At CauseLabs, we believe that collaboration is a critical factor for Growing Positive Impact. That’s why we like to write about the great causes and initiatives of our clients, partners, and peers.
Today, we’re featuring a guest post from our friend Brandon Burton of Securing Life Today. Brandon is a United States Marine Corps Veteran and is extremely passionate about helping people understand and improve their financial position.
Are you ready to take your finances to the next level? Of course the answer is yes, but I’m sure you’re curious about what that means.
Our financial system today moves at light speed, is extremely complicated and almost 100% digital, but thanks to technology, we can easily grasp our financial picture in real-time. For the first time, we have easy to understand tools and visuals that empower us to accurately plan and reach our goals.
Personal Finance in the Digital Age
We no longer live in the days of hastily scribbling our transactions in a little booklet. If your 30 and up you know what I’m talking about. For the under 30 crowd, that’s right, everyone used to manually keep track of all their transactions with pen and paper. Until the early 90’s, the financial system wasn’t using computers as much, and there were fewer companies in the United States as a whole, so consumers had fewer choices for spending money, investing, real estate, retirement planning and more.
Boom! The 2000s started and the world of opportunity opened up, all thanks to the personal computer and the internet. Computers were actually created to solve problems; they weren’t for entertainment, social media, etc. In 1880, the U.S. population had grown so large that it took more than seven years to tabulate the official results. The government sought a faster way to get the job done, giving rise to punch-card based computers that took up entire rooms.
We carry more computing power in our phones than NASA’s combined computing power in 1969, which got people to the moon.
Just think about that for a second, each one of us has at least enough power through technology to be able to travel and land on the moon, and here we are in the United States with the highest levels of debt we’ve ever seen, and it doesn’t seem like it’s stopping.
Roughly 20% of Americans don’t save any of their annual income and about 50% of Americans don’t have any money saved for retirement. Only about 30% of Americans have a financial plan. That means 70% of Americans don’t have a road map for reaching their financial goals.
Today, people make more money than any generation of the past, and have less savings and higher debt than any generation of the past. So, what’s going to change this?
Taking Control of Your Personal Finances
It seems like we’ve gotten away from the core principles of being responsible with our money, but that can all change. We can start by changing the way we think about finances from a negative to a positive.
Technology has unlocked what I believe to be humanity’s greatest opportunity since the beginning of time, to be able to understand this alien concept of how to manage our finances; to be able to plan, grow and be good at hitting our financial goals.
It’s never been easier to set up a budget, invest money and plan out your financial goals. We have companies like Acorns that allow us to automatically invest our spare change. It’s a clever and easy way to save, just think about all the times you get 40 cents or 60 cents back from a transaction, that can automatically go towards growing your wealth. You can also use an online platforms like Fidelity or TD Ameritrade to start saving and investing. These are just a few companies out of what has become an industry with thousands of options for the same or similar services.
One of the biggest reasons we struggle to reach our financial goals is in our approach to managing our money. Financial planning isn’t usually fun, so we naturally tend to avoid putting together a plan.
Planning is key to having a successful life!
When you ask someone if they think budgeting money and creating a financial plan is a good idea, they always say “YES”, but when you ask if they have one and are following it, most people say no. Why is this?
Most people say the way they were taught to budget and manage money no longer works and they just don’t know where to start anymore. They find it completely confusing and get stuck, not taking any action, which is even more detrimental because compounding of interest on savings is the way many people will be able to retire some day, and the more time you have the better.
Securing Life Today
One of the most important investments you can make into your financial future, is to sign up for a service that lets you connect and view all of your finances in real time. The best of these services also let you plan out your financial goals and monitor progress. Basically, they’re a fitness tracker for your money!
Companies like Securing Life Today have easy to use apps that securely connect your banking, credit cards, mortgage, investments, insurance and retirement accounts. Their dashboards allow you to easily view your financial data and they empower you to stay in control of your finances by providing ways to easily budget your money and track your financial goals. Securing Life Today also allows you to find and connect to an advisor or continue working with your existing advisor.
These tools provide a fun and easy way for us to understand our financial world and empower us with the ability to plan our finances in an interactive, visual manner. We almost need to have these interactive experiences with our money in order to succeed, kind of like a video game for success.
WOW, that’s a lot to take in, I get it, and that’s how I’m sure you feel about finances as well. Managing your money shouldn’t be that difficult, especially when it plays such a critical role in our lives. Money should be fun!
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Are you ready to take you finances to the next level?