For some of us, money is a means that allows us to upgrade our lifestyles and live comfortably. For others, it’s a constant source of stress and worry. Jason Vitug, founder of Phroogal, noticed that a lack of financial resources and knowledge prevented many people from living the life they dreamed of. Armed with a passion for financial literacy, he left his job in the financial industry to help others achieve their lifestyle dreams.
This summer, Jason and his team are traveling 15,000 miles and making 50 stops around the country to promote financial literacy and talk to people about money. And pit stop number twenty-two on The Road to Financial Wellness*, his cross country tour, started right here at HQ. Jason spent some time talking to Team Lake Trust about personal finance and how we can connect our financial goals with the lives that we want to lead.
Here are a few points from his discussion that really inspired us.
What Makes You Happy?
A large part of how we live is a result of the financial decisions that we’ve made in the past. To change our lifestyle, we often think that making more money will solve our financial problems. But it doesn’t. When we don’t know how to manage our money, it doesn’t matter how much or how little we have because the more we make, the more we spend.
“Whether you make $30,000 or six figures, if you’re not making smart financial decisions, then you’re probably not living your dream lifestyle,” Jason explains.
Figure out how you want to live and use this vision to guide your finances.
Dream Big Again
If you had no debt or financial obligations, what would you do with your life? As children, we don’t limit our dreams and we imagine a grand and meaningful life. But as we get older and face hard financial decisions, these dreams go away. What makes you truly happy?
Ignite your passions again and find a way to live for the things you love. When you know what you want to do, your financial goals have a greater purpose.
Scrap the Budget
Once you’ve figured out your life goals, then financial education and budgeting make sense. There’s no magic formula or universal method for making a budget because a budget should be a reflection of the life that you see for yourself. For example, if you want to do a lot of traveling, don’t dedicate a large portion of your financial plan to housing.
Jason cautioned against creating a budget without a personal vision: “Money should not be the end goal. Money is a tool.”
We have the best intentions when we clip coupons and look for creative ways to earn a little extra cash but in our efforts to do so, we sometimes lose sight of why we need extra money. What are we going to do with that savings when we have it?
The financial decisions we make have a huge impact on the life we live. A big part of Jason’s mission to empower individuals starts with an invitation to explore and ask questions about basic personal finance. He offers learning tools and resources on the subject and encourages people to talk openly about money.
So let’s start the hard conversations and share our experiences. We can probably learn a thing or two from each other.
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