This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks & Prudential. All opinions & stories are 100% my own.
Not all that long ago, I shared 4 Money Saving Tips for Creative Entrepreneurs. I received a lot of positive feedback from that post and it spurred conversation about how as entrepreneurs, it can sometimes feel like it’s an uphill climb to make sure that we are taking care of our future some days.
When I first started down my own retirement savings journey, at the early age of 22, I had no clue what or how much I should be saving. I remember buying the Smart Couples Finish Rich book by David Bach. I read that book cover-to-cover and devoured every single word. I made a plan (alongside my then boyfriend who is now my husband) and we stuck to that plan for many years. I remember thinking that I “so wanted to be rich” by the time I was 40-45 and that I needed a plan to make it happen.
I started a 401k at my work and maxed out the company match portion right away (5%). And then my husband decided (on his own) that I needed to be saving more.
Remember in the Money Saving Tips post when I said “…how my hubs factored into the equation. You will NOT believe what he did!!” This is exactly what he did…
My husband would log into my employee retirement account every 6-8 weeks and bump my contribution by a percentage point (or 2). And it never even fazed me that I was taking home less money or that my “money” was disappearing. I don’t think I realized there was a change until a year-end-statement appeared in the mail and I was up to contributing 12%.
And I never noticed a difference, partly because I wasn’t a salaried employee. My money was dependent on bonuses and services rendered. I wasn’t paid hourly per se. I was paid when one of my personal training clients showed up. I managed to build up nearly $50,000 in 6 years because my husband wasn’t scared to be a little bit more risky in our retirement savings plan.
Had it been left up to me, I would have kept it at that 5% employer match and called it a day. Kind of crazy right?? No wonder women save differently than men.
Recently, I had a consultation with a Prudential Financial Professional. It was finally time to take back our future and reset ourselves for retirement. Over the past few years, our focus shifted away from what our someday will look like. We aren’t completely devoid of retirement savings (we did make some really good choices early on by investing in income-producing real estate), but we definitely aren’t diversified enough for my liking. So cue the meeting with a Prudential Financial Professional.
I was matched with Christina Ma and our meeting was an hour-long conversation on the phone. Christina spent time asking me questions about our current life situation and what we wanted our financial future to look like. She had questions for me that I honestly wasn’t prepared for – like do I have a will and what about long-term care? These were great questions, but things even I hadn’t thought I needed to think about!! She asked me questions like how much money did I want in an emergency account and what kind of debt did we currently have. She also asked about life insurance and life expectancy. She was so incredibly thorough and had me digging deep and talking about things that would seem out of the norm to talk about but that truly needed to be laid out on the table.
After our consultation, Christina created a report that detailed all of the information I supplied to her. And then we had another hour long consultation about what we needed to do to move forward so that we are back on a financial journey to get us to where we need to be for our “someday.”
As I’ve said in the past, creative entrepreneurs do not have the luxury to have someone helping you to save for your future. This retirement journey has to be started by you. You have to OWN your own future and to do that, you need a plan.
What I don’t want you to fall prey to is one of these lies when it comes to saving for your future:
LIE #1: I can just save whatever is leftover at the end of every month.
Can you hear what you are saying out loud?? I know that you are probably re-investing a lot of your “extra” money back into your business. After all, how do we grow if we aren’t re-investing?? But in 40-50 years, what are you going to tell yourself when it’s time to retire?? All that extra re-investing in your business may or may not pay off and then what??
ACTION STEP: Build in an actual savings amount into your budget. Have it drafted out of your account so that it’s just part of your normal spending routine. A Prudential Financial Professional can help you figure out how much that money needs to be and where it needs to go so that you do have a pot of money in your future.
LIE #2: I don’t need to have a budget.
I tried saying this for years. Not that I was a spender, but because I thought I could keep track of where my money was going every month, simply in my head. WRONG. If you are like me, you will forget the little purchases (or even the big purchases!) that send your budget out of whack.
ACTION STEP: Keep track of your money. All of it. It might sound tedious but I promise it will make you feel better + you will be better equipped for life’s emergencies if you know where your money is at all times!
LIE #3: I’ll start saving when I get to ___ age.
Why?? Just because life seems easy now and maybe you do have some extra money in the bank now, doesn’t mean that life will always be this easy. The sooner you start saving for your future, the better off you will be. Do not let life beat you to the punch line!
ACTION STEP: Get a savings plan in place now. For whatever your NOW currently is. Re-evaluate your NOW every year. By working with a Prudential Financial Professional, they will help you craft that plan and will keep you on track and help you re-evaluate your life situation from year to year.
I am finally at peace with knowing that my financial freedom is about to be back on track. I cannot tell you how freeing it feels to have a plan in place that makes sense for my husband and myself, for our current situation. And it’s all based on our goals. Our goals for the now and our goals for the future. I strongly encourage you click here to setup a complimentary consultation with a Prudential Financial Professional ASAP so that you can get started saving for your own someday.
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