” to you all!! It’s actually going to be a 3-part series including: Financially FIIT, Physically FIIT, and Fashionably FIIT! So get ready for some amazing new content (and some your man will enjoy too!)
WHY I HIRED A FINANCIAL ADVISOR
Okay so you know you’re getting older when you decide it’s time to hire a financial advisor… #adulting. Right? But how do you really know when you should hire one? Especially when you are an entrepreneur! Let’s be real… It’s a tad more difficult to save money when you are your own boss and living paycheck to paycheck sometimes. My dad taught me the importance of working hard and saving money for things I really wanted to buy before I graduated college. However, once I was one my own I had no clue what I was doing with my money!
I remember getting a few credit cards when I started my first “real job” because I wanted to buy a new dining room table. That was the beginning of my spending problem, haha. Honestly, I didn’t know anything about “budgeting” or “saving” for that matter. A year after college, I started my own digital marketing company with no real plan of how I was going to pay my rent. Luckily, if there was one thing I learned from my dad and at my very first sales job it was how to HUSTLE.
My dad did teach me a little bit about saving… Mainly about saving for taxes considering those are not fun as an entrepreneur! He also told me I should try to save at least 2-3% for personal savings. Well, I would try to do that when I could… There were some really really great years for business and some really really not so great years with business. Clients come and go… That’s just the name of the game.
After about 5 years running my own company I finally reaching a point where I was truly able to start saving money. Also, I made my dad sit down with me and create a budget using Quicken. I was doing pretty good considering I bought my first home, but after that purchase I was back to square one with ZERO savings. Talk about terrifying! And, then I also put myself back into a huge amount of debt buying tons of new stuff for my house (#shopaholic).
Then my dad started asking me about saving for retirement. Ummmmmm…. So you’re telling me I need to save money for taxes, retirement, and personal savings?! I’m sorry am I supposed to have a social life anymore? Seriously adulting sucks.
Considering I’m over 30 years old now I did need to start thinking about retirement. Again, with a fluctuating income it’s not like someone with a 401k and automatically has money taken out each month. My dad helped me set up a retirement account with Betterment, but my dad isn’t a wealth manager. Let’s just put it this way… I lost money in my retirement over the last year. Not his fault at all! But still… I needed to understand how this all worked and get a grip on my income/spending.
That’s where Ben comes into play! So meet Ben Evenden 🙂 You may have seen him on my Instagram stories at spin class. Yes, that’s right he is a financial advisor by day and spin instructor by night. Oh wait… He is also a DJ on the weekends! That’s why I hired him to be my financial advisor. He knows what it’s like to be a young entrepreneur like me!
ABOUT BEN EVENDEN
Ben Bradford Evenden AAMS is part of The Bradford Group at Raymond James where they have over 34 year’s of financial services experience. His whole life he has always enjoyed helping others through many capacities, but after watching his Dad work with clients and impact and relationships he was able to build, Ben always had a dream to do that as well. The world of money and investments can be an overwhelming idea at times, but he loves the ability to help remove some of those challenges to effectively educate and inform his clients through those questions.
I came up with Financially FIT because I have always been heavily into sports. I played Division 1 Tennis and experienced the required disciple it takes to put together good training habits and saw the fruits of those decisions. Teaching indoor cycling classes and having a front row seat to life change everyday has the same impact on my life. When it comes to money and investments, the same type of disciple is needed but it is just as challenging. My dream has been to help bridge that gap and to be a support system for people not just physically but financially and emotionally.
I wanted to give you all a few reasons why I hired Ben as my financial advisor. These apply to everyone and you should seriously think about them too when you are ready to put your big girl pants on.
Having someone to keep me financially accountable was the most important reason I hired a financial advisor. But more importantly, I wanted to hire someone who knew me and wouldn’t treat me as just another client. A parent can be a great person to keep you accountable, but we all know what they say sometimes goes in one ear and right back out the other. Same thing with your friends too… They can tell me a million times how I shouldn’t date a guy, but do I really heed their advice? Ehhhhh.
There is just something about listening to someone outside your comfort zone that makes you take action. The first thing Ben made me do was pay off all my debt. My dad told me to do the same thing a while ago, but there was something about Ben telling me to do it that was like a teacher telling you what to do.
UNDERSTAND YOUR WEALTH
“Yes, that’s right Brooke! You can’t spend all your money on clothes.” Probably what Ben was thinking in this photo… Another reason I hired a financial advisor was to understand how I should be allocating my income. Basically, how should I be spending my money each month and how I should be investing it when the right time comes.
