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Creating a Strong Budget and Gaining Financial Freedom

TuesdaysTogether Tri-Cities TN is a local group of creative entrepreneurs meeting once per month in the spirit of community over competition. They are one of over 400 chapters around the world of The Rising Tide Society. During their monthly gatherings, they cover topics that are important to small business owners, such as marketing, pricing, social media, client experience, and more.

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On Tuesday, March 28th, Cindy Thurlow, Financial Advisor at Edward Jones, hosted the TuesdaysTogether group at her office located at 2913 Boones Creek Road in Johnson City and presented on the topics of budgeting and finances.

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Katy Sergent, one of the TuesdaysTogether group leaders, as well as a professional wedding photographer for adventurous and outdoorsy couples, told me, “I really loved Cindy’s meeting about financial freedom and budgeting! I tend to be the kind of person who is scared of her finances and becomes “blind” to what’s really going on with my spending. Cindy made the meeting fun and optimistic, which in turn makes me excited for the future and getting on track.

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During the meeting, Cindy spoke passionately about having the right mind set when creating a budget. She suggested trying to view is as “freedom and abundance” instead of be a restriction.

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She went on to say that it’s critical to track your expenses first, because you have to know where your money is going and track your progress weekly. Once you know how much you typically spend, you can put a plan in place to pay off debt, set up an emergency fund (typically 3-6 months of living expenses) and better predict your budget for the coming year. Cindy also noted that there’s really no perfect way to create a budget – do what works best for you!

From an entrepreneur’s view point, Cindy also encouraged the TuesdaysTogether meeting attendees to get serious about paying yourself. She went on to advise the group that you should know your finances and don’t be blind to the numbers. In order to create a budget that works for you and your business, you need to set realistic, clear, and measurable goals and set strategies. Otherwise, you’re just taking a shot in the dark. She recommends creating an income spreadsheet to see where to allocate your funds – and to see where your funds are going.

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Cindy encouraged all the participants to “define your financial goals” and to create a mission statement around those goals. She went on to emphasize that you should “Plan! Plan ahead!” and that it’s important to have a team and relationships to help you through the budgeting and finance process.

Being a small business owner, when it comes to thinking about financial investments, it can be pretty scary. Thanks to Cindy’s words of advice and optimistic outlook – I finally feel that investments aren’t as scary as they used to be and it’s possible to invest even as a small business owner!” beamed Katy Sergent.

What are some ways that you can start getting your budgeting and finances in tip-top shape?
Here are some suggestions from Cindy that you can start taking action on today! Ask yourself the following questions:
  1. Where am I today? Determine your current needs and look at the overview.
  2. Where would I like to be? Seek help from your financial advisor to discuss your current overlook and how to reach your goals.
  3. Can I get there? Create and implement strategies with your financial advisor.
  4. How do I get there? Your financial advisor can help select an appropriate mix of investments based on your goals, risk, and time frame.
  5. How can I stay on track? Meet on a regular basis with your financial advisor and determine any adjustments that may need to be made.

Ready to get serious about budgeting and finances, but aren’t sure where to start? Learn more about what Edward Jones has to offer or contact Cindy Thurlow to schedule your complimentary meeting to discuss your current financial health and goals for the future!

Want to learn more about TuesdaysTogether or become a member of this wonderful group? Find out more on their website and apply to become a member in their Facebook Group!

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All photos graciously provided by Bellamanda Photography.

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