Every wealthy person I have ever researched or read about became wealthy by first constructing some sort of financial plan. What do I, a young black woman know about wealth building, saving, emergency planning and investing? Sadly a year ago, not nearly enough to get me to the prosperous future I know I am capable of achieving. Last year I decided that I needed to know more about investing and wealth building. I figured in the midst of a recession would make for an opportune time.
Before my quest began financial jargon, big dollar figures and the responsibility of managing my own trust or CD was intimidating. The thought alone was enough to keep me at bay. I decided enough was enough. I started by watching financial programs and news stations like CNBC and CNN to simply know what conversations were taken place. I heard enough to peak my interest on various topic. So I read blogs, articles, magazines, books etc. to get a sound understanding. Once I had a very basic understanding under my belt I began to reach out to members of my inner circle to get advice and direction. Family members that had investment portfolios through their employers, parents that had come with easy saving plans for their kids’ college education, people that I knew had great credit or had paid of substantial amounts of debt in less than 4 years.
If I hit a dead-end I quickly turned to professionals that I was already doing business with. Like the personal investment counselors at my credit union and then the insurance representative at State Farm, where I pay my car insurance. Think about it, it’s in their best interest to help me and you. If my wealth increases that could mean more cars, homes and other assets to be insured, various portfolios, CD’s and mutual funds for them to manage. Now that I was on a roll I scheduled a meeting with a personal financial advisor to put everything I had learned into perspective and more importantly a plan that I could stick too and work.
Knowledge is power and I felt empowered with the information I had but I also knew that there was still a wealth of knowledge out there that I needed to tap into. This was just the beginning of a long financial journey. I do not claim to be a financial guru or number cruncher. I am simply a young black woman who started a financial journey to wealth building and here is the financial plan I started with.
THE FIRST STEPPING STONE: A Financial Plan
I have likened my financial plan to building a house to make it easy to follow. Please keep in mind that the figures will vary family to family. Below are just basic figures for the average low to middle class family with an annual salary of $35,000- $50,000.
Through this Young Black Women and Money series we will discuss steps of my journey and tools to help you on your own. Please note, all the financial information and resources I have received have all been 100% free, I simply had to ask for it. It only cost me my time and focus. Women in general and black women more specifically need to continue our financial education. We are making the money and paying our bills but we need not stop there. We need speak the language of finance and investing to build wealth not just financial freedom. Ladies we are in fact at the “Okay, now what?” stage of our lives.
Take my foolish advice you cannot afford to not invest your time in developing a financial plan. Share your financial advice below.