Jennifer Shydler, CPFA, CFP®, CRPC® is Senior Vice President, Wealth Management Advisor, and Certified Financial Planner for Merrill Lynch. Jennifer manages over $750 million in assets and calls herself a “financial quarterback” skilled in time management, leveraging technology, and delegating when necessary. Jennifer joined us on the From Broke to Badass Masterclass series where she shared financial advice for stay-at-home moms, and how to best contribute to your 401k and take your money to the next level. Here’s what Jennifer suggests to help you take control of your finances and build wealth:
Live Below Your Means
To build wealth, you must live significantly below your means. We are in a society where people are often trying to keep up with the Jones’, but you must remember that you need to take care of your future self and you do that by saving money. You want to avoid having a giant house and no money in savings. If you are in the market to buy a home, banks calculate how much of a mortgage you can afford by looking at your gross income—your income before deductions such as state/federal taxes, pre-tax retirement contributions, etc. Banks do not look at your net income—your income after deductions—which is the actual money you receive on payday. There is a huge difference between your gross income and your net income; therefore, when you are looking at how much you can afford on a mortgage or anything else for that matter, always focus on your net income. And remember, just because the bank says you qualify does not mean that you can afford it.
Start Saving Today
Start saving and automating towards investments today. To help you get started, visit your financial institution and open a Roth IRA with as little as $100. From there, automatically fund the account monthly even if you are only contributing $25 each month. Your goal should be to start saving and automating towards your investments NOW.
Enhance Your Financial Literacy
To enhance your financial literacy, visit bettermoneyhabits.com which is a free website that covers just about every subject on finances and provides simple solutions. It is a great place to learn a wide range of subjects—anything from how to improve your credit score to the pros and cons of buying versus leasing a car. There are a ton of great 5-minute informational videos that will help you on your financial journey.
For more information on this topic, listen to the Where Money Meets Soul podcast Episode 10: Wealth Management & Investment Strategies with Jennifer Shydler, CPFA, CFP®, CRPC®.
*Podcast transcription edited for your reading pleasure.*
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