There’s never really a bad time to start thinking about your future and getting your finances in order. Obviously it’s better to start earlier rather than later in life, and I’m happy my wife and I really started taking initiative when we did. I’ve always been a decent saver, but I’m also a pretty good spender LOL. I partnered up with Northwestern Mutual to share my experience meeting with one of their financial advisors, and I must say, in the few meetings we had, I learned a lot and accomplished a lot!
Before our initial meeting, my wife and I worked on filling out a spreadsheet that our advisor gave us. We input all of our expenses, as well as our income. At this step it’s definitely best to try and be as detailed as possible. It’s crazy how much you spend in a month when you add up everything outside of monthly bills as well! You have to think about it all – food, gas, entertainment, dining out, family activities, etc. – boy does it add up! When you have your first meeting with your advisor, they break it all down for you, and let you know what you have left at the end of each month and/or year. We also discussed our financial goals and if we were planning on making any big purchases such as a home, car, wedding, etc. I don’t know why, but previously when I thought about monthly expenses I really only thought about monthly bills, but that’s only a portion of it, you have to think about where all your money is going each month! It’s really good to get you thinking about it and getting it all down on a spreadsheet as a visual.
For us, our main objective of our meeting was to know how we were doing financially. We wanted to make an investment and do some home improvements but we were nervous to spend the money if we weren’t in a good place financially. I mean, we felt like we were in a good place, but we really wanted a professional financial advisor to confirm what we were feeling because we really didn’t know. So that’s why we were so excited to have our first meeting with Northwestern Mutual. We wanted to accomplish certain goals, but needed a little guidance and confirmation. Finances are usually a weird thing to talk about and get advice on from other people, so being able to talk to a professional who we knew was going to keep everything confidential and work with us to make the best possible financial decisions definitely made us feel more comfortable.
During our meetings, our Northwestern Mutual Financial Advisor
spoke to us about different kinds of life insurance, college savings for Nate, possible ways to invest, and why it’s so important to not just have money sitting in a bank account depreciating in value and to make your money work for you. This was honestly one of the biggest take-aways for us and really blew our mind! We thought we were doing the right thing by trying to stack up as much money as possible and just have it safely sitting in savings. Little did we know, it would be way more wise and beneficial to keep it in a money market, investment, or a life insurance policy. We are always so nervous about losing our hard earned money, so we didn’t want to touch it, but by trying to be safe and keep it in a savings account, that’s exactly what we were doing. That’s my free little tidbit for today! 🙂 You’ll have to meet with your own Northwestern Mutual Financial Advisor to review your personal finances and see what works best for you. Since we do like to stay on the safer side, we are currently just trying to keep enough in our savings to keep ourselves afloat for a year, which is actually still 6 months more than suggested, but we still feel better being cautious and moving the rest of our money somewhere more beneficial!
We left our meeting with our advisor feeling really good. She had confirmed that the steps we had taken up until this point were good and we were in a good financial place considering all of our expenses. With our discussion she confirmed that we would be able to make some home improvements and some investments. From that meeting until now, we really feel like we accomplished a lot! We ended up buying a new bedroom set (which we have wanted for years now), we opened up a 529 college savings plan for Nate, my wife and I both got life insurance, we made a monetary investment, and we finally moved forward with our front deck project that is now just about complete and that we are totally in love with! We spend so much more time in the front of our house now and feel guilt-free about spending the money on the project, because we know we are making the right moves with our finances!
Now that we’re in August of this crazy year we’re having, and despite the pandemic, we’ve accomplished a lot. Now it’s time to get back to saving for a bit, and then we’ll revisit our next round of goals at our next Northwestern Mutual meeting. Hopefully the next home improvement will be our siding 🙂
I really recommend anyone to set up a meeting with one of their advisors. It’s a smart move to let a professional tell you what you could be doing better to get the most out of your hard-earned money. Even from just the few meetings I had, I feel much more knowledgeable on the potential of financial growth and definitely now know that just having money sit in a savings account is not a wise financial decision. #ad
This blog post was sponsored by Northwestern Mutual