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What Is Financial Awareness and How Do I Achieve It?

In today’s world, there’s a dedicated day to celebrate just about everything: from ice cream and coffee to Pi Day and World Introvert Day. But there’s one special day that we financial advisors are really fond of and it’s coming up on August 14: National Financial Awareness Day. 

National Financial Awareness Day gives us even more of a reason to highlight why financial literacy is important for everyone

What is Financial Awareness?

Financial awareness is knowing the state of your finances at any given time. It’s a working understanding of your income and expenses, knowing how to budget, track expenses, save for emergencies, and invest for the future. Financial awareness also involves taking the time to understand certain financial concepts and terminology so you can make confident financial decisions.

Why Is Financial Literacy Important?

Being financially aware can impact your life for the better. Your finances touch every single area of your life. When you’re financially aware, you have a better handle on the money you make and spend, you’re more at peace and more prepared for the days ahead. But like most things in life, no one is born with financial awareness. It’s something you have to pursue, learn, and apply to your own life on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. 

7 Steps to Becoming More Financially Literate

You’ve probably heard the old saying, “Practice makes perfect,” right? Well, the same is true for your finances. The more you learn about budgeting, saving, investing, and avoiding debt, the more you’ll be able to put it into practice. Here’s how you can get started: 

1.  Get on a budget. 

Keeping a budget doesn’t seem like you’re doing much, but it’s one of the most important tools in your financial toolbox. Use a pen and paper or download a simple zero-based budgeting app like Mint, YNAB (You Need A Budget), or EveryDollar to help you get started. 

2. Track your expenses. 

Tracking your spending weekly will give you more insight into how you spend your money, where you’re busting your budget, and what changes you can make to get back on track. 

3. Live on less than you make.

A budget also helps you determine how much money you’re bringing in versus how much money you’re spending each and every single month. Knowing if you’re spending more money than you’re making can take you from living in debt to actually building wealth. 

4. Save for emergencies.

Life has a way of throwing curveballs at you when we least expect it. And those curveballs can get pretty expensive—fast. Saving up an initial $1,000 and setting it aside just for life’s emergencies is crucial to your financial health. So, the next time the AC goes out in the middle of summer, you’ll be able to cover most of the cost instead of putting it on a credit card. 

5. Plan for retirement.

Retirement is something that everyone experiences, but not everyone experiences the same retirement. In fact, 75% of people in the pre-retirement phase haven’t calculated how much they’ll need in retirement.1 It matters how you plan and prepare for it. Talk to a SageSpring Wealth Partner to start planning for your future today.       

6. Keep tabs on your credit score.

One of the easiest ways to keep tabs on the health of your credit activity (and to prevent fraud) is by keeping an eye on your credit report. It’s best to look at your report once or twice a year to make sure your activity is actually yours. If you find something odd, make sure to dispute it and get your record cleaned up. Get your free report here.  

7. Ask for help.

Another way to increase your financial literacy is by going to the experts. Asking a financial advisor to join your home team is a great way to learn how you can strengthen your financial foundation, increase your knowledge, and prepare for the future. 

Ready to increase your financial awareness? We can help. Contact a SageSpring Wealth Partner in your area today.

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Jeffrey T. Dobyns


President, SageSpring | Financial Advisor, RJFS 

Jeffrey T. Dobyns

President, SageSpring | Financial Advisor, RJFS

Beyond crunching numbers and investment strategies, at SageSpring, we’re about building relationships. When you encounter Founder & President of SageSpring, Jeff Dobyns, it’s easy to understand why this is at the very heart of who we are as a firm. You won’t find stuffy formalities with Jeff; instead, you can expect to find him sharing a warm smile, communicating a compelling vision, or patiently untangling life’s complex challenges with clients. He believes in truly getting to know clients, understanding their aspirations and priorities, and navigating their financial plans with a tailored, comprehensive approach. Our team members have often been caught taking notes on Jeff’s effortless relationship skills from a distance, and we admire them for striving to learn from one of the best. 

Jeff’s financial expertise and wisdom are the perfect match to his innate people skills. Jeff holds the prestigious CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM certification, Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®), and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChLU®) designations, and has held executive positions with financial planning firms for more than two decades. 

His dedication extends beyond the office to the boardroom and the local community, where Jeff is passionate about giving back. He serves as Chairman of the Board of Men of Valor, a prison ministry and mentoring program. Jeff also serves on the board of Send Musicians to Prison, which shares hope, healing and restoration with the imprisoned through musicians & artists. Jeff actively supports other initiatives in the community by sitting on the board of The Signatry of Middle Tennessee and the Halftime Institute of Nashville. 

Witnessing his four children, Gracyn, Hunter, Tanner, and Logan, excel on the field is almost just as rewarding, if not more, than celebrating the victories of seeing his clients overcome obstacles and build wealth. Spending weekends boating on the lake, hiking mountain trails, and fishing with his family are the moments Jeff cherishes most. It’s this grounded perspective that reveals the true meaning of wealth for Jeff: not just numbers on a page, but the freedom to create experiences that enrich your life and the lives of those you love. When you choose the Dobyns McMillin Wealth Team, you choose more than financial expertise. You choose a partner who champions your dreams, celebrates your victories, and walks besides you on the path to achieving your unique goals.

**Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER TM, CFP® (with plaque design) and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.