If you’re like us, you just clenched your jaw and hunched your shoulders. Understandably so – it’s an intimidating topic!

At SOCO, we know members have mixed feels about finance. But we also know finance is closely connected to our stress levels, work satisfaction, retirement goals, and freedom. For those reasons, it’s worth talking about.

That’s why we gathered members together in June’s Slack Session to discuss managing money in healthy, helpful ways. We wanted to hear how members are saving up, slipping up, and working toward financial independence.

Here’s what we learned.

Finances are a means to an end

SOCO members want to rock personal finance so they can have:

  • More autonomy
  • Protection against worst case scenarios
  • More cash to give away
  • The ability to buy a family member a home
  • Means to travel extensively
  • Flexibility to buy sweet gear (#swag)

One word that came up over and over again was freedom.

Personal finance matters to members because it gives them the freedom to travel, take time off, work jobs they want, and spend their money how they want.

We’re human and finances are hard

Members want to dominate their finances, but it doesn’t mean they are.

For example, a lot of us blow our budget on food –

And many of us have made painful financial mistakes. Things like:

  • Buying a car without calculating taxes
  • Choosing universities that left us with major student debt
  • Not saving for retirement until way late
  • Not investing in skills, like cooking, that save money over time
  • Paying business taxes late
  • Cashing out retirement
  • Impulse buying (we see you Amazon Prime)

All this to say, finances are hard and everyone stumbles. Even members who are very good about finances now have made plenty of mistakes – and been in plenty of debt –  in the past.

Actually using a budget helps

If you’ve ever tried to budget, though, you know: sticking with it is tough. Members experienced this and have developed frameworks, tricks, and hacks they use to stay on top of cash flow.

Seasoned budgeters also recommended:

Compound interest is money-making magic

There are a few ways to make quick cash, but compound interest is the real ticket to success. That’s where you grow the money you have now into more money over time.

Some really smart ways members do this:

Other compound interest tips included:

  • Avoiding debt (and getting out of it quickly)
  • Setting up a Roth IRA, then maxing it out while tax brackets are low
  • Utilizing a 401k
  • Setting up automatic withdrawals
  • Saving money as soon as your start working (even if that’s 15 years old)

The holy grail: Financial Independence

When members think of financial independence, many of them think of the freedom to work on whatever they want, whenever they want, without needing income.

Thanks to this conversation, more members are working toward financial freedom and are equipped to do so. One member even upped his monthly IRA contributions within a week of conversation!

Don’t you dare miss the next Slack chat. 

Already a member? Join the #Slack_Sessions channel in Slack for details on the next hangout.

Not yet a member? Schedule a SOCO tour today – it’s free and you’re guaranteed to meet a few of our rockstars. Membership at SOCO gives you access to conversations like these and the people who contributed their smart insights.