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Financial Success Starts with Self Awareness

What is financial self-awareness?

In Tasha Eurich's book Insight, she states that “95% of people believe they're self-aware, but the real number is closer to 10% to 15%.”

To me, financial awareness means understanding how you are using your financial resources to maximize happiness in all aspects of life. The facets of life I think are important to reflect on are: 

  1. Family
  2. Health
  3. Leisure
  4. Learning
  5. Inner Growth
  6. Home 
  7. Community
  8. Work
  9. Finances

Here are some helpful questions to help you improve your financial self-awareness.

  • What areas of your life do you feel are on the right course?
  • What parts of your life would you like to change?
  • What would the consequences be if you do not make these changes? 
  • What can you do with your finances to help improve in the facets of your life you don’t feel satisfied with? 

Here is an example of how someone might use the life questions and answers above to improve their financial self- awareness.  

“I feel great about the time I spend with my family, but my health is taking a backseat. When I’m not spending time with loved ones, I’m working, leaving little to no time to exercise. If I do not maintain a healthy lifestyle, I will become overweight and my blood pressure and cholesterol could spike.” 

This situation calls for a spending pattern review to help identify ways to cut expenses with the goal of working less and finding additional time to exercise. 

The most important step you can take to find Financial Satisfaction is to be aware of how you feel about your financial life. Having worked as a financial planner for a decade, I believe that when people take a compassionate but honest look at their financial health, they open the door to concede that they might not be as comfortable as they want with their financial life and need help. 

What factors should you consider when looking for a financial planner?

  1. Values - Find someone who shares the same values you do. A financial planner should understand what’s important to you, even if it’s why you would rather spend $400 on a new set of skies vs. a new suit.
  2. Processes - Look for someone who has a process that helps you reflect on your current life and how your finances can support your ideal life. Ask the advisor to show you the exercises or processes they use to create a plan you can be excited about. 
  3. Avoid sales people disguised as financial planners - If your advisor works for an insurance company or broker, they will with no doubt have sales goals that may lead to product pushing. Find a fee-only financial planner that is independent of any insurance company or broker dealer. Visit NAPFA or XYPN to find fee only advisors who are held to high standards. 
  4. Credentials - Make sure your advisor has the knowledge and experience needed to help you succeed. The most comprehensive certification a planner can receive is the Certified Financial Planner™ or CFP® title. 
  5. Experiences - Look for and advisor who is in a similar life stage as you are. It’s important to find someone who is currently experiencing what you are experiencing in life. I personally work with families in their 30s and 40s because I know exactly what they are going through and have had to plan for it myself. 

The most successful financial plans are built in a collaborative way through a discovery process that clearly shows how the plan will help the client meet their own definition of Financial Satisfaction. I believe financial planning should not be about charts, it needs to be about life. I would love to have the opportunity to show you how you can live a happier and more prosperous financial life.

How I help my clients achieve financial success.

The first step to making positive change in any area of life is awareness. Therefore, as a Financial Life Planner, I help my clients to think about and assess their own level of financial satisfaction. Then I partner with them to address and correct the areas that impede their sense of financial well-being. Are you ready to start living a happier and more prosperous life?

READY TO GET STARTED?

All our engagements begin with a free no obligation review.

Call me at 970-620-8688

Email me at nestor@greenmountainplanning.com

Schedule an Appointment

About the Author

Nestor VargasFor more than a decade, Nestor Vargas, CFP® has helped his oil and gas professionals define their personal financial values to help build a plan that centers on rewarding outcomes. The journey, he believes, is every bit as important as the destination. He established Green Mountain Planning as a fee-only financial firm to avoid the pitfalls and conflicts of interest found in other agency settings. “I work for you, not any company or product.”