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Jenniffer's Journey:

Roots and Wings

I recently attended a free online workshop on how to build net worth, regardless of your income level, and how to understand the difference between debt and equity in order to reach financial freedom. More specifically, how to grow your roots and spread your wings. Confused? Let me explain.

Roots (security) in the larger sense means knowing that you have the support and love of family and friends; wings are the confidence to take risks and learn how to fly high. As it relates to money, roots are your long-term investments like real estate (i.e. your home), retirement, and any investment accounts that you have (e.g. EdVest, mutual funds). Financial roots, like family roots and the roots of a tree, build over time and require regular watering, weeding, and fertilizing; that means, you must tend to your financial roots in order for them to build over time and give you the security to achieve financial freedom.

Wings are your income (paycheck!!), cash savings and credit. More specifically, wings include not only your bi-weekly paycheck, but also building (and maintaining) an emergency fund and managing your credit. After all, it’s that credit that enables you to invest in your roots. I finished the workshop and realized that not only have I not been tending to my financial roots, I’ve been clipping my money wings. And in doing so, I haven’t been giving Ashley what she needs to establish her own roots and learn to spread her wings. In fact, before Project Money, my financial tree was looking much like the Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

Over the past several weeks of Project Money, I’ve begun to establish those financial roots and have been learning how to nurture them over time. And I’ve discovered that it’s not really that hard after all. I guess I just needed an expert arborist (aka my Project Money coach, Melanie) to get me started!

So here’s this week’s financial fun fact, and it is what really resonated with me in the workshop: “How high you fly depends on how much you earn and save, and how you manage credit. When used wisely, your wings fund not only your daily living, but also grow your roots.” Translated: shift your focus from income to equity and prioritize long term security over short term desires. You don’t have to make six figures to build solid roots and wings. You just need to know how to use the money that you have to shape and create the roots and wings that make you – and your family – happy. Now go out and water that tree.


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