EDUCATE AND ASK
I really like this tip from Ben because I don’t feel dumb asking him questions that may seem stupid to most people. As he says, “Professionals exist for a reason. The same reason I go to a dentist. It’s not my favorite trip, but I’m always glad after I do.”. Kinda how I felt after I paid off my debt! It sucked watching that money come out of my savings account, but now that my credit card balance is ZERO it’s going to stay that way.
BE RESPONSIBLE (BE A GROWN UP)
That whole “want vs. need” thing is SO hard for me… Like, I really really WANT that chocolate chip cookie, but do I NEED it? I’ll let you answer that question.
TIP: Purchases over $500 wait 24 hours before pulling the trigger (if you can) because it helps you ask the question, “Do I really need this?”.
If it’s something crucial or an emergency and you don’t have a savings account to dip into then that’s a different story. For example, my dog had to go to the emergency vet a few times which cost me over $800 in 24-hours. Obviously I was taking him to the vet and didn’t care what it cost in that moment.
Another way to be responsible is to start as soon as you can whether it’s putting $5 into a savings account each month or making a 401k contribution. The earlier you can train yourself to live off of less the better.
Also, remember this is a slow and steady process. I will have more months when things aren’t going as good, but if I’m in the habit of setting aside money correctly and building a savings account I won’t be as stressed when things do get bad. Ben reminded me that money is emotional. When something happens that you aren’t “expecting” financially, that’s when you can lose the most money if you don’t have a plan in place. That’s where working with a professional is helpful and you can turn to them in those times and they will remind you of why you started this journey.
How many of you know the average credit card interest rate is well over 20%? That’s why it’s better to use cash as much as you can or a checking account. It’s more painful and impactful to spend cash than a swipe of a card, right? If you have to, leave your credit card at home to help to prevent over spending.
The envelope system is probably the best way to help you save more and spend less. I did it for almost a year! It was brutal only spending cash, but it worked. I saved wayyyyy more than I thought I would, and it put boundaries in place for me to spend less. Don’t you remember how much you loved having a piggy bank?
Create envelopes for each category of your life where you spend money. Cash your paycheck and separate into each envelope. It’s like a grown up piggy bank!
TIP: First, pay off any debt you have and then build up your savings account so you have 3 months minimum if possible of living expense saved.
THINK ABOUT THE BIG PICTURE
Retirement isn’t until 65 years old. I really don’t want to work until I’m that old, but if I save right maybe I won’t have to? However, as I am growing older there are more big picture things I’m really starting to think about… Like what if I don’t get married? I’m over 30-years old and I want kids which isn’t cheap. I recently started thinking about freezing my eggs because I have some issues and after age 32 your egg production goes wayyyyyy down. FYI… Freezing your eggs is like $8-10k!!!
Also, I own a home and don’t have a roommate right now. Like I said, I am over 30-years old so I’d prefer not to have a roommate. However, I have a mortgage and that extra income could help me save for my future child or allow me to put more into retirement.
Oh how the times have changed…haha!
I’d love to know what you all think about this new series?! And we’d love to know what you want to hear about in the “Financially FIIT” series?? Please let us know below!
photos: Beckley Co.
What a great idea for a series! I love looking at your style posts as much as the next person, but of course, I have a shopping addiction too so this is a freebie
Question: I feel like investment options (for 401(k)s, kids college savings accounts…) are becoming more centered around target dates, i.e., they’re supposed to have a level of risk that aligns with when you anticipate drawing from them. I question these because I would venture that they might be more conservative than neccasary. Any guidance for how to set up the kinds of long-term savings investment portfolios. Thanks!!
Great post, my question is how much does your financial advisor charge? What services does he help you with besides budgeting your money in retirement? Also it helps that he is pretty easy on the eyes .
I feel the same way you do about roommates and also my 30s however it’s such an easy way to save money. Have you found any other alternatives?
Love this post!! I hope you’ll do even more financial series after this. This method sounds a lot like the Dave Ramsey’s method. Check him out if you never heard of him. As a post graduate living under the poverty line, and paying off student loans, cash really is the way to go. I pay myself first for my savings, then I take out the necessary amount of money for the week. If I run out I run out. I don’t own any cards to fall back on. Also, find as many savings hacks as you can (meal prep, living at home, carpool, etc.)
Good decision, Brooke! Even working in the business and being licensed for over 11 years now, I can tell you that investing and financial management is ever changing and requires dedication to keep up with! It’s even harder to “practice what you preach,” so your point about having a trustworthy outsider to keep you accountable is key. I have wondered if you would feature some type of financially fit series on the blog and I’m glad you are!
This was a great post. Good tips and great reminders. I needed a little motivation to get back and track and this post did the trick!
Brooke, love this! And I’ll be the one to ask you where your cute dress is from
Love the Financially Fit posts. Will you be doing more of that in the future?