As a business owner, mom, and wife, working toward financial responsibility and freedom is always on my radar. There are many important steps to take.
This post was sponsored, and paid for, by SunTrust. All opinions are my own.
As a Mom, Entrepreneur and business owner, and wife, I always have money and finances on my mind. A few years ago I was introduced to SunTrust's onUp Movement, and I have enjoyed using it to guide me and my financial choices. Now, SunTrust has introduced their onUp Challenge, and it's full of valuable information and tools to get you on track financially. Whether you’re focused on creating a budget, buying a home or saving for retirement, The onUp Challenge is here to help you do all of those things with a whole lot of confidence. Everyone can benefit from the financial tools in The onUp Challenge no matter where you are on your financial journey. Taking the on Values Challenge is the first step. Here, you’ll define what you value in your life and what matters most.
When I went through the values challenge, I found that family is most important to me. That is NO shock, because I adore my husband, two boys, and puppy. Everything I do, I do for them. While I am not a stay at home mom, and my kids do go to school and daycare, it makes the time we spend together even more valuable. I don't want to be stressing over finances when I should be thinking about fun vacations, activities, and the time we spend together. I also learned from the Values Challenge that on average families only spend 38 minutes a DAY together, which is not okay with me!
After the values challenge, I worked on confidence clearing. Most of the suggestions, such as having an emergency savings and auto-payments set up, I already do, but I liked the suggestion of having different savings accounts for different things such as vacations, emergency, home, and kids.
Step number two is the Organization Oasis: how to build your budget. BUDGET...it's kind of a dreaded word in my head. I don't know why, but I am so scared to build a budget! I feel like, if we can afford things, then I don't need to budget, but that is SO not the case. I also realize now that if I do a better job budgeting, I could also put a lot more money towards some debts, like college loans. Sometimes I do think my spending is preventing me from saving as much as I an, and that's something I am going to focus on in 2018.
The Lender's Ledge is up next, which teaches you about debt, loans, and credit score. Since I was in college I have been uber responsible with credit cards and loans, as well as paying bills on time. This has resulted in a high credit score which is very important to me, and important to get good rates when I actually need a loan for something like a new car. On the flip side, my husband has quite a bit of debt in student loans thanks to his Master's degree. Going through the Lender's Ledge made me see a few different ways to tackle his debt without it feeling daunting. This was very helpful!
Now, if you know me, you know that I am a HUGE planner, and that's where the next step comes in, Risky River: Create your safety nets. Lucky for us, we have a close friend who is an insurance broker, and he has gone over time and time again the importance of various insurance plans. Having these plans in place is so important and I love that this step, Risky River, goes over topics like possibly too much insurance and things like estate planning and planning for the future. This is a MUST for even younger folks who don't have a care in the world.
In land 5, Wealth Waterfall, they discuss ways to start investing your money and how to use your 401(k) to your advantage. I feel like this is an area where I struggle, so going through the steps and sections here was very helpful for me.
Land 6, Home Buying Hollow, is GREAT for people who are maybe considering buying a home, or people who want to remodel their home. We actually bought our house just a year ago, and I wish I had known some of the things they discussed here. However we just remodeled our kitchen last month and this really came in handy for pointers on whether or not the return of investment would be worth it.
In the last section, Happiness Heights, they discuss how to push yourself to increase your earnings and the joy of giving back. I found this section great, as I am a business owner and manage my own career. I feel like I am at the point where giving back is 100% necessary and finding ways to do that effectively are very important.
Overall, the onUp Challenge has guided me towards being better prepared financially for 2018! I highly suggest you head over to take the onUp Challenge as well, and see how you can better your financial self for the new year!
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