The following blog post is part of the The Road to Financial Wellness Blog Tour. Over a period of 30 days, the Phroogal team will go to 30 locations to raise awareness about financial empowerment. Today they will be in Phoenix! Our goal is to help people learn about money by starting the conversation. We understand that local conversations can help bring about national awareness.
What is Financial Empowerment?
I remember when I first heard the term “financial empowerment”. It was December of 2012, and my husband and I had just figured out that we had way too much debt and not nearly enough savings. For the first time that month, we assessed our financial situation and quickly realized that we were NOT in a financially sound situation. Out of fear and desperation, I began scouring the Internet for stories of people who had gotten out of debt in search of a plan for our money. As I perused the Web, I began learning terms such as:
- Building wealth
- Value-based spending
- Financial Freedom
- Early Retirement
and…….financial empowerment. These terms were new to my husband and me. We’d never learned about budgeting and the importance of staying out of debt when we were growing up. Instead, we learned about stuff. Keeping up with the Joneses. We mistakenly thought success meant having things. After 15 years of being experts at having “stuff”, we realized that all the pursuit of stuff got us was debt. We were sick and tired of being sick and tired, and we were eager for a change.
Taking Charge of Your Money
We were eager to experience financial empowerment; a life where we controlled our money instead of our money controlling us.
Financial empowerment is about learning to manage your money in a way that gives you the power and the freedom to live your life without the bondage of the paycheck-to-paycheck life. It’s about living to live and not just living to work for that next paycheck. When one is deep in debt and struggling for cash, their money controls them: it controls where they work, how much they work, where they live, what they spend and what they don’t spend.
When one learns to live a financially empowered life, they control their money. They put their money to work for them in a way that promotes what’s most important to them. The bondage that exists with a heavy debt load and a non-existent or sparse savings is gone. Peace and freedom take the place of that bondage when one learns to live a financially empowered life.
A New, Financially Secure Life
For the past two-and-a-half years, my husband and I have been learning to live a life where we practice financial empowerment. We’re budgeting, spend-tracking and paying off our debts in order to achieve debt freedom so we can begin accelerating the wealth-building process.
When we first started budgeting and spend-tracking in January of 2013, we thought we would feel restricted and bound by the budget we had set. Instead, we felt empowered. Why? Because we now had control over our money and a plan for where it was going each month. Each month that passes these days gives us more and more freedom and peace as we watch our debt numbers drop and as we watch our savings account balance increase.
Peace and Control
The peace and control that comes with financial empowerment is truly a great thing. Until a person experiences it, they simply can’t understand what a life-changing event it is when you start to manage your finances in a way that gives you power instead of taking away power.
At Well Kept Wallet, our goal is to help you experience financial empowerment. We have tools on the site, such as a budget form and financial game plan form that are here to help you experience financial empowerment, and we sincerely wish you the best as you walk on your own road to financial peace.